Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Freeman Profile -- Trevor Johnson

from today's Waukesha Freeman --
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IT’S THE GLOVE
What has made CMH’s Johnson a four-year starter at shortstop?
Senior’s hitting also comes around
By Tony Mooren Freeman Correspondent
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WAUKESHA – First it was Trevor Johnson’s glove that got him into the lineup and kept him there. “When he walked into our program, he had as solid a glove as I’ve ever seen for a freshman,” Catholic Memorial High School baseball coach Tim Gotzler said. “He has quick hands and is smart. He always knows what’s going on and anticipates every ball, every situation and what to do.”
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Now it’s both his glove and hitting that have made the senior shortstop a star player for the Crusaders – the kind of player who evoked interest from colleges and earned a scholarship to continue his career at the University of Illinois-Springfield, a fledgling Division II program that is starting up next season.
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“It took awhile for his bat to come around, but now he’s a top hitter, too,” Gotzler said. “He’s hitting around .400 this season, but his on-base percentage is around .500. He knows when to take pitches, is a gapto-gap line-drive hitter and he never strikes out. He hits the ball where it’s pitched and is a good enough hitter to make adjustments on any pitch.” Johnson’s bat started to come around last season when he hit .300 but he admits, “I was always a better fielder than a hitter, but since eighth grade I’ve become a much better hitter. I hit all the time in a batting cage and off a tee during the offseason and I work out, running and lifting,”
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It’s obviously paid off for Johnson, who also played basketball his freshman year at Memorial but quickly made baseball his priority. “I didn’t enjoy basketball as much and I always liked baseball better,” Johnson said. He began playing baseball at the urging of his father. “I liked it because it’s a game of failure,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to be perfect all the time. Three out of 10 times is pretty good.”
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He was mainly a catcher until eighth grade when he switched teams. “My new team didn’t have a shortstop so they tried me out there and I guess I was good at it,” Johnson said. “And I really liked it. There’s a lot of action there.” He was surprised he made the transition so well that he became a starter as a freshman. “A senior was our starting shortstop when I was a freshman but he also pitched so I started at shortstop when he pitched,” Johnson said. “But once the season got going, I was there for good and he became our designated hitter.”
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“He’s bigger and stronger now,” Gotzler said. That’s helped his fielding and hitting. Johnson said he always strived to become better. “I never received any all-conference honors and I knew that I could have done better. I just didn’t perform the way I should have so I wanted to do better and worked hard at it,” he said. That’s the same attitude he will take to Illinois-Springfield. “Since it’s a first-year program, I’ll be a building block,” he said. “Beloit and Webster were also interested in my playing but they’re Division III colleges and I wanted to see if I could play at the Division II level.”
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