This article was created by TravelballSelect.com
13U Player of the Year Finalist – Kyle Jacobsen
TravelballSelect.com continues with this series to introduce the elite 13U players for the 2012 season who are “Player of the Year” finalist. If you’ve competed around the Southeastern half of the country, chances are you know Kyle Jacobsen well. However, some may not know him by name, but if you say “Gator” around the ball fields, everyone knows who you’re talking about.
For the past three years, Kyle “Gator” Jacobsen has anchored the outfield for the 643 DP Cougars and consistently been one of the Cougar’s top pitchers. But it’s at the plate that Gator’s most dangerous, having led the team in nearly all offensive categories.
In 2012, he proved to be a team leader once again. Moving between the leadoff and 3rd spot in the order, Gator again led the Cougars in batting average (.517), home runs (17), triples (6), runs (68), stolen bases (39) and RBI (64) which was notable since he spent the first half of the season hitting leadoff. He also led the team in ERA for the year from the mound.
And it wasn’t against subpar competition that he put up big numbers. In 2012, the Cougars faced some of the top teams in the country playing 2 SNITs, the East Cobb Tournament of Champions, the Cincinnati Flames Summer Classic and the TbS Travelball™ National Championship. In those tournaments alone, the Cougars played 18 games against 9 of TbS’ top 25 teams. In those 18 games, Gator tallied a .532 avg with 17 extra base hits including 8 HR’s, 28 RBI and 16 stolen bases while plating 28 runs.
This year, Gator will play his fourth season with the 643 DP Cougars for Head Coach Ric Bishop. Coach Bishop has an interesting perspective, having coached the ECB Pride (TbS honorable mention) last season against Kyle. “Gator is the type of player you would build a program around. He exemplifies what you want in a baseball player and how a program is supposed to be represented. Gator's athleticism and work ethic is unprecedented and if he continues to progress he will have a very long and bright future in this game. As an opposing coach, Gator is the type of guy you single out and try not to allow him to beat you and that alone speaks volumes of the amount of respect other coaches and myself have for Gator as a player”
Bradley Fitzgerald, who has been one of Gator’s coaches the past two seasons and had a front bucket seat to the action says, “Kyle is a very special player. It has been a pleasure to coach him and watch him blossom into one of the top travel ball players in the country. Kyle is blessed with a high baseball IQ along with great athletic ability. He is one of a very few players who can change a game whether on defense or offense. Gator's success at the plate is attributed to his discipline and willingness to take a walk when pitched around. For the past two years he has put up offensive numbers I have never seen before as a coach. When on base his speed and innate base-running skills can take over a game at any time. The best word I can think of for Kyle as an offensive player is "electric". Defense is often overlooked but Kyle is one of the top centerfielders in the country. His routes to the ball are precise and his throws dead on accurate. When not hitting long balls or chasing down gappers in centerfield, Gator is a very effective left-handed pitcher and has pitched many games for us against nationally ranked teams. If one looks beyond Kyle's athletic achievements to consider who he is as a person, Coach Fitzgerald says, “he always plays the game hard, he is team oriented, and he is respectful of his opponents - he sets a great example of how to play the game the right way. He will be playing this game for a long time.
The above reasons clearly make the case why Kyle Jacobsen is being recognized by TravelballSelect.com as one of the nation’s elite of elite players - a finalist for the 2012 Player of the Year.