It's been a while since the last pros post, and that can be attributed to many factors (most related to Tech), but it's time to get back on track and update you guys with the news you want to hear about. Normally when I do a pros report, there are a couple meaningful performances to mention, but nothing too overwhelming. The month of April has been the complete opposite, however, as seemingly every sport has given Tech fans something to be excited about. It's difficult choosing where to start, but the most impressive performance over the last few weeks has to be Charlie Blackmon's rise to fame.
Over the last couple of years, Blackmon has played the fourth or fifth OF spot for the Colorado Rockies, playing well in spot duty and waiting for a starting spot to open up. Coming out of spring training, Blackmon finally earned a starting role, and has taken the league by storm. So far through the first three weeks of the season, Blackmon is leading Major League Baseball with a .410 average. In case you missed that, I said the ENTIRE league. He had a couple big games in the first week that caught people's attention, but no one expected him to continue on this pace. While his numbers will drop considerably over the next month, the Rockies have to be excited about his production. He's not just hitting for average though. Coors Field must be taken into account when you consider these stats, but he has 5 home runs and 16 RBIs on the season. He has arguably been the best player in the league so far through the first three weeks and has fit in nicely with Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.
Under normal circumstances, Derek Dietrich would be next up on the list of players to talk about given his April performance, but the revival of Matt Wieters' bat deserves a mention first. The last two years have been brutal for Wieters, and he has become an afterthought at the catcher position. This year has been different for him, however, as he has started the season with a .344 average, 4 home runs, and 13 RBIs. While everyone knows he won't be able to continue this pace, he's at least showing signs of what the Orioles originally expected from him. If he can continue to give them an explosive bat in the middle of the lineup, then their season will be better than expected.
Deitrich continues the list of Georgia Tech players to start the season off with a bang. Through the first three weeks of the season, Dietrich is hitting .314 with 3 homers and 9 RBIs, but is also walking at a very high rate, giving him an OBP of .442. That's incredibly impressive for a player his age and he has been a major contributor to the surprisingly potent Marlins lineup. Deitrich's numbers should continue to impress as the season progresses given the hitters in front of him, but the Marlins are purely looking for another solid season from him as their team continues to mature.
Next up on this list is Matt Kuchar, who has been on an absolute tear so far through the month of April. In the three tournaments Kuchar has participated in this month, he has finished 2nd, 5th, and 1st. After being in contention in Augusta and finishing 5th, Kuchar returned a week later to win the RBC Heritage tournament on a birdie out of the bunker on 18. Here's the footage of Kuchar's shot from the bunker. Through the month of April, Kuchar has earned over 2 million dollars in winnings. It's safe to say that Kuchar is winning at life, and It couldn't have happened to a more genuine player.
Has there ever been an article related to the Miami Heat that failed to address them in the first 600 words? I highly doubt it, but now it's time to talk about Chris Bosh and the Heat's chase for a third straight ring. The Heat are currently in a first round playoff matchup against the Bobcats and have a 2-0 lead in the series. Bosh was a major factor in the game last night, adding 20 points and 5 rebounds for the Heat, who needed every point to get past Charlotte. While the Bobcats are a better team than most people will give them credit for, the Heat should be able to handle them on the road to maintain order in the series. Assuming the Heat take the series, they will play either the Raptors or Nets, and Bosh will be needed if they have a chance of winning that series. The Nets have talented big men and Jonas Valanciunas is playing some incredible basketball right now for Toronto. Bosh needs to show up big over the next few weeks or Miami could be in trouble.
One athlete who hasn't been in the news much lately, but has a lot of promise is Jeremiah Attaochu. Had the draft not been moved back two weeks into May, there's a chance we'd be hearing his name called tonight at Radio City Music Hall. He's impressed scouts and GM's in work outs and has a chance to be a late first round pick, but will most likely come off the board in the middle of the second round. He has the raw tools to make a big impact for a team and should be a hot commodity on draft day. There will be a longer post at the start of draft week going into more detail on Attaochu and other Yellow Jacket draft hopefuls.
To finish off this week's post, here are some other notable performances:
- Bryce Molder currently sits at 73 on the money earnings list with two top 10 finishes this year.
- Cameron Tringale also has a Top 10 finish this year and has competed in 17 events this season, giving him a ranking of 56 on the PGA money list.
- Derrick Favors was one of the lone bright spots in the Utah Jazz's season, finishing with 13.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and a PER of 19.01. Not too bad for his first full year of starting.
- Similarly, Thaddeus Young ended the season with 17.9 PPG, 6 RPG, and a PER of 16.64. He's certainly hoping the 76ers have a successful draft, since they need a huge talent infusion this offseason.
- If I didn't mention someone from the NBA, they had another mediocre season or one to forget (Jarrett Jack and Iman Shumpert)
- Mark Teixeira has started his comeback campaign on a slow note, and many people are doubting whether he'll ever return to his old form. The Yankees don't need the Mark Teixeira of old, but 75% of him would go a long way in helping them make it to the playoffs.
April has been very kind to many of Georgia Tech's pros, but these performances mean little in the long run. Bosh has a lot of games ahead of him to achieve another title, and the MLB season isn't even a month in. Kuchar still has three majors to go this year, and the draft is a toss up. There's plenty to look forward to for the summer, however, and I'm excited to see more great performances from Georgia Tech's pros.