Wilson Defensive Player of the Day
Dylan LaVelle, Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens, Wash.), 2012, Kansas City Royals
It's no wonder Dylan LaVelle had no fear of crashing into the fence after running down a pop foul to third in his team's 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the Oakland Athletics on Day 5 of the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
LaVelle has been a Black Belt in karate since he was nine.
"That wall was nothing," said the Oregon State commit from Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens, Wash.), who has won more than two dozen gold medals in karate at the Junior Olympics level. "I've been practicing my skills at the dojo since I was four years old."
"I'm going hard into it because I'm going to get that ball," said the Kansas City third-baseman about the difficult pop foul he snared.
"I thought I might have to jump and lean over the fence," LaVelle stated.
Bolting to his right on the pop-up, LaVelle looked like he might hit the fence. Instead, he became the first third-sacker to catch a ball up against the barrier this year at Area Code.
LaVelle also hit the first home run in the 2011 Area Code Games. His blast in the sixth inning against the A's cleared the wall in left field with a shot estimated to travel 375 feet.
LaVelle, who played for the Washington Nationals at the 2010 Area Code Games, came into Blair Field this year with a purpose.
"Last year I came in not knowing how good the competition was," LaVelle told ESPNHS. "This year I want to show the scouts I've improved and I'm someone they should look at and possibly draft. Someone that can compete with the best of the best."