Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 19
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
Tommy Herrera is a busy 12 year old. A student at Tommie Kunst Junior High School, Herrera has spent his summer playing baseball with Northside Little League.
Earlier in the month, Herrera and the team defeated Lompoc 8-2 in the championship game. On a recent weekend, the team ventured off to Thousand Oaks for the sectional championship.
Coach JJ Ford was eager to recommend Herrera as one of his top players. Ford has been coaching Herrera for the last four years; Herrera would come to practice with his brothers when he was 7 years old.
Ford said pitching would probably be Herrera’s primary position this upcoming season, though the player also catches and fills in as a shortstop.
“In just the first two games of the championship tournament he had 28 strikeouts and allowed one hit,” Ford said. “He is really able to command his pitches.”
Ford said Herrera’s strengths as a pitcher come from the range of his arm and his positive attitude.
“Tommy has a great attitude; he picks up other players and steps up to the plate when needed,” the coach shared.
When he isn’t commanding the game in the circle, Herrera doubles as hitting talent. Ford said Herrera has a strong swing and can “hit the ball a mile.”
Herrera said his favorite position is pitching; he likes to watch over his defense and make sure his pitches are correct.
“The hardest part of pitching is throwing pitches for strikes,” he said. “My best pitch is a knuckle curve.”
Herrera said he likes the sport because it’s so exciting. He likes to watch people hit the ball really far. Herrera said he considers himself a leader when he steps on the field and takes on a positive attitude.
“I just try to keep people pumped up and not put anyone down,” he said. “My goal is to just play hard and win every game.”
When it comes to stepping into the batter’s box, the player said he likes hitting, but sometimes finds it difficult to put the ball into play, especially with the pressure of having teammates on base.
Herrera will be moving on to a bigger division next year when he turns 13. He said he wants to play in high school. Ford will definitely miss his three-position player.
“He is a great player, and I want him to keep working on his speed,” Ford said. “It has always been a pleasure coaching him.”