Baseball has a special place in Ahwatukee Foothills.
Whether it is a team making the Little League World Series, the high school teams winning state or producing high draft picks, the game on the diamond might be the most revered sport in the area.
Those who leave for the collegiate or professional ranks will always be tied to the area.
Here is a look at the how the college players are doing about a month into their season and where the professional players will possibly be playing in 2014.
Kevin Cron, Texas Christian University
The junior first baseman is off to a good start in getting past last year’s struggles.
He was hitting .308 with four doubles and six RBIs through eight games. Cron left Mountain Pointe as the state’s all-time home run leader with 60, but it hasn’t translated to the college game.
In his last 218 at-bats he has only two home runs and a total of six in 369 at-bats.
With the good start to 2014 expect the home run ratio increase.
Jordan Kipper, TCU
The Mountain Pointe and Central Arizona product has had one very good start and one not so good as the right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA.
In his first outing, the junior right-hander allowed one earned run, three hits with eight strikeouts in six innings to beat Northern Colorado.
The next time out, Kipper was so efficient as he only went four innings against Texas Arlington. He gave up eight hits, seven runs (6 earned), walked one and struck out three.
Scott Kingery, Arizona
The former slicking fielding shortstop for the Pride is off to a great start for the Wildcats.
The starting sophomore right fielder entered the weekend hitting .452 with nine runs, six RBIs, seven stolen bases and a team-high .581 slugging percentage through eight games.
Colby Woodmansee, Arizona State
The true freshman shortstop has gotten his feet wet by playing in three of the Sun Devils’ seven games including one start.
He has gone 1 for 6 with a single with a stolen base.
Hunter Rodriguez, Utah
The left-hander is back after Tommy John surgery wiped out his freshmen year.
Preseason reports had Rodriguez in mix for the fourth starter spot, but he hadn’t made an appearance in the Utes’ first seven games heading into the weekend.
Shaun Chase, Oregon
The junior catcher saw action in five of the Ducks’ first seven games, starting two. The Desert Vista product is looking to rebound after struggling his first two years when he hit a combined .194 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 160 at bats.
He is off to a decent start thus far as the 6-foot, 214-pounder is hitting .286 (two for seven) with a home run and three RBIs.
Brantley Bell, Ole Miss
The 2013 Mountain Pointe grade has since action in seven games this far with one start.
The true freshman is 4 for 9 with two runs and a double.
Joey Curletta, Los Angeles Dodgers
Curletta begins his second full season with the Dodgers after putting together a good year in the Rookie Pioneer League for the Ogden Raptors.
The 6-4, 225-pound right fielder hit .326 with five home runs, 16 doubles and 42 RBIs in 62 games. Curletta, a sixth-round pick for the Dodgers, had a slugging percentage of .461 and on-base percentage of .863.
It was a big improvement from his initial year in pro ball when he hit .149 in 25 games.
He is projected to start the 2014 season at Low-A Great Lakes in the Midwest League.
C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angles
The former No. 1 pick continues on the right path toward the major leagues as he is expected to make the jump the Triple-A after a solid year in Double-A and great showing in the Arizona Fall League.
“I expect to go to Triple A and that’s the goal,” he said in November. “You never want to repeat levels and I don’t want to go back. That’s not my decision so I am going to make it as tough on the organization as possible and send me to Triple A.”
The 24-year-old enters his fourth year of pro ball with a Futures Games selection along with several all-star selection on his resume.
Cron, who had this first two years cut short by surgeries, hit under .300 for the first time in 2013 but still managed a good season as he hit .274 with 14 home runs and 83 RBIs in his first season of Double A.
Tyler Viza, Philadelphia Phillies
The left-hander had a great first into to pro baseball after being taken in the 32nd round.
In 12 games, including six starts, in the Gulf Coast League, the Desert Vista product had a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings.
He struck out 20, walked 10 and had a WHIP of 0.97.
Editor’s note: If there are other Division I college or professional players from Ahwatukee Foothills contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.