EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 21, 2010

Despite injury, Brentz slugs his way into Lowell

LOWELL — It takes place on baseball fields every day, across America. So, what were the odds that a simple game of pickup football this spring would derail star college baseball prospect Bryce Brentz's season, with a million-dollar draft day in sight.

"We were fooling around pregame," admitted Brentz. "I think everyone's been hurt messing around. But it came at a pretty bad time."

Despite his freak ankle injury, the Red Sox chose the slugger, ranked the No. 10 amateur prospect in the draft by espn.com, as a sandwich selection in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft.

Signing just days after the draft, Brentz was the starting right fielder and cleanup hitter last night for the Lowell Spinners, who fell to the Tri-City VallyCats 5-0 on opening night at LeLacheur Park, despite allowing just four hits. Lowell had opened the season last Friday in Vermont.

"I've been waiting for this," said Brentz, who was 0 for 2 with two walks last night. "The biggest thing I've been waiting for is to get out and start my professional career."

Expectations were sky high for Brentz heading into the 2010 college season.

As a sophomore for Middle Tennessee State in 2009, Brentz delivered an eye-popping campaign. He led NCAA Division 1 with a .465 batting average, 28 home runs and a .930 slugging percentage. He added 73 RBIs and was named a Louisville Slugger and Baseball America first-team All-American.

"I knew I wasn't going to top what I did in my sophomore season," said Brentz. "Everyone has a career year, and that was mine. I just told myself not to press and look past the pressure."

Not eligible for the draft until after his junior season, Brentz returned to Middle Tennessee for his junior campaign. But, prior to a game, disaster struck.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eagles react to joint practice with Patriots Phils lose to Angels after 6th-inning blowup Bottalico: 6th inning was 'flat out ugly'
Boston Sports
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles McAdam: Predicting Red Sox potential 2015 starting rotation Shawn Thornton hosts annual ‘Putts and Punches’ for Parkinson’s Golf tournament ‘Crystal Ball’-Who will be the Red Sox best starter in 2015? Curran: Mallett missing from practice, Gronk returns to practice Americans in the English Premier League