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Buddy Kennedy (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)[/caption]
—Baseball is a game that comes with failure, but it’s nice to have someone who knows the game to help you. Especially when that somebody is the 2014 AL MVP, which is the case for third base prospect Buddy Kennedy, a rising senior at Millville (N.J.) High.
“If I have baseball (struggles) like hitting, I go to him ask ‘what can I do,’ or ‘what did you do?’ when you were struggling, it’s just a great privilege,” Kennedy said of his relationship with Angels outfielder Mike Trout. “It's fun, I get to work to with the MVP, it’s an honor, a lot of kids don’t get to do that.”
In the offseason, Trout goes back to his alma mater to work out and train. Trout is a Millville alumnus, and he and Kennedy connected at Millville. Now, they work out together in the offseason.
“He’s cool. He’s just relaxed, like any other dude,” Kennedy said of Trout.
Through these workouts, the two have developed a brother-like bond. Trout has taken Kennedy under his wing, helping him develop both his baseball and other lifelong skills.
“Man, to go in there, and work hard with him, it’s great. He treats me like I’m his little brother,” Kennedy says.
Because of his mannerisms on the field, a similar build, and a shared hometown, Kennedy is drawing comparisons to Trout back in Millville, though he doesn’t possess the off-the-charts physical tools of his mentor.
“I model my style after him a bit—ultimately I try to be me, but a lot of people say we are very similar,” Kennedy said smiling.
Kennedy appreciates the help from Trout, and considers it a driving factor in his baseball moving forward.
“I think it motivated me too get to where he is at, one day get to (the) major leagues,” Kennedy said.
This week at East Coast Pro, Kennedy flashed natural hitting ability along with some solid speed. Kennedy measured in at 5-foot-9, though he looks closer to 6-foot and he was measured at 5-foot-11, 215 at the Tournament of Stars back in June. Kennedy ran a 6.69 60-yard dash at ECP, and peppered the power alleys during games.
With all of his success lately, Kennedy has been leaping up the 2017 draft class. During East Coast Pro, “BK” had it his way, consistently hitting the ball hard—Kennedy tallied three singles and a triple across four games.
Kennedy has also shown versatility around the diamond this summer, even pitching at the Tournament of Stars in June.
“I do whatever I can to help my team," he said. "I pitch some in high school, so I went out there and tried to toss over some strikes to help the team.”
Kennedy has already developed a lot this summer, and will continue to grind.