I can vividly remember the very first time I shot photographs of the Hudson Valley Renegades in Wappinger Falls, NY in June, 1999.
I rolled into Dutchess Stadium about the same time Tampa Rays #1 draft pick that year, Josh Hamilton, now an all star outfielder with the Texas Rangers, reported with his parents and family He was a nice young man, but I had fleeting thoughts even then while shooting his posed shots, he may have been rushed into this sudden fame and fortune before he was ready.
While this year’s Renegades don’t have any #1s – 2008 #1 Tim Beckham is at Princeton in the Appalachian League – they have a solid team, are blessed with several solid ballplayers, have a 16-14 W-L Record, and are in second place in the McNamara Division of the NY Penn League only three games behind the always mighty Staten Island Yankees.
Two weeks ago at Aberdeen, I was impressed with #7 pick, OF Jason Corder, who is hitting 352 BA, 3 HR, and driven in 15 RBI in 23 games, #3 Pick, Jacob Jeffries, a big strong catcher out of UC Davis, who is hitting 279 BA, 1 HR, and driven in 17 runs in 30 games, and a lonely #20 pick 2B Jason Tweedy, from Long Beach State, who is hitting up a storm with a 301 BA, a HR, and 12 RBI in 30 games and may be the best of the bunch.
Second year players, OF Keong Kang, 252 BA, 3 HR, 18 RBI,, and 1B John Mollicone, 294 BA,
1 HR, 14 RBI are performing at a high level too.
Plus, the Renegades are getting decent pitching from BA Rays #17 ranked prospect, Nick Barnese, who is 2-1 W-L 2.33 ERA, Joshua Satow, 2- 0 W-L 0.98 ERA, and Robert Della Grotta, 2-0, 1.56 ERA.