Finding turning points in any area of pursuit are defining moments and often are beginnings to great achievements. For Tyler McDaniel, a 2020 uncommitted first baseman from West Forsyth High School that “ah-ha” moment perhaps came over the off-season leading into the 2019 spring.
As he made a commitment to work on his physical strength to translate to more pop with his bat, he and several Dirtbag teammates were able to see first hand the dedication and work ethic of pro players at the facility where they trained. It was then he made a decision. If he truly wanted to take his game to a next level he would have to train that way. So began a new perspective to training and preparing.
With the initial purpose for the training being to generate more power in the right-handed swing of his 6 foot, 210 pound frame, McDaniel called the spring good with room to grow. Tyler is looking to make even more of an impact in the power category as the summer season begins. He wants to develop this tool to its utmost as he looks to attract opportunities to play collegiately and find a right fit program.
The general manager for Dirtbags Baseball, Trey Daly has definitely taken notice to the swing and the power as he comments, “ When watching McDaniel the one thing that jumps out to you is the strength in the swing. Tyler is a strong kid who has the ability to leave the yard on any swing.”
Having been a Dirtbag since his freshman year, McDaniel is entering his 3rd year with the program. He initially joined the organization because he recognized the level of competition on each one of the teams. He went on to say, “Every single kid seems to have the potential to play at a ton of colleges.”
While that may be intimidating for some, for Tyler it was the push he needed to improve his own game. He continued, “Each day you have to play your A-game. I feed off of them (teammates) and my game gets elevated.”
This summer he will be with the 17u Alberts squad for the Dirtbags and feels because the core group has largely been together it will be able to find success on the field. This group “knocked off some good clubs” in 2018 by winning their pool in Atlanta. And with players like McDaniel on this roster confidence will be high as the summer takes shape in 2019.
Daly seems to agree here, “Tyler is the type of kid that makes other people around him better and definitely a guy you want in a your dugout.”
Since becoming a Dirtbag, McDaniel has learned the organization has what he calls an “unrelenting desire to win” that has become a critical force to propel his own pursuits. It’s a win-win for him as he can see his own goals come into focus by being a part of a team that dominates its opponents.
This environment helps Tyler keep the blade sharp and doesn’t allow for complacency. He says he knows people are always watching because of the name on the front of the jersey. And with that outlook, surely another turning point will come as he continues to improve and look for the right direction to a college program.