Baseball: Red Wing's Boldt shows impressive speed for Team USARed Wing’s Ryan Boldt hit leadoff during his sophomore year with the Wingers, but when he was selected to USA Baseball’s 18-and-under team in late August the new position came with a learning curve.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing’s Ryan Boldt hit leadoff during his sophomore year with the Wingers, but when he was selected to USA Baseball’s 18-and-under team in late August the new position came with a learning curve.
It appears he’s adjusting just fine.
Team USA is finding success at the International Baseball Federation World Championships and Boldt’s performance at the top of the lineup is a major reason why.
When Boldt steps to the plate, he’s finding a way to first base and it is becoming an almost certainty that second base will soon follow.
Through four games, Boldt holds the Team USA record for stolen bases in a World Championships and is leading the entire tournament with eight steals, including a USA-record five in an 11-1 victory Sunday against Colombia. He also set a team record with four runs scored in the game, tying Major Leaguers Mike Moustakas and Delmon Young, among others, and had a record four walks.
“Before the game, Coach (Scott) Brosius told me that if I got on first he wanted me to steal on the first pitch and I did,” Boldt said in an email. “I had that in my mind the whole game after that. I think that helped me to stay focused and do my job as the leadoff man and find a way to get on base.”
Team USA stole a record 10 bases in the victory.
Boldt leads Team USA with six walks and is currently eighth in the tournament in on-base percentage, sitting at .579, and leads with seven runs scored. He is hitting .273 as Team USA leads the tournament with an overall batting average of .364.
Boldt’s six walks ties him for sixth with five others in the USA record books including Joe Mauer, the last Minnesotan to compete for Team USA in 2000.
Boldt’s excellent play also continues to raise his national profile.
Keith Law, lead baseball analyst for ESPN.com and ESPN Scouts, Inc., tabbed Ryan 29th in his top 30 draft prospects for 2013 for ESPN Insider stating, “Boldt’s an athletic centerfielder who can run and has great hand acceleration at the plate, although his swing is pretty linear and is geared for contact but not power.”
With one game of pool play remaining, Boldt has a chance to break more records as the Americans sit in second place in Group A with a 3-1 record. They face Australia today at 10 a.m. in Seoul, South Korea, and have already secured a spot in the next round of games and another step closer to the gold medal.
The United States are tied with South Korea for first in Group A with a 3-1 record, but Australia is just one game behind the Americans at 2-2.
“At this point, the top teams all have one loss so it will be a battle for the gold,” Chris Boldt, Ryan’s mother, said. “Our boys are pumped up and ready for the next game versus Australia.”