Baseball: Twins star Mauer shares similar experiences with BoldtThe Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer was a phenomenon in high school. It is well-documented that he only struck out one time during his entire high school baseball career for Cretin-Derham Hall. He had a full-ride scholarship to play quarterback for Bobby Bowden at Florida State University and he was named an All-State basketball player during his junior and senior seasons.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer was a phenomenon in high school.
It is well-documented that he only struck out one time during his entire high school baseball career for Cretin-Derham Hall. He had a full-ride scholarship to play quarterback for Bobby Bowden at Florida State University and he was named an All-State basketball player during his junior and senior seasons.
Despite his vast accomplishments, Mauer took the same route as any high school kid getting ready to enter the Major League Baseball draft in 2001. He tried to soak in everything his senior year offered and enjoy the time he had left to be a kid.
Red Wing’s Ryan Boldt is in a similar situation after gaining widespread acclaim last summer playing in numerous national showcases and wowing scouts with his athleticism, defense and ability to get on base.
Boldt is considered one of the top prospects for the 2013 First-Year Amateur Baseball Draft.
Mauer, who visited Red Wing last week with the Twins Caravan, had some advice for his fellow Minnesotan.
“Remember that you’re a high school kid and enjoy it, because once you sign that contract, life can change pretty quickly,” Mauer said. “You never know what’s going to happen and, one thing, you can’t control any of it so all you can control is going out there and working hard. My parents really wanted me to focus on just having fun my senior year and I had a lot of fun playing basketball, football and baseball.”
Both players also competed for Team USA’s 18-and-under team in the International Baseball Federation’s World Championships. Mauer’s team took second to Korea in 2000 and Boldt won a gold medal in September for the Americans as the first Minnesotan since Mauer to make the team.
Minnesota is not considered a hotbed for baseball talent, and it wasn’t during Mauer’s time either, but the national showcases are allowing players like Boldt and Coon Rapids’ Logan Shore to get noticed.
“I always tell everybody … ‘Those Minnesota kids have a high ceiling because they can’t play year round,’” Mauer said. “It’s just working hard and knowing that it doesn’t really matter where you come from you can just go out there and play the game.”
Mauer said playing for Team USA gave him confidence that he could play with anyone from around the country and it should do that for Boldt as well.
Boldt is ranked the 29th-best draft prospect for the 2013 draft by Keith Law, lead baseball analyst for ESPN.com and ESPN Scouts. Baseball America has Boldt as the eighth-best high school prospect in the 2013 graduating class.
“At my level, I’m still trying to work every day to get better and keep it going,” Mauer said. “Obviously, it’s an honor to get asked to represent your country and I’m always happy and excited to see Minnesota kids get that exposure.”