Joseph P. Ramirez
For The Signal
Going from high school baseball to playing a professional sport is supposed to be accompanied by a long and difficult adjustment period. Former Hart High School baseball standout Cole Roederer doesn’t seem to have gotten that memo.
After a month in the Arizona Rookie League, the game appears to be moving at just about the same speed as Roederer remembers and that is definitely working in his favor. With a batting average of .305, three home runs, six stolen bases, and 20 runs scored in 82 at-bats, it seems like it’s just more of the same for the Foothill League standout.
Being selected by the Chicago Cubs organization in the second round of the amateur baseball draft came with a hefty signing bonus and a load of expectations, all of which Roederer has taken in stride.
“I’ve been here for just over a month now. Three days to get physicals done, then clearance, then signings, and a week or so later I was playing in games,” said Roederer of his Major League crash course this summer. “I play almost every day, and it’s 122 degrees during the day sometimes. That’s different. But I haven’t even had time to stop and think about things too much,” he added with a laugh.
Hart head baseball Coach Jim Ozella, said about the Cubs organization, “They saw that he was a real talent and was able to show that he was healthy and a really skilled player for a kid coming out of high school, skills that you don’t see often.” Ozella added, “He’s got real power, throws well, runs well, the bat was getting through the zone real well and his talents were where they needed to be.”
The Cubs were obviously highly interested, using the No. 77 pick to take Roederer, who was otherwise on his way to UCLA after committing to the Bruins his freshman year. The second round selection made Roederer the fourth highest pick to ever wear a Hart High School baseball uniform following only Trevor Bauer, Mike Montgomery, and Todd Zeile.
Injury struck Roederer late in his senior campaign and prevented him from contributing down the home stretch as well as through the playoffs as he missed the final six contests of the season.
“Cole is a very talented guy and I think a lot of scouts were only concerned whether or not he was healthy,” said Ozella of the situation. “Things happen for a reason. But he was still out there every game after his injury to cheer on his team, and that said a lot about his character.”
Roederer feels as though the injury is completely behind him.
“I don’t even think about that at this point,” he said. “I’m just focused on getting into this routine and working on getting better every game.”
When asked about the level of competition in the MiBL he said, “There are some really hard throwers. 97 mph plus is every day. So you just have to make that adjustment. Normal day a guy is throwing in the 90’s but I’m loving it. I’m having the best time of my life out here catching my stride. I’ve already had a 12 game hitting streak, so I’m seeing the ball well.”
Anyone who has had the privilege of watching him Roederer would believe that statement. With only a few weeks left in the season, the hope is to move on to Low A level and continue his journey to the Major Leagues. With such a bright future, it’s still hard not to look back at the road that led him here and recognize the importance of learning the fundamentals, from such a storied program and an amazing coach.
“If I could go back and thank him for all of those little things that he did for me right now, I would.”