Tearing up the Almont League this year is Schurr High third baseman Christian Madrid.Batting .405 following the team's loss last week to Mark Keppel High, Madrid said he just enjoys being out on the baseball diamond. "I love just being out here," Madrid said. "It's fun."
He added that baseball is not for everyone and that's why he loves it.
"Not that many kids can do it," he said. "It's a hard sport. A lot of people think it's easy, but it's not."
Madrid has been a four-year varsity starter and bats third usually in the line-up. He's also a switch hitter who can hit the ball anywhere.
"I'm a spray hitter," he said. "I go to all fields. I've had a lot of practice doing that. I do have some power, but it's not my game. I'm more into getting base hits. My job is to knock in runs."
Madrid said he plans to attend East Los Angeles College and play baseball there next year and then eventually go and play baseball at NCAA Div. I powerhouse Cal State Fullerton.
He added he's having a really good year.
"It's been pretty good," Madrid said. "I was batting second last year. I brought in quite a few runs, so now I bat third."
When he's not playing baseball in the future, Madrid said he would like to possibly work with underprivileged or disabled kids.
"They need strong guys for these kids to help them, so I think I can do well," Madrid said.
But as for this season, he said he knows the Spartans are going through some rough days.
"We're not doing too well right now," he said. "But I think the second half of the season we'll do better. We're starting to practice better and play better as a team."
And what does he need to do better? Madrid said he would like to improve his leadership skills.
"Some of the guys look up to a four-year starter," Madrid said. "I can't just mess around in practice. I got to get serious."
He added the chemistry on the team is good.
"We're pretty good," he said. "We're all pretty tight. Some of us played football together.
"I play football to stay in shape. Then I took a few weeks off and came out to baseball practice. I practice on my own. I take extra batting practice and infield practice."
In addition, he said his goal is to make it to the big leagues.
"You got to produce," Madrid said. "If you don't, you're done. You don't play. But I want to make it to the majors. I don't care what team. I'll take it. I'll play for gloves and cleats! I just want to be there."
Madrid's coach, Ken Marrero, said Madrid has been a pleasure to coach all these years.
"Christian has been the best pure hitter that I've ever coached," Marrero said. "He's got a sweet swing, just a natural hitter."
Marrero said, though, there is still room for improvement.
"However, he can still get better," Marrero said of Madrid. "If anyone is going to get in Christian's way about succeeding at the college level, it's going to be Christian. I would like to see his work ethic improve and not have him sit back. It's critical for success at the college level. He really does have a love for the game. He just has to keep working at it."