all of the players that attend our camps annually, ABR tries to differentiate
each player from another. Some make this
easy such as Pirates second rounder, Wyatt Matheson. Others, maybe something as small as sheer arm
strength and natural wrist whip- things you simply cannot teach. An even stranger circumstance would be a
name, a name we would remember, and a name that would come back one year later
to show he is ready to make his splash on the game- General McArthur IV. Now, through the hundreds- thousands- of
players and parents names we see, this is one of the best by far.
was a direct invite to the 2011 USSSA All-American Games (AAG). Last year he was a 14u with a small frame and
lack of foot-speed. He made it to the
AAG’s because of his ability to play all facets of the game at an above average
level, and most importantly because of his love and respect for the game.
his 2011 event, General did well, very well, scooping up about every ball in
his vicinity, moving runners over, making accurate throws. However, he did not manage to stand out in
terms of play; he was good player, but not a great player- one who did not make
first or second National Team. Keep in
mind being at the AAG’s alone is a tremendous honor and the talent of kids
there alone is superb. General IV even
had a few short words about his experience at the USSSA All-American Games.
was a great experience! The competition
was beyond expectations and there were players from all across the United
States. It was extremely exciting, and
even useful. I received a lot of good
advice from the coaches and scouts that were down there.”
from a somewhat distant south Suburb of Chicago, Crete- Monee, General was not
too far from ABR’s corporate offices, and therefore making it easy for our scouts to yet again come across this
unique name. Except this time it was not
the name our scouts were raving about.
It was the play. Needless to say
“The General” earned himself another bid to the All-American Games. When he took the field in the 2012 games, he
had one goal in mind- to impress. But
what would he do in 2012? Assuming he
was still the same size, how could so much change so fast? At 14 and 15 there are truly men amongst
boys. Thinking about that seemed to help
General; he would not accept looking at himself as a boy.
I see those players that are bigger, stronger, more naturally talented, I just
set the bar higher. I know what I have
to do to level the playing ground and I use it to drive myself. It vastly helps increase my work ethic and
then my game. It is not something I look
too much into.”
mentality would prove to be a catalyst to the new and improved General
McArthur. After 12 months General IV had
gained over 20 pounds and sprouted four inches.
The growth was so rapid that scouting director Brian Wabick could hardly
recognize the kid. Brian summed it up
nicely with his statement, “I was simply stunned.”
stunning than the growth spurt was his play.
The first day of the AAGs was a makeshift scout day where the players
got to showcase their skills while meeting their teammates and coaches. The General, as he is referred to frequently
by ABR, was now hitting balls with authority.
Swing after swing, the ball was barreled and crushed. His foot speed, though he is still not fleet
footed, increased tremendously. Defensively
there was not a ball he missed and his arm was now above average. His strength increased by a tenfold, he is
currently marked as a legitimate college prospect.
believe I finally matured more physically”, said the General concerning his
sudden change in body type, “I went light on the weights but they did help, I
plan on hitting them this year and improving my body even further.”
was a new player. What families do not
see at the games are the countless hours of behind the scene work that goes
into trying to sort through the selection process, rosters, etc. During this controlled chaos, the General’s
name was buzzing through the air from scouts that had never seen him- which
would ensure a truly unbiased opinion.
His coaches not only loved his game, but loved him as a kid. During the interview with the 15 year old
boy, it became clear to me that he had his head on straight and was very
bright. General is a soft-spoken young
man with an amount of respect that is unfathomable. The very thought of being interviewed for the
article had him jittery. He answered
every question: politely, respectfully, and successfully. Apparently he takes interviews very similarly
to the way he plays baseball.
the field he gives it his all, with the utmost amount of respect. He is a true grinder, a lover of the game who
does not take a second for granted.
General has those intangibles that are slowly starting to vanish from
youth baseball. We asked him where all
of the love and respect for the game comes from in hope that this can be spread
dad always taught me to play the game right- to respect the game. You always have to work harder to compete
against the game not the players. Just
that alone helps me increase my passion.
Watching baseball helps, I always have a game on in season. For me, being on the field is exciting,
relaxing. It is truly rewarding.”
was at this moment that I realized where General’s success came from- compete
against the game not the players. If
someone was bigger, faster, stronger, it did not matter to him. He had one goal, to be successful at the
game, and he knew what he had to do.
Train- countless hours with his father and personal coach Lou Collier,
far more hours tweaking his swing on his own.
started to figure things out on my own. I would get a lot tips from different
players and coaches too, there were a couple people I would say who
helped. Lou Collier helped me out a lot
fundamentally in the field. I would also
have to say playing travel baseball contributed. Higher level travel ball gets you ready for a
lot of things. The competition is
would be all these multitude of reasons that made this transformation
possible. Now going into his sophomore
year at Crete- Monee High School, General has a real shot at making his name
into a college scout book and earn some money off of tuition. This is nothing new to General, as he already
has the bar set.
goal is to go to a D1 or D2- to compete against other high level kids. I really want to play in a college world
series! Personally, no matter what, I
want an education. After my schooling is
finished, I would really love to go pro.”
countless resources at his disposal, his work ethic, and sheer love for the
game, the sky is the limit for this young player. For as much time he has spent in the cages
and on the diamond, there is plenty more to come. He is not satisfied.
General is a great kid with a refreshing story, we are proud to have a baseball
lifer believe so much in what we do.
Metaphorically speaking, he truly is a General- always thinking while
quieting going about his business and never willing to wave that white
keeps me going is knowing that hard work pays off in the end. I know I’m still getting there, but all the
sweat, groundballs, and swings are finally starting to show. I want to thank my dad (General III), Lou,
and all of my coaches.