Lake Stevens Baseball Phenom
by Collin Bustanoby
What is happening in the small town of Lake Stevens, Washington? The football team finishes 3rd in State, the wrestling program is featured on MTV True Life: On the Mat, constantly wins state titles, and now the Vikings also boast one of the best young baseball players in the country.
I’m from there. When I graduated in the early 90′s (barely) it was a 2A hole in the wall and we didn’t even really have a wall in the outfield. The aforementioned wall was a rigged up PVC fence with orange construction netting set up in the middle of our football practice field. Not that I had much to do with it, but the LSHS Vikings did finish 3rd in State my senior year with some outstanding players (Ryan Bundy, Ryan Oase, Shawn Clark, Ray Vodegel, Chris Tavares, to name a few…)
But I’d say that ol’ Lake Stevens is on the map. Oh yeah, and Parks and Recreation star, Chris Pratt is from Lake Stevens too.
Fast Forward to 2012
Consider this kid named Dylan LaVelle, who lives in 98258 but who looks like he might actually be a reincarnation of Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210. He could very well be the next Grady Sizemore, Everett native and superstar center-fielder for the Cleveland Indians. Lavelle, the senior infielder, was already being heavily scouted, but has seen his Major League stock go up considerably since starring in the prestigious Area Code games. Not only did he beat out thousands of elite prospects to even be IN the tournament, he dazzled the over 500 scouts keeping close tabs on it. He led the way hitting, including an attention grabbing, no-doubt-about-it home run and turned in amazing defensive performances to lead his Royals team to a perfect 5-0 in the tournament.
He has also played and homered in the Mariner’s Cup, All-Star exhibition games at Safeco Field. There was a rumor on Twitter that he was seen hitting at Safeco in a workout for the Mariners as recently as January 5th. Google this guy and you will see he is a big blip on the radar for scouts.
LaVelle has committed to play for the powerhouse Oregon State Beavers, who were back-to-back NCAA College Baseball National Champions in 2006 and 2007. While he considers this a great fall back plan, his real dream is to be a high draft pick right out of high school. Benny the Beaver should get busy finding another 3rd baseman, just in case. Here is his one word response when informed of Dylan LaVelle’s recent performance in the national spotlight:
Not only is the guy a stud on the diamond, but he has a humble and quiet demeanor that is very disarming. A black belt in the art of Shito Ryu Karate since his pre-teen years, he carries himself confidently and attributes much of his strength, agility and balance to his martial arts training. I know, right? #chucknorrisjokes
Check out some of his numbers from last year:
#1 or #2 high school baseball prospect in the State of Washington (by baseballnorthwest.com)
1st Team All Wesco North as Freshman and Sophmore
All State 3rd Baseman
7.23 in the 60 yard dash (MLB average is about 6.9)
92 mph throwing from the outfield
87 mph throwing across the infield
86 mph from the mound
6’2″ 185 lbs
42 wins, 1 loss on the Chaffey elite summer ball team