Cole Spanier- Home Run Derby Champion To Hit The Big Stage In Los Angeles
MADISON- Madison’s Cole Spanier is on his way to “The City of Angels.” The 14-year old rising Bob Jones freshman will be within five miles of Hollywood when he steps to the plate at famed Dodger Stadium July 18 for the 2022 Major League Baseball Jr. Home Run Derby. Spanier is a finalist for the National Championship in the 14-Under division of the annual free competition hosted around MLB’s All-Star Game set for Dodger Stadium.
“I know I will have a fun time there in Los Angeles and winning would be liking having a cherry on top,” said Spanier.
The son of Jim and Karen Spanier qualified for the trip to California by winning the Regional Competition in Lawrenceville, Ga. located 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. In the Regional, Spanier was one of the six competitors. In round one, he hit 15 homers and advanced to the finals which featured the top three sluggers. In the finals, the 6-foot, 180-pound batter belted 17 home runs within his allotted 25 pitches to earn the victory and the trip to the Nationals in California.
In the event’s Local Competition, Spanier finished second, but the event winner chose not to attend the Regional, so due to Spanier winning the MLB sponsored Hit, Pitch and Run event at Palmer Park, MLB e-mailed him indicating he hit enough homeruns compared to other regional results he was good to continue in the Derby if he chose to do so. Belting homeruns on a 200-foot fence sized field shows the consistent power he has and seems to have possessed for many years.
The soon-to-be high school athlete and member of the Bob Jones baseball team, Spanier began baseball at age five and played his way through leagues at Palmer Park and was among travel team programs, as well. In 2021, he won the local Jr. Home Run Derby event at Palmer Park, took top honors at the Regional held in Alpharetta, Ga. and advanced to the Nationals held at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves and during the Braves’ sensational World Series Championship. He was among eight competitors and, though he did not win, he was determined to return in 2022 and win it all.
Through the years in preparation for his play on the diamond, Spanier’s father would toss empty milk jugs for him hit. The theory is the batting of the jugs develops the skills and techniques necessary to hit the baseball when at the plate. He was among the top three players for the Discovery Middle School team and is primed to make his way to the hugely successful Bob Jones program.
“The main thing I think about at the plate is to see a pitch I feel I can drive,” said Spanier. “I look at the release point of the ball and track it all way to my bat. I take a practice swing, draw a cross in the dirt and then tap the plate six times before I’m ready. I once saw on social media about baseball and a saying I have adopted. When I step into the batter’s box I ‘do damage, do damage, do damage.’ I want to hit towering homeruns.”
The talented teen is also an avid golfer and looks to play for the Bob Jones team.
The MLB Jr. Home Run Derby allows the young participants to swing for the fences. Each athlete gets 25 swings or three minutes to hit as many homers as possible.
“My plan for Los Angeles, to win,” added Spanier.