BRISTOL - About 990 miles separates Bristol and Vanderbilt University.
But that doesn’t mean the Bristol Blues and the Commodores baseball team don’t share something in common.
Last summer the Bristol Blues had a pair of rising stars with infielders Jayson Gonzalez and Garrett Blaylock. Both had been committed to Vanderbilt at the time but had just graduated from high school and were honing their skills with the Blues.
The two ended up being integral components of the 2017 Blues team that went to the postseason. Now, Gonzalez and Blaylock are currently in their freshmen seasons with the Commodores. Gonzalez is hitting .273 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 77 at bats while Blaylock is batting .333 with 4 RBI in nine at bats.
This upcoming summer the Blues will once again feature a pair of future Vanderbilt players, as they will have Ryder Green and Justyn-Henry Malloy on the roster.
“Vanderbilt is a national name,” Blues manager Ronnie Palmer said. “Coach Tim Corbin and his staff do a great job. [Vanderbilt is] in arguably the best conference in college baseball. They get front line guys and guys who will get professional looks. Anytime you get a chance to have these guys on your roster, you take them.”
Both Green and Malloy are set to debut for Vanderbilt in the spring of 2019.
Green, an outfielder, is listed as 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
According to Perfect Game, a site that focuses on scouting players, the kind of player the Blues will be getting in Green is: “Big and strong athletic build, pretty mature physically. Right handed hitter, high back elbow load with a hanging leg lift load, timing intensive swing approach, strong swing with good explosion to the ball, uses his strength well and has big power potential, pull approach. 6.72 runner, 4.28 home to first. Has good fundamental skills in the outfield and makes accurate on line throws. Bat is his carrying tool.”
Malloy, is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.
The description of his makeup on Perfect Game is: “Big and strong athletic build. 7.26 runner, has athletic actions on defense, good footwork and can move well in all directions, quick release on his throws with good carry and arm strength, shows lots of athleticism on defense. Right handed hitter, high hand load with a barrel wrap creates unnecessary length, has quick hands and creates very good bat speed, hits the ball hard to all fields and flashes big middle of the field power, has lots of hitting tools to continue to develop. Very interesting athlete. Excellent student.”
It’s only a positive the Blues are getting another pair of Vanderbilt commits and if the two provide the same kind of impact Gonzalez and Blaylock did last summer, the Blues could very well be back in the postseason.
“I’m extremely excited,” Malloy said. “I’m excited to play every day. It’s a really good opportunity. With the Blues, I’m getting the experience that other guys my age may not be getting over the summer. To be able to be playing with guys older than me in a Futures Collegiate league is special and will help me grow not only as a baseball player but as a man.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org