Swinging for the Majors – Palisades Post

“Even when taking cuts in the on-deck circle, Brennan Boesch draws the attention of opposing players and coaches.”

In his life, Palisades native Brennan Boesch has dreamed of being a professional baseball player. That dream may soon become a reality for Harvard-Westlake High’s senior outfielder.

Each time he steps to the plate, Boesch knows he is being watched…not just by classmates, friends and family, but by major league scouts.

“We have anywhere from two to 15 scouts at every game,” Harvard-Westlake coach Tim Cun-ningham says. “Every team in the majors is very interested in him.”

“Every team except the [Oakland) A’s and [Mon heal) Expos,” Boesch jokes. “I haven’t heard from them yet?

Fortunately, Boesch doesn’t mind the added pressure of knowing his every move is being watched and evaluated. He has three game-winning hits so far this season and five three-hit games. Against Culver City on Saturday, Boesch clubbed a two-run double as the Wolverines over- came a 4-1seventh-inning deficit to win, But while Boesch has developed into a more patient hitter this season with a, 469 average, rune doubles and 11 rifts batted in, it is his power that earned him a scholarship to Cal Berkeley and has him projected as a possible first or second round pick in the upcoming major league draft.

“He hit a ball over 500 feet at a high school showcase in Arizona last summer and when the Cal Coach came down in the fall Brennan hit three homers on his first three swings” Harvard- West- Lake pitching coach Rudy Oblak recalls, “The best part for us, though, he is very well- respected by his teammates and he always come through when things get tough.”

At 6-5 and 190 pounds, Boesch can generate uncanny bat speed, allowing him to launch tape- ,easure homers from his left- handed stance—assuming the opposing team even pitches to him. Boesch has been walked intentionally 12 times in 16 times.

“My favorite pitch is a low fastball, “Boesch says, “But I feel one of the things I’ve improved on is my pitch selection. Knowing what to swing at and what pitch to expect depending on what the count is.”

Boesch, who lives near Riviera Country Club, grew up a Los Angeles Dodgers fan and has gone to more games than he can remember. He started playing baseball as three- years- old at Brrington Park and when he was 8 he joined the Palisades Pony Baseball Association. Fittingly, he played on the Dodgers and participated in three World Series—winning at both the minor and major levels.

He also played AYSO soccer and Westside Bruins football. He made Harvard Westlake’s varsity baseball team as a freshman and also played frosh/ soph football. But from his sophomore year on, its been baseball full- time for Boesch.

The teammate who knows Boesch best is fellow Palisadian Ryan Kissick, the Wolverines’ senior third baseman.

“We played PPBA together and we’ve played together for three years here,” says Kissick, who plans to walk-on at Stanford, He’s a strong leader, especially for the younger guys. He really sets a good example both on and off the field.”

Boesch hit six home runs and batted, 450 last year and has three homers so far this season. He turned a lot of heads last summer when he made the Dodgers’ Elite team and was named the top hitter at the Area Code games in Long Beach.

“Brennan really wants to learn and he’s always asking the right questions, “Cunningham says. “He has an intuitive mind and a lot of what he does comes naturally. He’s very athletic for his size; he runs well, throws well and has good instincts. But his greatest asset is his power.”

Boesch is also a good student. He maintains a 3.3 grade-point-average and scored 1290 on the SAT, Those numbers, as much as his numbersat the plate, were a reason he committed to Cal in August.

“I was considering all of the Pac- 10 schools, but Cal stood out because of the academics and the fact that I really like their coaches, “Boesch says. “Right now, I’m leaning in the direction of college, but if I’m drafted in the first or second round I’ll probably go. My goal and my dream is to play pro ball.”

Boesch chose Harvard –Westlake for many of the same reasons he chose Cal, “I came from a very non- competitive school (Wildwood Elementary), so I wanted to go to schoolwhere I would be challenged both academically and athletically. I’m so happy to be where I’m says Boesch, who names Shawn Green and Ken Griffey, Jr, as his favorite major leaguers to watch. “We’ve never won a league title in my four years here. It’s going to be tough because we’re 3-3 right now, but hopefully we can do it.”

Whether he goes to college or jumps to the pros, the important thing for Boesch is that, either way, he’ll be playing baseball: “I’ll be really disappinted if I don’t make it to the pros someday, but I also know getting an education is never a bad thing. i have some time to make up my mind what to do. Right now, I’m just happy to be playing on this team with a great bunch of guys.”

With the end of league play and a possible berth in the CIF playoffs on the horizon, the imediate goals for Boesch are to finish his high school career on a high note, hit a few more homers, and possibly improve his standing in the June draft. After that, it’s a wait-and-see proposition.

“I have until the day I start at Cal to make a decision,” Boesch says. “But I’m not thinking about it right now because a lot can happen between now and then.”

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