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JoJo Medellin of Bay Area Christian
When Jordan "JoJo" Medellin wakes up in the morning, no matter if he was unhittable or struggling off the bump, there is a sense of excitement that comes over him when he arrives at the ballpark.
“I truly love the grind of baseball,” Medellin said. “I come to the field excited and eager to better my game.”
The skills that the Bay Area Christian School senior has developed over years of practice hasn’t just caught the attention of area teams but also colleges.
Medellin signed with Baylor University.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing baseball for Baylor University,” Medellin said. “When I participated in a camp there, the coaches made a great first impression and helped me understand what it means to play with ‘Baylor’ across your chest. The campus was amazing and helped me feel right at home.”
The right-handed pitcher is lights out on the mound.
Medellin has a mix of a four-seam and two-seam fastball – his best pitch – that he can run up there between 86 and 89 miles per hour. Mix in a circle change and knuckle curve, you can see why he is hard to hit.
One of his highlight mound outings this season came against Logos Prep with a complete game, one-hit performance with 13 strikeouts and no walks.
But he can also bring the boom stick.
At the Father Wilson Tournament in March, Medellin lowered the bat head and went 8 of 14 (.571) with six RBIs, one home run and three doubles.
The success Medellin is having on the field in 2022 can be credited to his work on and off the field in the offseason.
“My main focus was to get stronger physically and to continue to master the fundamentals of the game,” Medellin said. “I take great pride in my mental strength as well. Even if I don’t have my best stuff that game, I try to do my best to go out there and compete every single pitch.”
Last season, Medellin was a part of the Broncos team that hoisted the TAPPS Division III State Championship trophy, which he calls “truly a blessing and a great experience.”
As Medellin puts the final touches on his high school career and gets ready to pull on the green and gold of Baylor, the senior hopes his peers remember him for more than baseball.
“I would like people to remember not just my ability on the baseball field but how good of a friend I was,” he said. “Also, the way I treated people with respect and kindness.”
With his skill and that mindset, Medellin is bound for great things at Baylor and maybe even one day we could see him run out of the bullpen for his hometown Houston Astros.
Dylan Maxcey, Friendswood
The Greater Houston-Area is loaded with elite talent in every sport. Welcome to the VYPE Playmakers powered by UTMB Health, where we will head down south and recognize of Galveston and Brazoria County's best athletes.
Clear Springs is the reigning District 24-6A Champions and are not to be tangled with in 2022. The Chargers went 31-2 overall a year ago and reached the Region III-6A Finals, falling to eventual Class 6A State Champion Deer Park. Clear Springs brings back eight starters as they seek a sixth-straight trip to the postseason in 2022. The most important of those returners is LSU-commit Emma Strood. Strood is the returning District MVP, a TGCA All-State selection and NFCA All-American pick last year. She was 21-0 as a starter with a 0.52 ERA and 234 strikeouts. She also led the team in RBIs (31), doubles (10) and home runs (6).
Break up the Broncos! The Bay Area Christian School are the defending State TAPPS DIII Champs after going 28-4 and 6-0 in district play. Coach Kyle Kennedy has to be licking his chops to get back out on the diamond as he returns a decorated crew of experienced starters. JoJo Medellin is the man… literally. He was the TAPPS 4A Male Athlete of the Year after earning the District MVP; first-team, all-state honors and an all-tournament team selection. The shortstop has signed to Baylor and is the heartbeat of the team.
Cory Benavidas enters his fourth season as the head coach of the Mustangs, and he hasn’t missed the postseason yet. Friendswood reached the Regional Finals in 2021 with a 33-3 record and have no plans of slowing down until they win a Class 5A title. The anchor of every great baseball team is its catcher and the ‘Stangs have a good one. Texas Tech Red Raider-signee Dylan Maxcey, the District’s Defensive MVP and school record-holder for RBIs, is the straw that stirs the drink for Friendswood.
The Alvin Yellowjackets have the talent. Now, it’s time to get into the Regional conversation as a real contender. Last season, Alvin reached the Area Round for just the second time in the last three seasons, but this roster is loaded with talent. Returning for her senior season is reining District 23-6A MVP Victoria Valdez, who is committed to Texas Tech. The catcher will be the leader behind the dish and is lethal at the plate. Her leadership in unmatched and will carry the ‘Jackets to a big-time season in 2022.
If you can win TAPPS DII District 5, you can win the State Tournament. Lutheran South Academy is a power baseball program, period. Coach Aaron Schneider has led the Pioneers to four TAPPS State Titles over the past six years. That’s a dynasty, folks. Pulling the wagons is Deundre’ Jones (Kansas State), the big-hitting first-baseman who has a fist full of rings. Jones is a talented lefty, who can spray the ball all over the field.