Hitting Out of a Five-Game Slump to Become a USPBL All-Star
February 5th, 2024
Zach Beadle started the season facing a hitter’s biggest fear.
In his first year as a pro, the Westside Woolly Mammoths catcher was in a slump.
“It was a lot when I first got there. My whole idea was, be on time and don’t let the velocity beat you. If I made sure I was on time for the fastball, I could adjust to anything else until I got used to pro pitching, Beadle said.
Beadle’s early philosophy didn’t work as he had started the season with 10 AB’s in his first five games as a Mammoth with no hits.
“Early on, I did a good job of making contact and not having the numbers to show for it. A lot of balls hit hard at people,” Beadle said.
Beadle credits his coaches, that kept him consistent throughout the slump. After multiple check-ins he decided to change his approach and get “greedy” at the plate.
“Nine out of ten times it’s a mental thing, it’s rarely your swing,” Beadle said.
His approach was successful, and he snapped his no hitting streak against the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers. He ended the outing with 4 AB’s, 1R, 2H and 2 RBIs bringing his average to .143.
“I got back to doing what I was doing at the beginning of the year, and that’s when things really started to take off for me.”
Beadle continued to build throughout the 34-game season and ended with 92 AB’s and 19 hits. With every hit he brought a runner in to score. He ended the season batting .207, enough for an All-USPBL team selection.
“It felt good to get to go on the field and be named with all those other guys,” Beadle said.
Beadle was also a candidate for defensive player of the year, a skill he prides himself on.
“I’ve always been told that, if you’re a good defensive catcher, hitting will be a sacrifice made for good defense. And the one thing that remained constant all year was my defense,” Beadle said.
Defense is a skill Beadle developed and worked on before turning pro. He played five seasons with Madonna University, a place he calls home.
“Madonna was an awesome experience. I got to play for two different head coaches, and essentially two completely different coaching staffs,” Beadle said.
He took this challenge in stride finishing at Madonna with a .256 avg. After finishing at Madonna he faced another transition, playing in the USPBL.
“As you move up the game gets faster. There is situational stuff that will start to occur more often, but the biggest thing was game speed. The athletes get better, pitchers get better, and the ball moves quicker,” Beadle said.
But that’s something Beadle is working on this offseason, getting bigger, faster and stronger than last year.
“I’m not built for speed. I’m built to hit the ball hard. This offseason, I’m continuing to clean up little things. Being more consistent with the bat and trying to be a difference maker,” Beadle said.
Written by Jalen Williams