New-comer MVP: Bryce Bluam — 2nd Base
After Aggieland favorite and star second baseman, Michael “Mayo” Helman, got drafted and took his talents to the Minnesota Twins, many of us were a little concerned about who would step up and fill the role. It wasn’t until right before the season started that I head about the new kid in town that would have such big shoes to fill.
I first heard about the Ole Miss transfer a few weeks before the season started. Sources within the team told me that at one point only two starting positions had been set: Braden Shewmake at shortstop (which was no surprise), and Bryce Blaum at second base. I wasn’t for sure who the Bluam kid was, but saw that he started his career off at perennial powerhouse Ole Miss. I figured if the Rebs saw something in him, then he could probably play. Then I saw that in his off-season league, he racked up a plethora of stolen bases which told me a) he’ll bring much-needed speed to the Aggies b) clearly, he knows how to get on base and most importantly c) he’s going to produce nothing but runs. My math was correct on this one.
Tied with the most at-bats on the squad, the stocky middle-infielder his hitting a solid .297 and leads the team in home runs (which I want to be called “Blaum Bombs”), hits, runs, total bags, and is tied for the most stolen bases. It’s safe to say the Ole Miss Rebels are missing #15. Offensive success makes the papers, but what should never go unspoken are his defensive abilities. Sure, he’s quick on the base path, but his glove is quicker. Blaum has no issue turning on the jets to track down a ball deep in the hole and making the throw to first. In all honesty, he could probably play just about any position on the field.
While some coaches may like their leadoff hitter to take a pitch or two before taking a cut, Blaum has been known for his ability to send balls deep on the opening at bat. Three of his four dingers are leadoff homers. Guys like Bryce are game changers, and you never really know when a Blaum Bomb is going to be dropped. If he was at bat when the bases were loaded, a walk might be cheaper, just as the Section 203 chant claims.
***stats from d1baseball.com and 12thman.com***