It was a good day to catch a doubleheader at Redding Christian High School, and witness one of their final games before they move a few miles east to their new campus in the town of Palo Cedro. I was looking forward to see Daniel Bartow (6'1", 160 Lbs-Class of 2009) on the mound and see him as a player in general. I wanted to see him at the very beginning of the baseball season, but his tremendous success on the basketball court delayed his baseball season's start. After a few weeks, I was finally able to see the young man that I have heard so many good things. Daniel was scheduled to pitch the second game of the doubleheader. This was going to be great, I could see him at shortstop (SS) and later on the mound.
Looking at Daniel at shortstop, I was able to see right of way his fielding abilities. Daniel possesses very good range, quick and soft hands and the ability to rifle the baseball to first-base right on target- I could hear the ball hitting the first baseman's glove-He has a strong arm and good accuracy. On the hitting side, Daniel consistently hit the ball; he has a good sense of the strike zone. He is able to hit different type of pitches and he does not get fooled. He has a quick bat and he can hit the ball hard. He can hit from both sides. Daniel is batting .587 (20 games-72 AB, 37 Hits). Others Daniel's skills that caught my attention were his intensity and speed rounding the bases, plus the smart aggressiveness he showed when he was on base - this always creates many opportunities for a team on the offensive side (i.e., throwing errors, rushed throws, pitch selection, etc).
Daniel Bartow, The Pitcher: I was quite impressed with his pitching skills and maturity displayed on the mound. I like the way he was in charged of the tempo and the way he delivered the ball. He has a smooth delivery with a natural motion that is due to his good and clean mechanics. His breaking pitches are good, and combine with his good fastball and good change-up makes Daniel a very effective pitcher. His pitches are sharp, have good velocity and good rotation. He is very skilled at keeping hitters off-balance. I love the way he goes after the hitters, and the zero fear he has challenging them. His cruising speed is about 84-86 mph, which complements well with his good control. His instincts come across loud and clear, his backing-up of the bases is real good and so is his awareness of base runners, plays to be made, etc. His demeanor on the mound is excellent and conveys very clearly that he is ready to win and ready to give his best effort. His record this year is 6-2 with an ERA of 2.10. His last 5 games' ERA is an exceptional 0.20 (5-0 Record with only 1 ER).
Daniel keeps in top shape by being part of Mike Dormer's (Lions' Basketball Coach) conditioning program (based on plyometrics). He is member of the basketball team, and he is the top basketball player at Redding Christian and one of the top players in the area - he just was selected to join the "All-State Team D-V". Daniel likes to coach at the lower level (PONY league) and works with younger pitchers. Daniel is not only doing the job on the mound, but also with the books, this year Daniel has a 3.8 GPA with an overall 3.6 GPA. On his time away from serious competition, he plays basketball with his friends and study the bible, he works at his church in the nursery and he loves to work with youth. He is looking at attending Multnomah University in Portland, OR or Simpson University in Redding, CA. However, he is not committed to any schools yet.
There are certain things that differentiate an exceptional high school player from a good high school player, the intensity, the desire to win, the confident, the sense of belonging on the diamond or court, the sense of readiness for the next level, the clear understanding of good grades and good citizenship, the smartness and discipline that allows a player to further pursue any sport after high school. Daniel is a very respectful, smart young man with outstanding baseball and basketball skills that has a clear understanding of what is needed to further pursue his dreams after high schools. I see Daniel getting better and better, and it is my opinion that Daniel Bartow will be a great addition to any team at the next level. He is an exceptional high school player.