Five-Tool Talent Is A Throwback

It's not a secret what makes high school seniors being talked about as first round draft choices. The first thing scouts would tell you when they talk about a Justin Upton, a Delmon Young or a Lastings Milledge is their bat. High school seniors know they will be drafted because of their bat, but the other aspect of your baseball game could set you apart from the rest of the flock. David Christensen is well aware of that fact.

David Christensen prides himself in working on his defense as much as he works on his offensive game.

"I have taken lots of pride in my defense," Christensen told the Network. "You will always catch me practicing my throwing from the outfield and my mechanics. I know a lot of players ignore defense, but I work on it because it can separate myself from the rest of the pack."

Not only does Christensen work on his defense, but he also works on his speed.

"I want to be an all-around player. I don't want people to look at me and just talk about my offense. I want my defense, and speed to be placed in the same sentence."

In a recent summer showcase this June, Christensen wowed scouts by throwing 93 MPH from the outfield and ran the 60-yard-dash in 6.69 seconds.

However, in the end – his offense will be the subject of conversation. Christensen exhibits tremendous power and scouts predict him to be a five-tool player down the road. In his junior season he batted .426 with six home runs and thirteen stolen bases. As a result he was placed on the First Team All-Country and was just a handful of juniors in Florida to receive All-State Honors.

Scouts rave about his power potential, and why not when Christensen puts up tremendous power shows time and time again.

Early in his junior season with Douglas High, the 6'1, 190 pounder belted a 475 foot home run that landed in dead center field.

"That was the longest home run that has been hit on our home field in the seven years that I have been coaching at Douglas," Christensen's coach Dean Florio said. A few months later in a summer showcase in Turner Field, Christensen showed his power once again by smoking a shot to left-field.

"It was on the first night of the showcase and we were under the lights in a major league ballpark," the high school senior said. "That was definitely by biggest baseball moment to date."

Christensen will be playing with no pressure this year. He already has committed to the University of Miami and will just look to develop as a player, get ready for the next level, and try to help his team win a State Championship.

The decision to commit to Miami was a difficult one for the Florida native. In the end he was deciding between Miami, Stanford and Georgia Tech, however, the history and proximity to his home clinched the decision for him.

"Miami is a great baseball program and it really is close to home. When you look at all the outfielders and hitters they have developed in the past, you are anxious to attend. They go to Omaha (College World Series) every year and in the end it was the best school for me."

Although he currently plays all three outfield positions at the moment, it's believed Christensen will end up in right field with his outstanding throwing arm.

"As I get bigger and stronger it's more likely I will make a career in right field."

Christensen gives credit to his parents for putting him in the right situations to grow as a player from a young age.

"I remember playing tee-ball at age five but on my second birthday my parents gave me a bat," Christensen recalls when asked how he started playing baseball.

"My father played baseball when he was younger and my mother was always involved in sports, but they always put me around the right coaches, and baseball programs. That helped me develop my skills more than anything."

Not only can Christensen hit, field, run and throw, but he's an outstanding scholar in the classroom.

"It definitely is difficult to manage school and sports but you need to have good time management skills. I was gifted with intelligence at a young age. It's is easy to become lazy, but if you keep stuff together and get into a routine, it should make things easier. As long as you don't fall into the distractions you should be fine. In the long run it pays off to get a good education."

Amateur scouts will be watching Christensen very closely this spring as they prepare for the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. The outfielder expects to draft process to be fun and he is prepared to go through all his options carefully.

"I expect to be considered as a possibly high pick, but it's so far away to really say where I will go exactly. It's a fun possibility to think about what can happen. I will have the option of choosing of going pro, or going to college. Either way it will be fun for me, but right now I am not thinking about how much and where."

When you talk with Christensen you see right away he has a good head on his shoulders and is playing the game for the right reasons.

"I just love to play the game hard. What annoys me is when you see players wearing wristbands, armguards and the rest. I hate players with cocky attitudes. I am on old fashion type of player that doesn't wear batting gloves and wears his socks up."

And yes, Christensen expects to stick with the no-batting-glove approach even with the wood bats.

"I've played with wooden bats in summer baseball and they haven't given me a problem yet," Christensen said when asked if he will wear gloves in professional baseball.

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