HOWARD — Tyler Mickley is just your average 10-year-old, playing summer youth recreational baseball.
That is, until you take a look at his statistics, which he compiled in the Kokosing Valley League for 10-year-olds and under.
Try these on for size: 65 at-bats, on base 59 times, 45 hits, 11 homers and, of course, zero strikeouts.
“I just watch the ball and go after it,” said Mickley, a standout on the Killbuck Savings Bank team. “I have a quick swing.”
Last season, he only struck out three times. Tyler’s dad, coach Scott Mickley, is both amazed and proud.
“Unbelievable. It is unbelievable. I feel the biggest accomplishment would be never striking out,” said the elder Mickley. “Although his batting and base running are outstanding. He is known league wide by first and last name for his pitching. For a batter to get a foul tip on him pitching would bring loud cheers from all other teams.”
At age 10, there is only one real reason to play ball.
“I like to play,” said Mickley. “It’s really fun.”
As a pitcher, the right-handed Mickley’s 130 strikeouts are equally stunning in a season that is only several weeks long.
“Usually, I pitch all the games,” said Mickley. “I have a fastball and a change up.”
Mickley has speed to burn on the basepaths as well. Along with his nine doubles and seven triples, he has 33 steals — 17 of them were steals of home. He scored a total of 42 runs this season. No wonder he was only walked intentionally six times all season.
Of course, success, even at the 10-year-old level, doesn’t come easy.
“I practice a lot with my brother and my dad,” said Mickley. “I’ve got a Hit Away in the front of my yard, that I can practice hitting with. Also, I do pushups and sit-ups and stuff.”
Of course, he was chosen to be part of the Kokosing Valley All-Stars, who played at Homer against the Northridge All-Stars on Friday evening. The All-Stars are comprised of the 12 best players in the Kokosing Valley League. He plays shortstop and catcher as well as pitcher.
“His record is very astonishing,” said the elder Mickley, whose son is actually bigger into football than he is into baseball. “In a few weeks the baseball glove will be hanging and the football will be out — well, it’s already out.”
“I’m a running back and on defense, I play linebacker,” said Mickley.
This week, the Kokosing Valley All-Stars play at Dresden. The following week, they play in a tournament at Bladensburg.