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Baseball: Longmont’s Magee looking to fill gap between power surges

MARK LEFFINGWELL
Longmont’s Drew Magee is moving from third base to catcher this spring, and returns to the lineup with plenty of pop.

Drew Magee began last baseball season firecracker hot. His bat was even more scalding to end the season.

The middle portion? It was much more pedestrian.

The Longmont senior knows he has the potential to mash with the best of them. His opening day of the Class 4A state tournament last spring — 6-for-7 with two home runs and eight RBIs — was the most tangible piece of evidence.

Now, it’s just a matter of becoming a little less streaky and keeping the inevitable valleys that plague even the best of hitters to a minimum.

“This year, it’s all about refining those skills just a little bit more,” Magee said. “I’m trying to continue to polish them and have a little more consistency throughout the year. That’s the big thing for me.”

Magee also is changing positions. Principally a third baseman the past two seasons, he is returning to the catcher position he played as a freshman. He digs it, too, because he believes it will allow him to have more of a cerebral impact on the game.

As one of three seniors on an otherwise all-junior roster, Magee believes the position swap, combined with the stellar end to last season, will allow him to take on a more pronounced leadership role.

“With Drew, he’s a pretty confident kid, and it definitely has carried over,” Longmont coach Tom Fobes said. “He’s kind of a quiet leader for us. He’s not real boisterous or anything, but he’ll get after guys if he has to.”

Magee and Josh Crist are the lone experienced seniors on the Trojans roster. Second baseman Tyler Pettibone is the only other senior, and he was mostly a JV player in the past. Otherwise, it’s nine juniors.

Crist, who will move from right field to center field this season, has signed with Otero Junior College. Magee is still weighing options, with a few schools waiting to see how his senior season pans out.

“We feel pretty confident with those two guys on the field,” Fobes said.

Magee finished last season with a .347 average and 10 extra-base hits, including three home runs. His monster state-tournament day occurred in a win over D’Evelyn and a loss against Broomfield. Much of the damage in the latter came against Eagles ace Brandon Bailey, who was throwing above 90 mph, went 11-0 last season and was the winning pitcher in the state championship game.

Magee hit a grand slam in the second inning against Bailey, who will play at Gonzaga next season. It was part of a performance that instilled Magee with further belief in his abilities and demonstrated that he hasn’t reached his ceiling in the sport.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of great coaches and great mentors tell me I could compete at that sort of level. But until you see it for yourself, you don’t fully comprehend what they’re saying.

“It proved a lot to me.”

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21