Generals DH finds home in Metroplex
For Victoria Generals designated hitter Kevin Daniels, the last six months has been a trying time.
After playing all season with uncertainty about his baseball future in the back of his mind, a freak accident forced him to miss the final portion of the Blinn College baseball season with an ankle injury.
But things began turning around this summer for Daniels and he's even found a new place to play. He's committed to TCU and is planning on becoming a Horned Frog next season.
"TCU's just a great program overall, (it's) a top program in the nation," Daniels said. "As soon as I got the call from coach, I knew it was something I wanted to do."
Daniels looks to finish the TCL season strong and take that momentum with him to Fort Worth and TCU where he will be a junior this season.
Through 13 games this season, Daniels has accumulated a .346 average with two RBIs and four extra base hits.
Those numbers come in limited action since Daniels is still playing his way through the injury.
An accidental trip down stairs while carrying laundry cost Daniels the final 12 games of the Buccaneers' 2012 season.
As expected, his Blinn teammates razzed him after the accident, but Daniels took it in stride.
"Eventually, it got to the point where I started telling people I slid into second base, that's how it happened," Daniels said.
The setback made for a stressful sophomore season. Not only was Daniels in his last season of eligibility at Blinn, he was also uncommitted to play at a four-year program and the injury meant he lost out on playing time in front of scouts and coaches.
"I had to sit out the last 12-15 games and I was still uncommitted and didn't know where I was going," Daniels said. "That's one of the reasons I decided to play for the Generals."
Daniels added that the injury drove away some teams from signing him and that Oklahoma State showed some interest, but ran out of scholarship money.
Despite the injury, Daniels was named to the Region XIV South All-Conference team after hitting .336 with 20 RBIs as a sophomore. It was the second consecutive season Daniels was named to the all-conference team.
Daniels has filled a limited role due to his injury this season, but a week after committing to TCU, he said the ankle was 70-80 percent healed.
Generals coach Chris Clemons said that Daniels played in a good conference and faced good pitchers during his time at Blinn.
The coach added he's seen glimpses of Daniels' potential.
"He just needs to realize he belongs at whatever level he's playing at," Clemons said. "I think he's going to be a good (NCAA) Division I player once he learns his role and once he learns how to fit in."
After graduating from St. Joseph in 2010, Daniels went to Blinn because he didn't have a lot of offers to play baseball.
He said it turned out to be the right decision.
"I knew junior college would be the right route for me and it's probably the best decision I've ever made in my life," Daniels said.