For Immediate Release
February 19th, 2011

    From the Gluten Free Section:

The Clovis Wheat Kings are proud to announce that they have selected Brandon Belt with the number one overall pick in the 2011 Draft MWBL. The Clovis brain trust agonized over the selection, with several strong candidates worthy of the top selection. Clovis GM Rick Cooper said, “We waffled back and forth over three strong players but felt like Belt offered the most complete package. We think he will be a pretty solid contributor for a long time, and hey, it doesn’t hurt that Will Clark thinks the guy has a better swing than he did.”

Belt tore through three levels of the minors last year and should see action with the big club in the very near future. When asked about his reaction to his selection the former Texas Longhorn exclaimed, “I’m very excited to be a selected number one, it puts a bit of pressure on you, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t, but I’ve just got to continue to work hard and minimize those kinds of distractions.” When pressed about what he thought about Clovis, he said, “I’m looking forward to playing in Clovis, they have a great bunch of young guys out there. I have already met Dee Gordon and Brett Lawrie, and I’m real happy that I will be playing behind Kyle Drabek, it sure beats trying to hit him.”

Clovis fans seem taken with the tall lanky Texan as well. At the local watering hole, Jim’s Place, one patron who didn’t wish to be identified said, “Come on, the dude’s name is Belt, how can we possibly go wrong!”

You can’t kill his enthusiasm. He’ll have a chance to force his way into the mix with his performance.”

With so much to do to tweak the roster, the Wheat Kings had spent much of their time at the MWBL winter meetings conducting a lot of internal organizational business — system-wide depth charts, prospect evaluations and sundry other detail work that Coop usually does in the off season.
When it came to one particular prospect evaluation – having the number one pick in the 2011 Mid-West Baseball Draft – the Wheat Kings were looking at that of all-around wunderkind first baseman Brandon Belt — general manager Rick “Coop” Cooper admitted the discussion turned into quite the love-fest for him.
“If you were in these meetings, there were a lot of compelling things said,” “Coop” said. “Some of the comments today were like ‘best base runner in our organization, best base runner in a while that we’ve seen come through here,’ ” “Coop” said. F#*&3R ‘Can really work a count, and is very selective.’ ”
In short, the Wheat Kings are salivating about this kid as much as their fans are. And they aren’t worried about applying added pressure on him by unabashedly saying so.
“He’s got no choice,” “Coop” said. “He’s put himself in this position.”
Having already stated that he will get a long look in spring training both at first base and the outfield, the Wheat Kings have made it clear they see Belt as another potential building block player. “He has that quiet confidence, and he’s up at the plate trying to do something with every at-bat and ready to hit every pitch,” “Coop” said. “That’s tough to teach.”
Belt, 22, exploded through the minor leagues in 2010, hitting a combined .352 while playing at three levels with 23 home runs, 112 RBIs, 93 walks and an OPS of 1.075. Then he tore up the Arizona Fall League to boot.
The numbers astound “Coop”, particularly since Belt was a pitching prospect at the University of Texas “I did a good scouting job on him,” “Coop” said. “We think he will be a real steal.”
Belt could prove to be the Wheat Kings’ answer in their quest to get more left-handed. The Wheat Kings won’t rule out that he can make the 2012 club with a strong summer in 2011.
“He might make it as a role player or a bench player,” “Coop” said. – but when his time comes, it’s going to be a definitive advantage for the Wheat Kings, and we won’t look back.”
“Coop” doesn’t discount it happening soon, either.
“This kid seems to be on a mission, and he’s opened everybody’s eyes so we’re open-minded,” he said.

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