West talks about great start with the Rockers and recent commitment to West Virginia
Ashwaubenon, Wis.- For star infielder/outfielder Kyle West (West Virginia), he hadn’t played in front of a crowd of near 1,000 people in his college career prior to joining the Rockers this summer, after starting out his career at the University of Charleston.
That all changed however after the first Firework Friday of the season at Capital Credit Union Park on June 2, where in front of 1,603 people, West recorded his fourth consecutive multi-hit game at the time and finished 2-5 with a run scored and RBI against the Wausau Woodchucks.
Even if it was a bigger crowd than maybe what he’s used to playing in front of, the adjustment became very minimal for the DII All-American, as he fed off the jubilant fans to fuel his hot start at the plate and lead the Rockers offensively once again.
“To be able to experience the fireworks with my guys is like a surreal moment,” West said. “I always grown up with it being the same game no matter what. You just have to stay consistent and not ride the emotional roller coaster.”
Playing on the biggest stage is nothing now for West however, as his roots of excelling at the highest level go back to his two-year career with the Golden Eagles, posting a .374 career batting average in 100 games played, with 30 homers and 102 RBIs to put himself as one of the best DII players not just in the Mountain East Conference where he played in, but in all the country.
As West continued to showcase his talents at an all-American type level at Charleston, West knew he could elevate his game to the next step in the summer and pressed his coaches about wanting to get that pro ball experience while still in school.
That’s when he found the Northwoods League and the Green Bay Rockers, who he had heard about through several connections with his college coaches, and after looking up the facilities and atmosphere of Rockers games, West became all in with trying to lead Green Bay to enormous success in 2023.
“All I heard about was how sick the facilities were, and they didn’t lie,” West said. “If anything, they underestimated what they have going here. It’s great and so far it’s probably the best that I played in throughout the Northwoods League.
Along with playing with the Rockers this summer, West has received numerous opportunities to move up in the college ranks after recently announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal.
Despite several schools across the country reaching out to the Hedgesville, W.Va. native, one school was on his mind throughout the entire process, with that team being the one he idealized growing up during his entire childhood.
When he sat down with the West Virginia baseball program, he quickly realized the opportunity he had in front of him and wasted no time in terms of deciding, knowing that a life-long dream was about to come true.
“I thought it would have been a perfect opportunity to join and get the experience that I was wanting to get out of high school, but two years later,” West said. “It really drives home what it means to play in front of your home state and in front of the people who support you and I think it’s going to be an incredible experience being able to play for the state that I grown up and was born in.”
Getting to play for a team in West Virginia that had one its best seasons in recent years excites West, but for now, all he’s focused on is bringing the Rockers more success as they remain one of the top teams in all of the Northwoods League 20 games in.
Having the opportunity to play every night has allowed West to improve each game for Green Bay, and now as the Rockers enter the heart of their 2023 season, getting as many chances as possible to get better continues to be most important for the future Mountaineer in Kyle West.
“The best part about this is you will play every night,” West said. “I think the most accomplished feeling would be to play 95% of the games and to not feel worn out by the end of it because it goes to show how well you take care of yourself and your body.”
There is certainly no doubt that West will only continue to excel as he continues to get more playing time, and as he prepares for the rest of this summer, staying locked in and finishing strong are what West is most excited about heading into the rest of this season.
“My goal looking forward is to be able to finish the main stretch of this season strong and to finish the way I started,” West said. “That would be having good health and good spirits and continue to win.”
The Green Bay Rockers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. For more information, visit www.greenbayrockers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rockers as your favorite team.