Reed Latimer’s head coach at the University of Montevallo, Chandler Rose, suggested the former Scottsboro High School baseball standout play in the Kentucky-based Ohio Valley League, a summer baseball league for college players, so Latimer could get some extra at-bats.
A few months later, Latimer has been recognized by the league for what he did during those extra at-bats.
Latimer has been named the Ohio Valley League’s Cubb Stokes Offensive Player of the Year after a strong summer at the plate.
“I was excited when I found out,” Latimer said. “I was kind of the last to find out. My host family knew it and they’d left me a message and then I started seeing some tweets and social media stuff about it. It was thrilled.”
Latimer was also named 2021 All-Ohio Valley League first-team as a designated hitter.
Latimer plays for the Madisonville Miners of Madisonville, Kentucky. He played in all 44 of the Miner’s games during the regular season, which began June 4 and ended Wednesday night (the league playoffs began on Friday).
During the regular season, Latimer .batted .383 (67-for-175) with 17 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 44 RBIs, seven stolen bases and 36 runs scored. He also had a .444 on-base percentage, drawing 13 walks and reaching base via hit by a pitch eight times.
Latimer finished the regular season leading the Ohio Valley League in at-bats, hits, RBIs and total bases and was tied for first in extra-base hits (25) while finishing second in doubles, third in batting average, fourth in slugging percentage (.611), tied for fifth in runs scored, seventh in home runs and eighth in on-base percentage. His 67 hits are an Ohio Valley League single-season record.
“I think playing up here has helped my game a lot,” said Latimer, who has played every position except pitcher, catcher and first base for the Miners this summer.
The Ohio Valley League is a wooden bat league. Switching from the metal bats he uses in college was a fun element to the league, said the rising Montevallo sophomore infielder.
“There’s more leeway with getting hits with the metal bats than with a wood bat. You’ve got to have more barrel control and hit the sweet spot, have a little more precision and skill,” Latimer said. “Since I was 14 I played in a lot of wooden bat (tournaments) so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It’s been fun using (wooden bats).”
Latimer called his summer in the Ohio Valley League a memorable one.
“It’s been a fun experience,” Latimer said. “It’s a different experience. The first week or so is awkward because you don’t really know anyone, but then you get to know your teammates and get close to them and become like a family. I’ll always remember this. It’s been incredible.”