Alabama A&M’s J.T. O’Reel ‘Toughest To Strike Out’ In The Nation


AA&M Baseball



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HUNTSVILLE – Alabama A&M’s J.T O’Reel brought home a national championship for the Bulldogs. 

O’Reel, a shortstop, is the 2015-16 NCAA Division I statistical champion for Toughest To Strike Out, it was announced Monday. He will receive a plaque from the NCAA honoring the achievement. 

For the talented senior, it’s a matter of basic baseball in making contact and not “whiffing.” 

“My coaches said to always put the ball into play,” he said. “I change my mindset with two strikes and try to just make contact with the ball.” 

And make contact he did: O’Reel struck out just six times in 205 at-bats – once in every 34.2 at-bats. 

He didn’t strike out until the 29th game of the season and ended the season with a 10-game streak of not striking out. O’Reel did not strike out more than once in any game and was called out on strikes just once. 

He finished the season hitting .268 with 55 hits in 53 games. 

In junior college, striking out was a rarity for the Versailles, Ky., native, as well, he said. O’Reel said he concentrated at the plate to make sure he would make contact. 

While a lot of batters try to outthink the pitcher and guess what pitch was coming, O’Reel said the key to his success is being a “reaction” hitter. 

“I’ve had teammates come back to the dugout after striking out saying ‘I thought he was going to throw a curve…’,” he said. 

“I’m more of a reaction guy, … when I see (the ball) come out of his hand, I react to it.”



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