Kyle Kempf may be leading the Prospect League in batting average with his .389 mark, but he's getting a run for his money from teammate Patrick Chandler. Chandler, while only getting 57 at-bats since joining the team in late June, is hitting .386 after getting four hits in the nightcap of a doubleheader Saturday at Dubois County.
Chandler has been a welcome addition for manager Brian Dorsett. The right fielder hit a home run in his first at-bat with the REX.
He's added a second home run to go with two doubles and a triple since then. Chandler showed off his speed with four stolen bases to go with his four hits at League Stadium.
Chandler will be a senior at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where he hit .337 last season. When he got the call to come to Terre Haute, Chandler was thrilled to make the six-hour drive down I-70.
"I was working at a golf course in Kansas City when I got the call to come out here," Chandler said.
Chandler lucked into a good fit with the host family he's living with in Terre Haute. He is staying with the family of Don Ireland, who happens to be an avid golfer.
"I know he's a really good golfer. I enjoy playing golf. The host family's been great to live with. I'm very fortunate to have them. It's a home away from home really."
Chandler has fit in well with his baseball family as well. Like all the REX players, he's had to adjust to using a wood bat. Chandler has embraced the hard work it takes.
"The wood bats are completely different than college bats. It helps you make sure you barrel the ball up," Chandler said.
Like many of the REX players, Chandler embraces getting the chance to talk with fans after the game.
"Signing autographs for the kids. It's a great time," he said.
Being a part of a winning culture with a top-notch coaching staff has been a pleasure, he added.
"It's exciting to be in the lineup at all, contributing any way I can is my goal. Just keep working with the coaches. It's a grind. Just stay positive," Chandler said.
-- Article by Craig Pearson