July 5, 2011
By Andrew Woerpel
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sometimes talent alone is enough to get a ballplayer by. Other times it takes hard work to help a ballplayer get the most out of his abilities. In the case of Lobos’ first baseman Trey Porras, his hard work has turned him into a very talented player, and all bets are off as to how far his talent and hard work will take him.
Porras, a 6-foot-4 imposing presence of a ballplayer, is picking up right where he left off from last season in a big way this summer.
Porras, who finished the 2011 season by putting up great offensive numbers in the Mountain West Conference tournament, has exploded offensively this summer while playing for the Brazos Valley Bombers in the Texas Collegiate League. He currently leads the TCL in batting with a .468 average, which is .100 points higher than the next closest batter at .338. He is also second overall in total hits (36) and runs scored (21).
The TCL plays host to 250-plus players from 91 different colleges and universities. Some of the more nationally-recognized programs that send their standouts to the TCL include Alabama, Arkansas, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Wichita State to name a few.
"It’s been a fun summer so far,” Porras said. "Just getting the chance to play every day has really gotten me into a groove.”
Porras had his coming out party during the MWC tournament. His .438 average was a breath of fresh air for the Lobos due to the fact he had spent most of the season as a reserve before being placed into the Lobos’ starting lineup for the tournament. His game-winning RBI single in the 11th inning against BYU also helped jump start the Lobos' magical championship run.
"I've grown a lot as a hitter under coach Birmingham. He has taught me a professional approach at the plate. Not just anybody can teach that."
Lobo first baseman Trey Porras
The Bombers are currently at the halfway point of their season and Porras appears to be a lock for the TCL All-Star game, slated to take place later this month. Porras’ production thus far speaks for itself, and it is something he says is a product of getting consistent at-bats.
"My approach and mindset have totally changed when taking an at-bat,” Porras said. "I feel very relaxed at the plate now.”
Porras is also quick to acknowledge that learning how to swing the bat the 'Lobo way' has finally started to pay off for him.
"Ive grown alot as a hitter under coach Birmingham," Porras said. "He has taught me a professional approach at the plate. Not just anybody can teach that."
Porras has been very humbled by his success and is actually taken aback at times now that his peers have begun asking him for batting advice.
"It’s been different to have my teammates ask me what I’m looking for during an at-bat or what I’m trying to do in certain situations,” Porras said.
Porras, born in Richmond, Texas, has thoroughly enjoyed playing in his home state this summer, because it has made it easier for his friends and family to catch his games. Porras has been playing the bulk of his games within just a few hours of his family, making travel a lot easier on them.
"It’s been a tremendous plus for me to have my parents and grandparents get to see me play more,” Porras explained. "It’s been a big joy for my parents and especially my grandfather to get to see me play this summer.”
With the second half of his summer season on the horizon, Porras hopes to continue on with refining his craft. The big left-hander is hoping the hard work he has put in so far will carry over into next season, as he plans to compete for a starting spot in the Lobos’ lineup.
"That has always been my goal ever since I got to UNM,” Porras said. "To be a starter is definitely something I am shooting for.”