12/13/2013 1:30 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – December 13, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen have made an addition to their 2014 infield as versatile Akron freshman James Meeker has signed with the team. Meeker has already opened eyes during his first fall season with the Zips.
“I would say he’s probably one of the most pleasant surprises out of all the freshmen this year,” Akron coach Rick Rembielak said. “He makes things look very easy defensively and offensively. He’s got a good hand path.”
Meeker has added approximately 10 pounds of muscle since September and is looking to continue to build his strength prior to the start of the spring season.
“He needs to get strong and as he gets stronger, he needs to gain a little bit more bat speed,” Rembielak said. “With his swing, everything is good. He’s got good balance and good direction, it just comes down to a little bit more bat speed.”
Meeker, a native of Wexford, Penn., turned in the only perfect game in North Allegheny High School history on April 6, 2013. He tossed 50 pitches in a 12-0 five-inning win over Norwin. Although Meeker may also see time on the mound in college, he lists his primary position as third base.
“College has been a wonderful experience so far,” Meeker said. “All of the coaches have been wonderful and all of my teammates have accepted me there. It’s just been a great experience. I think we have a lot to prove and I think we’re going to have a great year and really contend.”
Meeker lists his favorite baseball memory as when his 12-year-old AAU team traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y. and won a tournament in Cooperstown, which is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rembielak said Meeker showed the Akron coaches everything they wanted to see throughout the recruiting process. He also listed Meeker as the most improved freshman over the course of the fall season.
“His mechanics were great and his glove was great,” Rembielak said. “He’s got a very good demeanor about him, and I think that’s one of the best attributes that he has because everything is even-keeled; he doesn’t let the little things bother him.”
Four Akron players, outfielder Anthony Bova, pitcher Michael Steensen, pitcher Joe Cochran and infielder Gerrad Rohan, played for the Oilmen in 2013. Rembielak said the Midwest Collegiate League is a good destination for his players because of the level of competition.
“I think they’re treated right,” he said. “They’re a good organization to get into because you know they’re going to be treated the right way. It’s not a haphazard organization; it’s run well, there’s a purpose behind it. They work at it; they don’t just show up and play.”