Starting at age 5 to follow baseball in every way, shape and form, Farragut Middle School twins Brock and Brady Hodges have absorbed the game well beyond just the fundamentals.
And they’re only 13.
“They’re both very aware on the baseball field. They pick up on little intricacies of the game,” Bob Manges, head coach of Diamond Black 13-U travel baseball team, said about the rising eighth-graders. “Like Brady behind the plate, he’ll watch where the batters set up and adjust his stance and call the pitches” accordingly.
“When they’re running the bases, they’ll pick up on little things the pitcher’s doing to give them an advantage, a head start, to steal the bases,” Manges added. “They’re very situationally aware. … And will help direct their teammates as well.”
“We’ve watched a lot of film and gone to different camps to help us pick up on some of this stuff,” Brock said.
As for fundamentals and versatility, “They’re excellent hitters. … They go out and play with a lot of confidence,” Manges said. “I can put them anywhere. They pitch, they catch, play outfield.”
Brock, one of Diamond’s starting pitchers, “played third base or center field because he has the strongest arm on the team without a doubt,” Matt Fields, FMS sixth-and seventh-grade baseball head coach, said.
On the mound, Brock “has a very unique delivery that makes his ball move a little bit differently,” Manges said. “He kind of three-quarters or comes sidearm on his delivery.”
“I want to just become more of a starting pitcher and just grow in location and figuring out my control,” Brock said. “With my arm angle my two-seam [fastball] has a lot of movement on it.”
“Brady was always my catcher, pretty much. He caught probably 70 percent of the games. But he can pitch and play anywhere,” Fields said. “Brady, I think, hit 10 or 12 home runs this year. He just mashed the ball this year.”
“At the plate I’m more-so like the contact hitter and power hitter. I try to hit the ball farther,” Brady said. “And [Brock] is the ‘get-on-base guy’ and occasionally [provides] a few RBIs here and there.”
“Brock’s more of a line-drive hitter,” Fields added.
Their batting averages best tell the story according to Manges. “Brady was right around .750 and Brock right around .650,” he said.
Personality-wise, “Brock’s more of the silent one, just gets it done. Brady’s more the vocal guy,” Fields said.
“I would definitely say Brady’s more of the ‘block everything out, keep it in front of him’ kind of guy,” Brock said.
Brady said about any element of sibling rivalry, “There’s a little competitiveness here and there, but nothing too severe.”
On the other hand, “If I see something that he’s doing and he’s doing it wrong, I can point it out and tell him how to fix it if I know how to,” Brady said. “And he does the same for me.”