The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The transition from a revered star to an everyday grinder is not always an easy one. College of San Mateo outfielder Brad Degnan found out the hard way.
“I learned a lot, because the level is so much higher than what I was used to,” Degnan said. “I actually really struggled in the beginning, but halfway through it kind of clicked for me and I found myself in the lineup.”
Degnan, who posted a .303 batting average along with a .434 slugging percentage in his first year as a Bulldog, made a good impression on longtime CSM manager Doug Williams.
“He’s a real competitor and has a drive to really want to do well,” Williams said.
With good speed, an above average arm and projectable power, Degnan will most likely be seen scouring the turf in one of the corner outfield positions, according to Williams.
“I think he’s Division I talent,” Williams said.
Degnan established himself early on as something of legend around the high school baseball field. After starting on the Woodside varsity team during his freshman and sophomore years, he broke onto the scene as a junior with the spectacular feat of tallying three home runs in one inning.
The junior earned himself a Yahoo headline and the title of the only player in the history of California to accomplish such an act.
“What many people do not know is that that was not Brad’s only three home run game,” Woodside manager Tim Faulkner said. “We were playing at El Camino, who has a funky field. Brad hit three balls that would have hit the gym at our field, but since the fence is only 260 feet (from home plate), they were all ground rule doubles. So I credit him with 14 home runs that year.”
While the stories of Degnan’s achievements may vary, one thing that is set in stone is the resume he left behind. After belting 11 home runs paired with a .591 batting average during his junior season, the tall, long outfielder met considerable expectations with seven home runs and a .500 batting average throughout his senior campaign.
Beyond the numbers, Degnan brought great leadership presence to the diamond every day, according to Faulkner.
“It was literally like having another coach out there,” Faulkner said. “His talent is what makes him great, but his attitude, work ethic and team-first mentality is what makes him special.”
After playing for the local Joe DiMaggio and American Legion teams last summer, Degnan enrolled at CSM.
“After learning how good [CSM’s] transfer rate was, and the coaches and everything, it was a pretty solid deal,” Degnan said.
While community college is the present for Degnan, he is always looking toward the future.
“After CSM I’m hoping to transfer to a four-year school,” Degnan said. “Preferably Division I, that’d be pretty cool.”