Coach Tracy's Thoughts on His Players and Coaches
On December 21st, 2019, Head Coach Tracy Smith challenged his Twitter followers to post the name of one of his current or former players so he could say something about them. What followed was an epic tweetstorm that resulted in nearly 100 stories spanning Tracy's coaching career. The following are those tweets about former or current Sun Devil players and coaches.
@kou_tres2 @_Hunterbishop_ What can you say that hasn’t already been said about a kid who performed at the level he did with everything he was dealing with at home. He is in the same category as Schwarber to me - great talent, even better kid.
ed note: "Schwarber" refers to Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs who Tracy Coached at Indiana and called a "Rare breed".
@superfan42 @RyanBurrASU Ryan he didn’t care about his “personal” success. All he wanted was for the team to win. He closed games for us so didn’t get in until the 8th or 9th but I don’t know that I ever had a player more “into” the game even when he wasn’t on the field.
@AbeRuizBaseball is old school toughness to the core. What I love about Abe is his standard for success. While you may not get many compliments from him, when you do get one ... it means something!
Always laugh when players (who don’t play) say “you like this guy more... blah blah blah”. @earleybaseball didn’t work his way into a regular until his last year. Operative word WORK. Can’t think of a greater compliment to pay a guy than to want to work with him.
@surfsnw @swiftyy23 brings it EVERY day. He practices hard, he plays hard, and he makes no excuses. If you want to know what it is supposed to look like - playing baseball with passion and purpose - look no further than the 157 lb guy playing 2B for ASU.
@CollegeBallNat @spennyt is a generational-type player to be sure. He may end up being the best I ever coached. What I admire most, however, is when someone comes to me after having met Spencer and says, “that is the nicest young man I have ever met.”
@dennisdevil I can remember when I got to ASU after watching @colbywoodmansee the first week of practice thinking we had something special. Had he not gotten injured in pro ball I truly believe he had a chance to make it. Great kid, great talent.
@KurtLeitinger Funny thing in college baseball ... often times it is said that seniors are unsuccessful because they didn’t get drafted and sign. @Myles_Denson17 is the definition of success: teammates love him, coaches love him, and he IS GOOD. Sounds like success to me.
@jeffmetcalfe @KaraokeDaves was a really really talented player (one of the best hitters I have ever coached), but I think he is going to make an even better coach. Be around him for 10 minutes and tell me if you don’t understand what I’m talking about.
@JoeBear72 When I think of @elingos15 I think of a true professional. He was on some teams that didn’t have the success expected at a place like ASU, but he never gave anything but his best. Not only that, he demanded the same from his teammates no matter what. He is a winner to the core.
@JoeBear72 @gagecanning should write a book on “How to be a Baseball Player”. I challenge any ASU fan (or anyone for that matter) who has watched us play if they ever saw Gage not running/playing 100% no matter the score. He gave his best effort every single second he was on the field!
@SierraEllett @Connor_Higgins7 recently graduated from ASU while still playing pro ball. He is thriving at the next level because he is focused and having fun. Can’t wait to see what is in store for him...plus he throws 98mph!
@WiddDevils34 I tell people all the time that @Trevor_hauver doesn’t get as much pub as some of the other players but his day is coming! He is an all-American caliber player surrounded by all-Americans.
@WiddDevils34 Maybe the highest compliment I can give @gagework9 is he makes us better. I don’t care if didn’t pick up a bat, wear a glove, or put on a uniform - Gage makes people better just because of who he is. The fact that he is a projected 1st rd pick is icing on the cake.
RJ "Yogi" Ybarra
@bsstahl Any time there is transition in a program it makes players uneasy - new coach, new system...RJ, after having contributed more previous season, saw his role reduced. It didn’t affect his approach or attitude one bit. Love that he is now using his influence as a coach of young men.
@Dice_k28 Has been a true joy watching @Alika_Williams blossom in front of our eyes. Not a lot of pub out of HS and now going to be a 1st rd pick. Tell you why...because of him! Dedicated, hardworking, talented, and a great teammate to all. He is the real deal, and a good player too!
@Ashalee_83 @AlecMarsh8 could be the poster child for hard work. With guys transferring right & left seeking guaranteed opportunities, this dude created his own through dedication & performance. He earned every single thing he got at ASU & if you asked him he wouldn’t want it any other way
@GabeAlvarez @CarterRoo21 was a selfless teammate. He sacrificed his own desire (to play INF) to play in the OF for the betterment of our team. Respect how he put team first!
@WiddDevils34 First and foremost Sam is a competitor. One of the best I’ve ever had. Sam checklist: D1 athlete-ck, went to work before am lifts-ck, drafted-ck, graduated-ck, family man-double ck!