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Home Run MVP: Dylan Buck

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 25, 2012
Thirteen-year-old Dylan Buck went 10-for-11 with three home runs to help lead the Lakewood Ranch Little League All-Stars to a District 26 championship July 13.
Thirteen-year-old Dylan Buck went 10-for-11 with three home runs to help lead the Lakewood Ranch Little League All-Stars to a District 26 championship July 13.
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Without a moment’s hesitation, 13-year-old Dylan Buck recalls his fondest baseball memory — his first home run.

The Lakewood Ranch Little League 11-12 All-Star may not remember how old he was at the time or where it actually happened, but that doesn’t keep Dylan from beaming with pride every time he thinks about it.

Dylan has hit his fair share of home runs since the first time he sailed one over the fence; but over the past few months, the Lakewood Ranch Little League utility player has become one of his team’s most valuable players.

After hitting seven home runs during the regular season, Dylan went 10-for-11 during the District 26 All-Star Tournament with three home runs, including one on his 13th birthday, July 6.

Dylan, who pitches, catches and plays center field and shortstop for Lakewood Ranch Little League, also allowed just two hits in four and one-third innings of work to help lead his team to a 10-2 victory over Buffalo Creek in the District 26 championship game July 13 and earn a berth in the Section 4 Tournament July 21 and July 22. LRLL went 1-2 in the tournament. The team was eliminated July 21, after losses to Plant City and Land O’Lakes, but came back to shutout South Brandon 12-0 July 22.

“We had a good team,” Dylan said. “It helped that we know each other better.”

But, for Dylan, it’s not about how many individual accolades, all-star tournament appearances or district championships he has under his belt that propels him both on and off the field. Rather, it’s an internal drive and passion to be the best player he can be.

Dylan began playing baseball when he was about 4 years old. Following in the footsteps of his father, Louis, who played baseball in high school, Dylan quickly took to the game and immediately began looking for ways to get better.

“It’s just what all little kids do,” Dylan said. “It’s just fun. I like hitting the ball and throwing it. I just like playing.”

Dylan, who is in the middle of his third All-Star season, decided to elevate his game even further a couple months ago when he began working with hitting coach Richie Smith, at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.

With Smith’s guidance, Dylan adjusted his batting stance, which has only continued to increase his productivity at the plate.

“I feel more comfortable there since I’ve been working with my hitting coach,” Dylan said.

“That seemed to be the turning-around point,” said Eddie Miller, Dylan’s grandfather. “Soon after that, everything kind of changed.”

In addition to working with Smith, Dylan also works out with teammate Parker Shanahan at Athletic Edge Sports in Lakewood Ranch.

“It’s been good,” said Dylan, who has aspirations of becoming a major-league baseball player. “I just have to continue to work hard every day of the week to get better.”

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].


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