Little League World Series 2011 Finals: Hagen Danner Destined for Stardom
Ocean View, California's Hagen Danner has the tools to turn his 2011 Little League World Series performance into a career that carries him to the majors.
Danner has a sweet swing, a golden arm and poise beyond his years. He has dominated this tournament on the mound and at the plate. In two starts, Danner did not surrender a run, and he has hit double digits in strikeouts in both starts.
When he isn't pitching, Danner is catching. And he has played flawlessly behind the plate. Catchers and pitchers are always at a premium in the majors.
I expect the former to be his ticket to the bigs. Danner has a sweet swing. At the plate, Danner has mashed all pitching. He led the LLWS in hits at 11. The 11 hits were good enough for an over .500 batting average.
And he has a little pop in his bat. Danner jacked two home runs in this tournament, and both were huge. He slugged a two-run home run against Keystone, PA to help lead his team to a 2-0 victory in the loser's bracket finale.
He then hit a solo shot in the finals to pull the score even at one. That was the final run of the game until teammate Nick Pratto knocked a line drive base hit for a walk off single to give California the title with a 2-1 victory over Japan.
It is not all that common for players in the LLWS to go onto big league success, but if Danner does, he will join the likes of Jason Bay, Sean Burroughs, Derek Bell, Carney Lansford, Gary Sheffield and Dan Wilson as players that have made the transition.
The Little League World Series has also seen athletes that have gone on to excel at other sports. NFL QBs Brian Sipe and Matt Cassel also were proud participants of the LLWS.
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