By Kurt Martin
This past week former POWER players Tanner Kiest, T.J. Bennett and Michael Massi joined the elusive list of former and current POWER players to sign with a professional team.
Palm Springs had already seen five of their former players get drafted three weeks ago in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft including outfielder Don Clark (St. Mary’s) and pitcher Tanner Kiest (Chaffey) from the 2014 POWER team. The other three were Chesney Young (Mercer), Ryan Jones (Arizona Christian University) and Nick Baker (Chico State) from previous POWER squads.
Tanner Kiest, who had his last appearance for the POWER on June 21st, attended Chaffey College last season. The hard-throwing right-hander was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies three weeks ago in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft in the 38th round. This was the second year he was drafted, the first time being back in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 11 apperances (10 starts), Kiest pitched to a 3-5 record, with a 5.40 ERA. Furthermore, in 48.1 innings pitched he struck out 70 batters. This season for the POWER, Kiest has yet to give up any hits while setting six men down on strikeouts in three innings and four appearances.
Michael Massi, who also played for the POWER in 2013, attended Mercer University this past year and now plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. The infielder will report to the Cardinals’ rookie ball team. Massi broke out in a big way for the Bears this season hitting .346 with five home runs and 35 RBIs in 2014. He was also named Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year. For the POWER, the shortstop hit .335 with 35 runs batted in and stole 10 bags.
TJ Bennett, who played for the POWER in 2013, attended University of Utah this past year and now plays for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League. Bennett hit .277 with two home runs, knocked in 31 runs and swiped eight bags as a senior this season with the Utes. Bennett had a summer for the ages with the POWER back in 2013 in rout to winning SCCBL Player of the Year. The left-handed slugger set multiple single-season records for Palm Springs that year including runs batted in (40), hits (63), doubles (12) and at-bats (172). He ended the season hitting .336 with two home runs.
The POWER would like to congratulate Tanner, TJ and Michael for signing professional contracts and wish them the best of luck going forward with their baseball careers.