Drake Angeron smiles as he takes a lead off first base in a game last season with the Dodge City Community College Conquistadors in southwestern Kansas. Angeron, who batted .370 with 71 hits in 192 at-bats this spring, will continue his baseball career at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Angeron is a former standout player for Central Catholic High School in Morgan City.
—Jeanie Rose Photos
Angeron ready to help Fort Hays baseball
Drake Angeron was a standout player on Central Catholic High School’s baseball team through his senior year in 2017.
Now, the former Eagles star and centerfielder is getting set to enter his first season at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, where he’s continuing his baseball career after a successful season at Dodge City Community College Conquistadors in southwestern Kansas.
This past spring with Dodge City, Angeron batted .370 with 71 hits in 192 at-bats. He hit three home runs, seven doubles and two triples, while collecting 25 RBIs. He was named to the All-Conference team and recently finished a summer league stint with 26 stolen bases in as many attempts in the Kansas Collegiate League.
Angeron signed a Division II scholarship at Fort Hays State after receiving offers from the University of Arkansas-Monticello, Cal State-Dominguez Hills and Biola University in Southern California.
So what would make a young player whose college career is on the rise opt for the fields and plains of Kansas over the bright lights and warm sunshine of Los Angeles and surrounding areas?
Angeron said the history of Fort Hays State’s baseball program, coupled with a new coaching staff led by first-year coach Jerod Goodale, are what interested him the most when making his decision.
The chance to help rebuild a program from the ground up was an offer Angeron said was too good to pass up.
“I really want to help turn that program around,” he said. “The town and the people there, that’s something special. They’re real baseball people and the whole town is going to get behind us and support us. Our new coach is going to turn that program around and I want to be part of it.”
When Angeron speaks, he sounds like a man with a high baseball IQ — as well he should. He’s been around the game his whole life as his father, David Angeron, coached professional baseball in Florida when Drake was growing up. As well as coaching stints here at Morgan City, Patterson and Berwick High schools.
David Angeron was also a professional scout for the Milwaukee Brewers and is currently a part-time scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For as long as he can remember, Drake Angeron has gotten an up-close view of the game at the front lines.
“Just being around that pro ball field since I was 3 or 4, it gave me that love of the game and showed me what it takes to make it in this game,” Angeron said.
Asked what led to his recent breakout season at Dodge City, Angeron attributed a big part of his development to a fresh change of scenery on the diamond. In high school, he played the infield while at Central Catholic. Moving to the outfield at Dodge City, though, has worked out even better.
“I had played (the infield) my whole life,” Angeron said. “Moving to the outfield has been a big change for me. It’s probably one of the best decisions I could have made and it was better than I thought. I was always fast and I could always run so I’m lucky they let me put my tools to better use. It shows off my speed a little more.
“A lot of it is because I can run; because of my speed and what I can do getting down the line. I don’t think I’ve reached my peak yet and want to keep getting better. There have been a few scouts that have followed me and communicated with me. I hope I can keep putting up numbers like I did my freshman year and take this career further.”
His high school coach, Central Catholic’s Tyler Jensen, said Angeron understands the game on a level that many players his age don’t.
“Drake is what I would call a baseball genius,” Jensen said. “He’s been around the game his whole life. He’s very knowledgeable and has a passion for baseball. He’s been around it for so long, it’s just natural to him.
“He’s a really hard worker and he’s driven. He’s developed, continued to work hard and has used the tools he has. You look at him now and he’s bigger and stronger. Once you put on some of that college weight, maybe he hits for more power than he did in high school. He’s got very good awareness of the game, of himself and of situations.”
If baseball doesn’t work out, Angeron said he’s interested in going into the field of nursing. His desire for that came from his stepmother.
“Growing up in Morgan City, you see people in the oil field and their jobs go up and down and kind of fluctuate, and that wasn’t something I wanted,” Angeron said. “So I like the job security (of nursing). My stepmom is a nurse and I’ve shadowed her. I like what she does.”
Regardless of when his baseball career ends, Angeron’s potential in whatever path he takes appears as bright as anyone’s.
For now, he’ll keep playing his first true love.
“I’m having fun,” he said.