Rangers affiliate's bat dog in training knocks over kid running bases

Brooks the bat dog isn’t a finished product just yet. (Screenshot via @RidersBaseball)

Being a bat dog requires years of hard work and training. Even Derby, the beloved bat dog for the Trenton Thunder, shared the spotlight for a few seasons before he was ready to take over full-time. Along the way, we’re sure he made some mistakes.

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In the end, though, the Thunder lived with those mistakes as Derby learned. As a result, they now have a dog that fetches bats during all their games. That’s pretty awesome, and something every team should strive for if you ask us.

The Frisco Roughriders are doing just that. The Texas Rangers’ Double-A affiliate are currently training Brooks to be their “future bat dog.”

The term “future” is important there. In baseball terms, Brooks is still a prospect. Like many prospects, Brooks is still a little raw.

He showed as much while running the bases with some kids on Tuesday. Brooks did technically get the job done, but he also took out a small child along the way.

Brooks’ talent is evident immediately. He’s fast, he’s a good listener and he’s incredibly focused on the task at hand. Maybe too focused, though, because he’s not letting anything … or anyone … get between him and his task. He’ll knock you over to get the job done.

In typical prospect fashion, Brooks’ skills are inconsistent. The exceptional focus Brooks displayed running the bases completely went away when he was asked to perform his main duty.

We asked our bat dog scouting expert Brent to rate both plays. On the first, he gave Brooks’ focus a grade of 75 on the 20-80 scouting scale. That’s elite. Our scout liked Brooks tenacity and perseverance. The term “gamer” was thrown around quite a bit.

On the second play, our bat dog scouting expert was less impressed. Brooks received a 30 from Brent. He admitted it probably should be lower, but Brooks looked so dang cute that Brent increased the score a little. While Brooks was unable to complete the task, our scout liked that he “showed some hustle out there.”

Overall, we think Brent was being a little too hard on Brooks. Being a bat dog is a tough job. You should really cut them some slack. In our eyes, every bat dog should receive at least an 80 on the scouting scale at all times. They’re good dogs, Brent.


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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!