For one Texas State baseball player, he is using the new season as a fresh start to his collegiate baseball career.
Jaylen Hubbard, junior third baseman, is currently in his fourth season with the Bobcats, and has been named to the 2018 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.
“I appreciate the title a lot,” Hubbard said. “But, it is something I did last year. I am just trying to be better this year.”
Last season, Hubbard started in 57 games and 56 of them as third baseman. He recorded a .296 batting average, 43 RBIs, three home runs and went 88.5 percent in the field. Hubbard also landed a spot on the All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team.
The Missouri City, Texas, native has big plans for the 2018 season.
“We have a lot of great players and a great staff this season,” Hubbard said. “We have an unbelievable lineup, so I think we can do great things this year.”
As a team, Hubbard wants to learn to recognize faults quicker and adjust them. The junior also noted that they have to stay focused in order to succeed.
“I expect us to recognize what we need to work on and focus on that,” Hubbard said. “We were great at a lot of things last year and bad at a lot of things last year, and we ended up having a great year.”
Personally, Hubbard wants to be better all around. From an increased batting average to an increased fielding percentage, he aims to see improvement from previous seasons.
“I am looking for better numbers,” Hubbard said. “Overall, I just want to be better. I had a great season last year along with being named an all-conference player, but I want more this year.”
Some of Hubbard’s goals are to be named an All-American and Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.
The economics major is no stranger to what it takes to be the best. Hubbard’s father, Trinidad Hubbard, spent 19 years as a major league baseball player.
Trinidad has been very outspoken on social media about his son’s progress and success as a baseball player.
“A pure hitter like Howie Kendrick plus the skillful glove work and arm of an Alex Bergman equals Texas State’s third baseman Jaylen Hubbard,” Trinidad said. “I’m so proud of his lab work.”
Taking on more responsibilities in order to be the best includes becoming a role model and a leader to everybody else.
“I consider myself to be one of the leaders on the team along with a couple other people,” Hubbard said. “I know there are a few that could make a difference in this team. So, I know that I need to sort of take them under my wing, which could be for the better this season or in the long run.”
The Bobcats have a long season ahead of them. The starting third baseman has complete faith in their ability to win the Sun Belt Conference title.
“If everything all comes together,” Hubbard said. “I think we could make a good run for the title in the playoffs.”