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Somehow and some way, C.J. Hinojosa, one of the 25th annual Area Code Games' top-rated prospects, was going to get an individual award this year.
Although he spanked the ball all over the big yard at Blair Field all five games, he didn't get his first hit until the third inning of the 4-4 tie with the Milwaukee Brewers on Area Code's final day. Then, he promptly stole second base and scored the Rangers' second run that cut the Brewers' lead at the time to 3-2.
The one thing the Texas-committed incoming senior didn't lack was fielding. In the fifth inning of the Brewers game, he went to his left and snared a liner, then fired to first for a 6-3 double play. The following inning he started a 6-4-3 double play that wiped out a potential Brewers' rally.
"I wasn't the greatest fielder growing up, but I worked on my footwork and staying down on balls," Hinojosa told ESPNHS.
Hinojosa planned on playing football in high school until coaches convinced him that his baseball talents didn't warrant risking football injuries.
"Baseball is the game I truly enjoy and I'm focused on," he remarked.
Last season at Klein Collins, Hinojosa hit .405 with 17 and 63 knocked in. The 17 long flys broke the single-season school record.
Hinojosa likes to study the swing of Manny Ramirez, even though he isn't his favorite player.
And who is his favorite player? "Robinson Cano. He comes out every day and plays hard. He loves to play the game just like I do," said Hinojosa, who soon may be faced with a major decision if a major league baseball team offers him the money many expect.
"It's a life-changing decision, but right now I'm focused on school and being successful outside of baseball like my mom wants me to be. Nowadays, you have to have a college degree to be successful," said Hinojosa, a 3.75 GPA student-athlete who plans on studying kinesiology or business.