CONROE, Texas – Conroe resident, 14-year-old Karsen Luther, is preparing for a summer he will never forget. He will certainly have a story to tell for the rest of his life.
Karsen, who will be a freshman at Conroe High School, is a standout baseball player who loves to hit home runs. In fact, he’s hit enough to qualify for the upcoming MLB Jr. Home Run Derby at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio ahead of the MLB All-Star Game. He’s fired up to travel there with his family to take in the experience of a lifetime.
While there, Karsen will compete on July 6 and then will have the chance to take batting practice and meet many of the All-Stars. KPRC Channel 2 Sports photojournalist, Alex Radow spent time with Karsen at an afternoon workout at D Bat in The Woodlands.
How did you develop your love for the game?
"Watched Adrian Beltre. Looked like a fun sport to play. Signed up for Little League at age 7 and have played ever since."
His mentality when he first started to play:
"To make contact and not get an out. I didn’t know how to play but got better early."
First home run?
"In 10U, my Little League All-Star game. Hit in the 2-hole in the championship game. Had two strikes on me. I turned on it and it went over the fence and celebrated my first home run. I felt like I was on top of the world at the moment. I felt like I could do it again and I did."
Being a part of MLB Jr HR Derby:
I went to regionals in Dallas. There were 14 kids. I knew my biggest challenger who was a friend of mine. I hit 11 in the final he hit eight and I won.
What’s the feeling like hitting home runs?
“That feeling when you hit it and it goes forever. It’s a wonderful feeling to hit a home run and not many are able to do that.” “ I use my entire body in my swing so I get max distance and max exit velo to get the best ball flight.”
Who is your favorite Player?:
Adrian Beltre who retired, Vladimir Gurerrero Jr, Kris Bryant and Mike Trout, along with many others. “ I just like the way they play the game.”
On excitement of going to Cleveland:
“It didn’t really hit me until the next day after I won that I am going on an experience of a lifetime. Getting to meet MLB players and talk to them and take batting practice on a real field. You can’t have words to experience it. I want to be the first to hit it out in the MLB Jr. HR Derby. Someone has to do it.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I see myself in MLB or since I am a golfer, the PGA Tour, winning The Masters like Jordan Spieth or Phil Mickelson. Also would like to get a degree in college and get a really good job. That’s all you can ask for.”
KPRC Channel 2 Sports will have much more on Karsen and his trip to Cleveland.