Mr. 500


POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 9:27pm

Hitting a baseball is widely considered the single most difficult thing to do in any sport. Raph Rhymes makes it look easy.

"He’s just locked in and he never seems like he is satisfied. And he never seems to get bored with getting hits,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said.

The junior outfielder currently holds a .500 batting average 41 games into the season. That’s an impressive stat, unless you’re Raph Rhymes.

"I really am not a big stat guy. It's something that I never really looked at. It is a great accomplishment, but batting average is something in the past, it's something you've done before that at-bat. I don't like to go up to an at-bat thinking of batting average because it’s something in the past.” Rhymes said Tuesday while answering questions from the media.

"Raph is probably the least impressed person on our team with himself. While everyone else marvels over it, Raph just takes it as it comes, he just wants to win,” Mainieri added.

Batting average aside, if you’re into comeback stories Rhymes has one you may like. The Monroe native was cut from the Tigers squad the first time he tried out.

“I wasn’t sure I would get to play baseball again,” Rhymes said.

“When he tried out for the team he should have made it, there just wasn't enough room on the team for him with the new rules we had to abide by,” Mainieri added.

Just a few years later, Rhymes has his coaches and teammates in awe.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” Mainieri said.

"I couldn't do what he's doing in tee-ball. It's incredible, I’m just glad I am here to witness,” junior outfielder Mason Katz said.

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