Athlete of the Week: Eyeglasses aid Skyline’s Diggs’ strong start

FRONT ROYAL – Quentin Diggs is having a big season for Skyline’s baseball team and one of the keys to his success has been a simple one – eyeglasses.

Skyline baseball head coach Jay Barnes said when the team was doing winter workouts he noticed Diggs, a junior, wasn’t hitting the ball very well. Barnes said one day after a workout as they were leaving he noticed something about Diggs.

“I walked by his car and I waved as he was sitting in his car and he put on glasses,” Barnes recalled. “I walked right over and I said Quentin how long have you worn glasses? He said,’ I just got ’em. I need them to drive and to look at the board in the classroom.’ I said, ‘buddy you think if you need them to drive we should wear them to play baseball?'”

Barnes said the next day Diggs wore his glasses and he’s been a different hitter ever since.

Diggs, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of April 3-9, is hitting .500 this season for the Hawks and is batting cleanup in the lineup.

“I didn’t think I needed it,” Diggs said of his glasses. “It helped me a lot. I felt like I could see the ball, but they said my depth perception was way off. I would swing under the ball and over it. Once I put them on everything was so much clearer and bigger so I could see it.”

Barnes said after having a team meeting he discovered there were a couple other players who also wore glasses but weren’t wearing them for baseball.

Diggs had his best week of the season last week. In two games Diggs went a combined 5-for-7 with two doubles, four RBIs, three runs scored and a walk.

“It was probably one of the best weeks of hitting I’ve had since I’ve got into high school,” Diggs said.

Diggs said he started the season off a little slow, but Barnes told him to hit the ball back up the middle and it’s been working for him.

The right fielder said that hitting has always been his favorite part of the game. He played on the varsity team last year for the first time, and started about half of the games.

He said last summer he played for his Senior League All-Star team and had a really good season and it’s carried over.

Diggs said he was surprised when he found out that he would be batting in the cleanup spot.

“It just made me feel good about myself because he trusted me to be cleanup,” Diggs said. “He trusted in me to get everybody home and get myself in scoring position as well too.”

Barnes said Diggs has handled batting fourth in the lineup really well.

“He’s embracing that responsibility,” Barnes said. “He’s staring to understand why people pitch him the way they do, and that’s really helping him at the plate.”

Barnes said he’s very happy to see how well Diggs has played this year, and said that he always has a great attitude on and off the field.

“He’s a great teammate,” Barnes said. “He’s picking guys up, he’s cheering people on. The mental aspect and attitude has been great for him this year.”

Diggs is also a standout on the football field. Last season the running back led Skyline with 439 yards rushing, despite missing several games with an injury.

He said that in the past football has always been his favorite sport, but with the success he’s having this season he’s enjoying baseball just as much as football.

The Hawks are having a strong season as well. Skyline is 8-1 this year, after winning just nine games total last year. Diggs said it’s been fun being part of the success.

“This is the best team we’ve had since I came to Skyline, I think,” Diggs said. “Everybody’s hitting the ball well. Our pitchers are doing good. I feel very confident in our team this year. We just have to keep our heads on straight and then play how we know to.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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