Central College’s Colton DeRocher proves he’s not your average ballplayer

Central’s right fielder is one of the best players in the American Rivers Conference, and he’s overcome a lot to get there.

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PELLA, Iowa — Central senior Colton DeRocher is an all-around baseball player.

“(His) bat speed’s awesome, he’s fun to watch, he’s got good power in the box, he’s a great athlete around the bases and in the outfield, as a player that you can’t ask for much more,” said Central head coach Adam Carey.

In 2022, DeRocher was top ten in the American Rivers Conference in batting average, OPS, slugging, doubles, homeruns, RBI and total bases. He’s a ballplayer that’s addicted to the game.

“Seems like anytime I’m in the office, I hear the bat pinging and I walk into a hitting room,” Carey said. “And I look it him hitting with three or four other guys. And it’s three or four different guys every time.”

Not only is DeRocher one of the best players in the ARC, he does it with a deformed left hand — something he’s had since birth.

“Learning everything for the first time is like the big, like, tricky part,” DeRocher said.

When he was 7 years old at basketball practice, there was a drill to dribble around the court with his left hand. He wasn’t able to and felt embarrassed. 

“When my dad picked me up and like told them, I was like expecting him to show me sympathy. And instead of showing sympathy, he basically like chewed my butt, and basically said he’s already seen me overcome more, more than he ever thought,” DeRocher said. “So then he gave me a big speech on if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. And ever since that moment, it was never like, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s more of, ‘How am I going to figure it out?'”

And figure it out he does. Though, DeRocher rarely talks about his own accolades.

“He won’t talk about it on or off the field. But you watch him sometimes, and it just it’s jaw dropping. It puts a lot of people in awe,” said Logan McCoy, his teammate and roommate.

DeRocher spent the summer traveling the country on the Louisville Sluggers Warriors National Amputee Baseball team. In the spring he will play his senior season at Central, just nine homeruns away from the school record.

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Jake Brend