BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- While the Vanderbilt baseball team is in Omaha chasing a national championship in the College World Series, freshman utility player John Malcom is in Battle Creek playing summer baseball for the Bombers.
"We have a roster of 35, but in the postseason it gets cut to 27, and I wasn't able to make it this year," Malcom said. "But you know, moving forward, hopefully, I'll be able to."
The West Bloomfield native and 2018 Detroit Country Day graduate only got three at-bats with the Vanderbilt Commodores this season, so he's looking for more reps this summer.
"That was basically it. They knew it was going to be a lot of at-bats and a lot of games, so they sent me here to get my work in," Malcom said on Vanderbilt's decision.
Not making the postseason roster can make some players extremely jealous and bitter, but not for Malcom. "No. I mean, I'd love to go to Omaha," Malcom smiled, "but I'm more excited for my guys. They're going to get it done. I mean, I'm not there, but it's something we've been working for all season long, so it's pretty cool, it's been a goal."
In just 22 games so far with the Bombers, Malcom has already intrigued a lot of scouts and his own manager with a batting average of .310 and 11 RBIs.
"Obviously, your team is making a run at a national championship and you'd love to be there," Bombers field manager Mike Ruppenthal said. "But he's just had so much fun being here. He's getting to play every day, and when you see a guy coming in that didn't get to play a lot, you don't know what to expect. He's essentially never faced college pitching, and he's come in and put up borderline all-star numbers so far. I think that's impressive, especially with a wood bat."
Malcom is hoping this summer in Battle Creek will help him contribute at Vanderbilt next season and hopefully lead them back to Omaha.
"Committing to Vanderbilt, that's our priority is getting to the national championship game and competing and winning it," Malcom said. "I'm not able to do it this year, but it's something that maybe I can do in the future. I know what it takes to get there, so I'm going to get it done. That's what I'm doing here."