Baseball notebook: Medfield star proves you can’t keep a Goodman down

It takes a special type of baseball player for a west coast school to target a Massachusetts high schooler. Jack Goodman fits the mold.

Locked into the top of the Medfield lineup, Goodman has developed into one of the more polished all-around players in New England as his power, speed, and sure-handed ability at shortstop have made him a must-see player. Goodman’s excellence has earned him a scholarship to continue his playing career at Pepperdine University in Malibu.

“Jack approaches the game on a professional level,” Medfield coach Dan Worthley said. “He knows what he needs to do to prepare. He is very serious about the nuances and details of the game.”

Jack has never been a stranger to the Medfield program. His older brother, Max, was a junior captain for Worthley when Jack was a freshman. While Jack and Max shared the field together for four games in 2019 the elimination of the 2020 season prevented them from getting one last crack together. Despite the disappointment and absence of a sophomore campaign, Goodman bloomed that summer playing for Nokona on the AAU circuit while also suiting up for Medfield’s team in the Massachusetts Baseball Independent League.

He caught college coaches’ eyes with his quick twitch at the plate allowing for bat speed. Defensively he emerged as a next-level shortstop with range going to his left and a strong arm from deep in the hole. Pepperdine got a look at Goodman at the PBR Futures Games, made a few calls to the Medfield native, and less than week later made an offer. On Aug. 16 prior to his junior year, Goodman announced his commitment to Pepperdine.

“I love the coaches and team culture,” Goodman said. “They have a one-of-a-kind setting with premier academics. They also give freshmen a chance to play right away, so even if it’s out of position, having the opportunity to earn playing time early is big.”

DEDHAM, MA – MAY 12: Medfield shortstop Jack Goodman runs off the field between innings against Dedham May 12, 2022 in DEDHAM, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Chris Christo/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Pepperdine assistant coach Danny Worth played shortstop for the Detroit Tigers and told Worthley he sees similarities in his old game and Goodman’s.

“(Danny Worth) who recruited him out there sees a lot of himself in Jack,” Worthley said. “They’re ecstatic to get him out there. It’s brilliant on Pepperdine’s part and Jack’s part. Pepperdine recruits California and Texas, but then on that roster you are going to see Medfield, Massachusetts. It’s a testament to the work he has put in.”

Goodman starred as a junior and catapulted Medfield to the Div. 3 state final. On the season, Goodman’s batting .578 with 12 extra base hits, 13 RBIs, 23 runs, and just a pair of strikeouts. He has three home runs, including a key two-run blast in one of Medfield’s two wins over defending Div. 1 champion Xaverian. Goodman has just one error on the season.

“He has great emotional regulation,” Worthley said. “He can be hyped up without being over excited. He understands what he needs to do for the team to be successful. When the stress comes, Jack is able to calm down and focus even more on the overall goal.”

Base notes

• Burlington softball continues to cruise as the regular season hits the home stretch. On Thursday, the Red Devils picked up another key victory as Cece Imbimbo fired a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts in a 10-0 win over Melrose. The Red Devils, who are 15-1 on the season, have beaten Arlington, Woburn, and Westford Academy. Imbimbo has been a star inside the circle. In addition to her no-hitter, she notably fired an 11-inning shutout against Westford on May 1.

• Whitman-Hanson baseball coach Pat Cronin earned his 500th win Friday when the Panthers defeated Plymouth North 3-2 in nine innings.

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