The Mandan Chiefs have had a tough start to their season. So far they have record of 1-5 and are tied for last in the standings. But one player that could turn their season around is Jaxon Duttenhefer.
At only 16 years old, the future is bright for Jaxon Duttenhefer, a multi-sport athlete whose with the Mandan Chiefs for his third season, a player that’s always looking to improve.
“I’ve really been kind of working on my bat,” says Chiefs Junior Jaxon Duttenhefer. “It was a little rough in the Spring, it was a little okay I think, in the spring ball season. And I’ve really been working on both of them a lot in practice.”
Duttenhefer’s coaches say he’s come a long way, and at such a young age with his frame, there’s a huge potential for Jaxon to blossom this summer.
“He’s one of our couple players that can put the ball in the gap,” says manager Jake Kincaid. “I think he has three or four triples and a home run on the young season, so we look to him to drive in a few runs. He’s a young kid but he’s in a big spot in our lineup.”
At the plate, Jaxon showed flashes with his time with the Mandan Braves, but making him an elite defender is the next step in his progression, and the work ethic is there for Duttenhefer to make those strides.
“Getting to practice about an hour early every day, just getting extra cuts in,” Duttenhefer says. “Coaches here have been helping me out and I’ve been really happy with my swing and where it’s come so far and my feelings have been, keeping it where it is and a few errors, and that’s all I need.”
Duttenhefer isn’t all brawn. As coaches say, he’s one of the smarter players they have on the field.
“He likes to think the game,” says Kincaid. “You know he sometimes kind of thinks too much a little bit, so we’re trying to plan and prepare and to attack in certain areas when it’s time.”
And for Duttenhefer, “his” time might come right at the turn of the midway point of the legion ball season.
Jaxon Duttenhefer and the Chiefs’ next game is a clash with the Bismarck Governors on Tuesday night at 7:30.