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An average kid with an above average talent for predicting baseball pitches tries to help his favorite player out of a slump in this entertaining novel from bestselling authors Tim Green and Derek Jeter.
Jalen DeLuca loves baseball. Unfortunately his dad can’t afford to keep him on the travel team. His dad runs a diner and makes enough to cover the bills, but there isn’t enough to cover any extras. So Jalen decides to take matters into his own hands and he sneaks into the home of the New York Yankee’s star second baseman, James Yager, and steals a couple of balls from his personal batting cage. He knows that if he can sell them, he’ll be able to keep himself on the team.
But like the best-laid plans—or in this case the worst!—Jalen’s scheme goes wrong when Yager catches him. But Jalen has a secret: his baseball genius. He can analyze and predict almost exactly what a pitcher is going to do with his next pitch. He can’t quite explain how he knows, he just knows. And after proving to Yager that he really can do this, using a televised game and predicting pitch after pitch with perfect accuracy, the two agree to a deal. Jalen will help Yager out of his batting slump and Yager won’t press charges.
However, when he begins to suspect that the team’s general manager has his own agenda, Jalen’s going to need his friends and his unusual baseball talent to save not only Yager’s career, but his own good name.
About the Author
Tim Green was an NFL first-round draft pick and a star defensive player for eight years with the Atlanta Falcons. He is the New York Times bestselling author of dozens of books for adults and kids including The Dark Side of the Game, The Fifth Angel, Exact Revenge, Football Genius, Football Hero, Kid Owner, and Left Out. Tim graduated co-valedictorian with a degree in English literature from Syracuse University before earning a law degree with honors. He has been an NFL commentator for FOX Sports and NPR. Tim and his family live in upstate New York.
Derek Jeter is a fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner who has played for one team—the storied New York Yankees—for all twenty seasons of his major league career. His grace and class on and off the field have made him an icon and role model far beyond the world of baseball.
"From the first page to the last, Jalen Deluca’s exploits with his friends will keep readers in suspense. Green and Jeter know how to grab readers and keep them hooked all the way through this middle grade sports fiction. It is a page turner for baseball fans who revel in realistic gamesmanship and play-by-play excitement. This is a winner!"
— School Library Connection
"The tale offers plenty of sports action as it scrambles from base to base past sudden obstacles and personal challenges."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Bound to be popular among Green fans and sports fiction middle grade readers."
— School Library Journal