Statistics compiled by Greenwood Community High School baseball player Alex Krupa this season present few, if any, doors wide enough for criticism to enter.
If the .463 batting average doesn’t elevate the eyebrows of even the harshest naysayer, Krupa’s 38 stolen bases in 29 starts — that’s 1.3 per game, folks — likely will.
Factor in his 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 53 runs scored and .576 on-base percentage, and the senior center fielder doesn’t give you much to work with.
Unless you’re Krupa.
“I wish I had less strikeouts,” Krupa said of his 18 whiffs this season. “I was pretty satisfied with my stolen bases and with my extra-base hits, but there’s always room for improvement.”
Krupa’s blazing speed and unquestioned baseball instincts helped the Woodmen produce 51 victories over the past three seasons.
Greenwood’s Mid-State Conference record during this span is 27-9, including an 11-1 mark in 2012.
Krupa’s stellar final campaign in green and gold earned him Player of the Year honors for the Daily Journal’s 2013 All-County Team.
Chosen last weekend in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, Krupa finds himself at a crossroads regarding his future.
What can’t be denied is his past.
Taking the 2011, ’12 and ’13 seasons combined, Krupa, who batted lead-off this season and second in the lineup as a sophomore and junior, compiled a .529 average, 142 base hits, 132 runs and an astounding 79 steals in 84 attempts.
“Probably the thing I’ll miss the most about Alex is the way he played the game,” Greenwood coach Andy Bass said. “He loves the game of baseball, and he gave it his all every day, whether it was practice or a game.
“Alex just has certain skills you can’t teach or can’t coach.”
Some school records Krupa will likely own years from now. Others longer than that.
Yet Krupa’s high school career should never be reduced to mere boxscore data. There were 11 other seniors on this year’s Woodmen squad, the majority being friends Krupa has known since he was the height of the bat he now swings.
Saying goodbye hasn’t been easy.
Nor will it be in the days and weeks ahead, as life gradually points them in different directions.
“This was a great year, but I wish I had more time with these guys. Tylor Martin was in my kindergarten class, and he’s still my best friend today,” said Krupa, his voice becoming progressively quieter. “I could care less about my career as long as I don’t lose their friendship. It’s legit.”
This genuine closeness made the varsity baseball program’s awards banquet Monday evening at the home of Krupa’s mother, Vicki, one of varied emotions. Krupa knew ahead of time what the hours together would entail. So did his coach.
“The kids kind of hung out together after the awards, and it was a difficult thing to get through,” Bass said. “It’s just been a very close-knit group. It was tough.”
The Reds must know by early July whether Krupa plans to pursue his professional baseball option or honor the commitment he previously made to attend Iowa Western Community College.
Either way, the hourglass pertaining to his days in Greenwood has been turned over. And like Alex Krupa, the sands are moving fast.
PART OF A SELECT GROUP PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-COUNTY TEAM
Alex Krupa, Greenwood, senior, outfield • Landon Fink, Greenwood, senior, infield/pitcher • Conner Beidelman, Greenwood, senior, outfield
Jeremy McKinney, Franklin, senior, pitcher • Max Hensley, Franklin, senior, infield • Jacob Baldridge, Franklin, junior, infield
Evan Giles, Franklin, sophomore, pitcher/outfield • Josh Piper, Center Grove, senior, pitcher • Will Todd, Center Grove, senior, infield
Patrick Norris, Center Grove, junior, outfield • Sammy Wilkerson, Edinburgh, senior pitcher • Trent Tatlock, Edinburgh, senior, infield
Brenden Smith, Indian Creek, junior, utility • Jared Adkins, Whiteland, junior, infield/pitcher
Center Grove: Jay Prior, Nathaniel Coy and Terrance Parks • Edinburgh: Trevor Armel
Franklin: Ross Barr and Anthony Mercer • Greenwood: Jon Bowen, Tylor Martin, Mitch Caster and Chad Honeycutt
Indian Creek: Chad Rairdon and Kyle Meiklejohn • Whiteland: Austin Fields and Austin Browning