Carmichael, Brooks featured in feel-good stories among FSS college alums

April 24, 2023

Cameron “C.J.” Carmichael and Michael Brooks were both alums of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series who were featured in feel-good stories this past week, albeit for different reasons.

Carmichael, who reached base twice in the 2021 Main Event held at Citi Field, has since gone to Penn State to play his collegiate baseball, and was honored by the team for being deemed fully cancer-free. He’s yet to play, as he was undergoing treatment

“It’s pretty cool, I’ll remember that for a while,” Nittany Lions head coach Rob Cooper told The Daily Collegian. “He’s an unbelievable kid and to have something happen to him that nobody wants to have happen, and to hear those words that he’s cancer free, that’s a great thing.”

As for Brooks, who very memorably sent the National Team home with a win after his walk-off at International Week in 2019, the Kansas standout has elected to donate $20 for every hit this season to the Lawrence Schools Foundation.

The UCF transfer’s mother, Kristin, is a teacher, and Brooks told KU Sports about her influence on his decision to go this route in giving back.

“I know it can be a struggle, and money is a problem,” he said. “So, I just felt like I should do something for the school district, and if not back home it could be here. My mom’s always been a school teacher, ever since I can remember, and she always talked about different kids every day she came home, and I just wanted to give back to kids like those.”

Edwin Toribio, Central Florida

The Central Florida slugger broke his school record, set just last year, with his 20th home run of the season on Friday, smashing a grand slam at Seminole State College. Toribio delivered two knocks at the 2021 Main Event, including an RBI single, and could potentially provide a team looking for some value in the upcoming draft with a corner profile that features significant power.

Derek Bender, Coastal Carolina

Bender, a sophomore at Coastal Carolina, continues to produce a breakout season. The former Dirtbags star hit three homers this past week, including his third multi-home run game of the year on Friday in a win against Southern Miss. He’s now got 14 bombs on the year, but is also hitting .347 with just 19 strikeouts in 147 plate at-bats.

Cason Tollett, Arkansas State

A redshirt sophomore at Arkansas State, Tollett has come a long way from his days as one of the standouts at International Week back in 2018 at Camelback Ranch. He delivered a stunning run of eight consecutive multi-hit games from April 7-22 before the streak was snapped on Sunday, where he still was able to produce an RBI and a walk.

Blake Simpson, Connors State

A memorable name from the most recent national tournaments with the HPP Tigers, the Toronto native has gone on to Connors State, where he’s hitting .393 with three homers and 40 RBI in his first 44 games. He’s also walked 19 times, compared to just 19 strikeouts this far in his freshman campaign.

Dylan Crews, LSU

What, you thought we could do one of these without Dylan Crews? Not quite, and certainly not given the way he’s remarkably continued to produce as we move deeper into SEC play. This past week was more of the same; the projected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming MLB Draft went 7-for-13 with two homers and seven RBI, with both blasts coming in his No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers win on Saturday over Ole Miss, part of a three-game series sweep.

Mike Ashmore
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