Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks has certainly adapted nicely to life on campus.
The freshman has started 29 of the team’s 30 games and is hitting .321 with two homeruns and 16 runs batted in. By the way, throw in a 16-game hitting streak, which ties a freshman school record.
Weeks is from Altamonte Springs, Fla., and attended Lake Brantley High School, where he was a star, just like someone else who attended the school with the same last name. But that was Rickie Weeks, his brother who will be playing for the Milwaukee Brewers for years to come.
Although Weeks could have felt overshadowed by his brother, he says that was not the situation.
“I never went through thinking that I was overshadowed,” Weeks said. “The fact my brother had accomplished something like that, I appreciated it and congratulated him for what he had done.”
Weeks is a switch hitter and has been in the No. 2 slot in the batting order. The fact Weeks has a lengthy hitting streak and the Hurricanes have won 17 of 18 games might be related.
“I think at one point I wasn’t hitting too well,” Weeks said. “And at the top of the order, you need to have guys who are going to get on and produce, and I feel that if I can accomplish that, we’re going to win.”
Everyone loves to talk about how Weeks was drafted in the eighth round by his older brother’s team, the Milwaukee Brewers. The younger Weeks wanted to experience college and aluminum bats, just like Rickie did, but not at Southern University.
Rickie has been out in training camp in Arizona with the Brewers, but he still finds time for his younger brother.
“I talk to him two to three times a week and he usually asks how I’m doing and everything,” Ricky Weeks said. “We don’t talk too much about the baseball side of things, but he will help me out of I need it.”
Jemile’s family was also a big part of the reason, besides the ping of an aluminum bat, Jemile decided to come to college instead of turning pro. Miami is close to home, which means that his parents are able to see him play. The Weeks family also likes to follow him on the road as well, making it to Durham a couple of weeks ago to watch Miami sweep Duke.
Jemile will set a freshman record if he gets a hit in Friday night’s game against the Clemson Tigers.
Does he think about where he might be if he didn’t come to Miami?
“I never really think about it,” Weeks said. “But I’m pretty sure I’d be in rookie ball going through a grueling season.”
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at email@example.com.