Kyle Jamison is a smooth operator at shortstop for the Pueblo Spradley Collegians baseball team; so much so that his head coach calls him "a freak."
Jamison is a former Pueblo West High School player who helped the Cyclones to the Class 4A state championship in 2017.
He went on to play at Garden City (Kan.) Community College and is entering his junior season at the University of Mary in North Dakota, but is keeping active playing summer ball for the Collegians in Pueblo.
"One of the most gifted athletes I've ever coached, ever seen step on the field," said Collegians head coach Tony Pechek, who was part of that Pueblo West championship run as an assistant coach.
"What he lacks in size he makes up in his ability. He does so many little things well. He's a 5-foot-9 person in a 6-2 body."
Jamison has always been known as a "gamer." He's a player with an old-school attitude and work ethic who oozes talent.
He played shortstop in high school and junior college, the position he now plays for Spradley, and has played outfield for the University of Mary.
Jamison explained why he chose the junior college path for his baseball career, saying his goal was to go out and "compete against good competition."
"My dad played at a juco. He always told me that's the best route because you get that experience and learn a lot more about the game, and the speed of it," Jamison said.
"It always helped me mentally. Going to juco helped me get through the trials and tribulations."
Pechek said he's seen Jamison mature over the years.
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"He made a great choice to get out of Pueblo and go play," Pechek said. "He became his own man and seeing him this year, he's matured.
"He plays shortstop like he's 6-foot-4, his ability at the plate with some pop, (he) can bunt well and is a well-rounded hitter. He has an intuition to play at the next level.
"(Pueblo West Head Coach Dan Sanchez) honed his skills and Kyle used his natural ability to become the player he has become. He can flat-out play defense. One of the top five infielders I've ever coached or played with and that includes pro ball."
Jamison said he had a great experience at Garden City.
"I played shortstop the whole time I was either leadoff or No. 9 hole," he said. "I had a great time and played pretty well. In the first year, COVID cut it short. I ended up getting D-2 looks and got the opportunity to continue to play."
At the University of Mary, he's adapted to playing the outfield.
"I've played center field, left field, shortstop, and second base," he said. "I've got a lot more comfortable in the outfield with my tool set.
"I'm going to play shortstop all summer. I feel better playing there. I've played there my whole life."
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Jamison credits genetics for some of his skills as a shortstop and mentioned the impact of some of his former coaches.
"Dan Sanchez taught me a lot about infield play when I was in high school, just doing the little things," he said. "I've been able to master those things at juco."
Being smaller in stature than many players is something Jamison has turned to his advantage.
"People doubt me all the time and I like proving them wrong. I think it lights a fire in me," he said. "I have a chip on my shoulder, for sure. People look at me and don't expect much from me."
Jamison wants to continue to hone his skills and enjoy the summer in Pueblo with old friends and players.
"I left Pueblo and am up in North Dakota, but I still hold Pueblo dear in my heart," said Jamison, who is majoring in business management. "I love playing with my friends from high school ... It's just fun competing. I just like the atmosphere here.".
Pechek described Jamison's playing style as "old school."
"He talks smack when it's warranted and just plays the game the right way," Pechek said. "He makes me like coaching."
Chieftain senior sports reporter Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jeffletofsky
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Kyle Jamison has returned home to hone skills for Spradley Collegians