Amongst a team featuring tattooed heavy hitters, enthusiastic ace pitchers and a former Savannah Bananas infielder, one OSU baseball player stands out.
No, not because of a trademark look or flamboyant disposition on the field. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
Call him a quiet difference maker.
Stationed in center field, Caeden Trenkle is a cornerstone of the OSU lineup, having played in 46 of the Cowboys’ 48 games. He doesn’t attract attention with flashiness or colorful antics. A beard is his only distinguishable feature. But don’t be fooled.
“Caeden’s the man,” said first baseman Griffin Doersching. “He doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does, he’s hilarious. He’s definitely a key part of this team, and I’m glad he’s with us.”
Trenkle, a junior from Hillsboro, Texas, likes to keep a low profile and focus on taking care of business first. Even as a child, Trenkle said he was quiet and kept to himself, something that’s just part of his personality.
He was raised to be humble and work just as hard in private as in public. He’s never been one to seek attention, but instead he’s committed to being a player that’s concentrated on the team.
“My parents raised me the right way, I like to think,” Trenkle said. “So I’m just kind of always hard working, but just doing it subtly to where I’m not real flashy with everything.”
But his performance is flashy. Trenkle has been nearly flawless in the outfield this season, recording 87 putouts in 88 chances, with only one error.
And though not a traditional slugger, his offense is consistently effective. With a .267 batting average and 31 RBIs (fifth-most on the team), Trenkle offers timely contributions at the plate, such as a two-home-run, seven-RBI performance in a comeback win over Arizona State in March.
OSU coach Josh Holliday has seen new confidence in his center fielder this season, and Trenkle’s work ethic and demeanor makes the success sweeter.
“Caeden is just such a great kid,” Holliday said. “He’s so quiet and so low maintenance that sometimes you have to force yourself to go over to him and keep moving him along because he’s just a hard worker. He’s a great kid, he’s always here and he’s always doing the right things.”
Recently, Trenkle’s game has jumped levels even further, a testament to his labor. Over the last 10 games, he’s batting at a mark of .355 with seven runs and nine RBIs. Even more impressive, this proliferation of success has come against marquee opponents such as TCU and Texas.
In the series against Southeast Missouri State last week, Trenkle recorded a double, triple and home run, showing his all-encompassing ability. But peaking in crunch time might be part of his calling card.
“Hopefully his best baseball is in front of him,” Holliday said. “You look back to last year, he played his best that last month of the season. I’m kind of banking on him being a May-June guy.”
Indeed, a year ago, Trenkle put up similar late-season numbers. With a .268 season average in 2021, he hit .333 over the final eight regular-season games, including 12 runs and 6 RBIs. These end-of-year awakenings are a trend that the Cowboys hope to continue into the postseason.
And if it does, don’t expect to see too many outward celebrations from Trenkle. Outbursts of screams aren’t really his thing. He doesn’t care much about any talk. His performance says it all.
“I like to do my talking with my play, not with my mouth,” Trenkle said. “That’s just kind of the mentality I take into it.”