Walk and roll

Baseball just earned walk-up songs, and we have some suggestions


Nick Cernohous

Kasen Wells rears back to swing against Harlan. It’ll be a lot easier for Wells to zone in if he takes our walk-up song advice.

Jackson Posey, Sports Director

On Friday, baseball beat Clemens 9-2, extending the team’s win streak to 12 games and earning the team a special reward from coach Chad Koehl.

Sweeping New Braunfels in late March earned the Rangers the right to have their names announced on the stadium speakers when they walk to the plate – a simple pleasure with little room for innovation. But sweeping Clemens gives the team an on-field outlet to truly express their personal brands and creativity: walk-up songs.

Some major-league stars – such as former Yankee Mariano Rivera, who single-handedly shoved “Enter Sandman” into the vernacular of every 2000s baseball fan – use their 20-second snippets to build an air of mystique and anticipation around their appearance.

Others simply play songs they enjoy, unconcerned with opportunity cost and simply focused on the game. But we here at the Valley Ventana are self-proclaimed music geniuses, so we know better. In fact, we’ve dedicated our top talent towards this topic, spending entire minutes considering how best to assign songs to the Rangers’ starting lineup.

1. CF Kasen Wells: Smashmouth – “All Star”

In his last full season, Wells earned freshman All-American honors. He’s the perfect example of an All-Star, a player who transcends “good” to reach the seldom-traversed threshold of “great.” As such, it’s only fitting that he plays a song from the greatest movie of all time, “Shrek.”

2. 1B David DeHoyos: Logan Ihn & Dennis McCarthy – “Ancient Aliens Theme”

Ask any of DeHoyos’ sophomore classmates, and they’ll tell you that he’s a mountain of a man. But despite his massive stature and easy home-run power, the dual-sport DeHoyos is agile enough to earn honorable mention All-District honors as a safety on the football field. On the baseball field, he’s earned the right to flex his martian-like athleticism before bombing another four-bagger.

3. DH Tim Arguello: Chinggis khaanii Magtaal – “Batzorig Vaanchig” (Mongolian throat singing)

Arguello transferred to Smithson Valley from San Antonio Christian, so his game is a bit “foreign” to Ranger fans. Like Angels’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani, he pitches and hits at elite levels. That aptitude for baseball is reminiscent of the Mongols’ aptitude for geographical conquest in the 13th and 14th centuries, when they built the largest contiguous land empire in recorded history.

4. LF Garrett Brooks: Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

It would certainly be disconcerting for pitchers to see Brooks – a former defensive lineman – backdropped by the former Disney Channel star. But wrecking balls’ monopoly on wrecking things expired the moment Brooks returned from a leg injury sustained during football season. The UTSA commit absolutely wrecks baseballs:

5. C Ethan Gonzalez – Leviathan – “Chug Jug With You”

The hit Fortnite parody was a shoo-in for this spot, as its path to stardom closesly matches Gonzalez’s. Both were around for a while before getting their time in the limelight: Chug Jug With You was released years ago, before finally ascending to “cult classic” status this year, and Gonzalez sat behind Chandler Cole last year to develop his bat and acclimate to the varsity game. Now, both are breaking out simultaneously, and both should continue to stick around for years to come.

6. 3B John Garza: George Michael – “Careless Whisper”

Garza’s already formidable at the plate, but he’d be even tougher to defend if pitchers were too busy vibing to that sweet, sweet saxophone solo to throw strikes.

7. RF Christian Keller – Pinkfong – “Baby Shark”

Some analysts credit the Nationals’ 2019 World Series win with their impeccable locker room chemistry, led by corner outfielder Gerardo Parra’s “Baby Shark” walk-up song.

Nope, we can’t do it. Not even ironically. Championships are great, but Baby Shark might just be worse. We’ll just mark Keller down for “20 seconds of total silence” instead; that would almost certainly be better for everyone’s mental health.

8. SS Ryan Ruff: Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

Ruff is a senior, and a consummate veteran. He’s never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around nor – get this – desert you. Not to mention, he does bear a striking resemblance to the 1980s pop star:

9. 2B Cameron Hodges: Victoria Justice – “Make It Shine (Victorious Theme)”

By the time Hodges comes to the plate, the game should be getting out of hand. The Rangers have outscored their past 12 opponents by a scarcely-believable 114 runs, and if they even thought about slowing down, these impeccable walk-up songs, would jerk them back to reality.

Honorable Mention: DR Drew Fagala: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

Designated runners don’t always get walk-up (walk-on?) songs, but Fagala steals bases like – well, like a smooth criminal; he’s 4 for 4 on stolen base attempts so far, picking up a few hustle bases along the way. So it only makes sense to give him some old-school jams while he jogs across the infield.

And there you have it. The greatest walk-up mixtape in high school baseball history. The verdict is in, and it says to play Mongolian throat music before Tim Arguello’s plate appearances. And not to sound pretentious, but if the team follows these suggestions to the letter, a state title run is not only possible but inevitable.