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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Daren Epley, Proper Mechanics - 5

Originally published April 20, 2014
Daren Epley learned his fundamentals from his coach at Bradley University, Dewey Kalmer, Epley told a group honoring Kalmer years later, according to The Peoria Journal-Star.

Epley learned the proper mechanics of hitting and fielding from Kalmer. He also learned the mechanics of the swing.

"The bottom line," Epley told those gathered, according to The Journal-Star, "is that if it weren't for Dewey, I never would have played in program this good or been drafted."

Epley came out of Bradley as a high draft pick, taken by the Indians in the fourth round of the draft. Those mechanics ended up getting him six seasons as a pro. They got him to AAA, but they never got him to the majors.

Epley went to Bradley out of the Spalding Institute in Peoria. At Bradley, Epley had 78 hits in 1987, still tied for fifth all-time at the school. He also knocked in 51 runs and had 24 doubles in 1987, and scored 54 runs in 1988, all still in the school's top 10.

With the Indians, Epley played his first two seasons at single-A Kinston. He hit .290 in 47 games in 1988 and .240 in a full season in 1989.

He moved to AA Canton-Akron in 1990. The first baseman hit .261. He returned to AA in 1991, where he hit .253 with a career high 19 home runs.

Epley played a third season back at AA in 1992. He went 2 for 3 in a June game, scoring twice. He also got 29 games at AAA Colorado Springs. There, he hit .264, knocking in 14.

By September 1992, Epley was back at Canton-Akron, helping the team in the playoffs. In one playoff game, Epley went 1 for 2, knocking in one and scoring two.

Epley played just one more season, 20 games with the Rangers at AA Tulsa, ending his career.

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