There may be nothing Jordan Fonseca likes better in baseball than making a nice fielding play. The Greenport High School shortstop/pitcher has made his share of exceptional plays, too.
One that stands out in coach Mike Sage’s memory occurred earlier this season. This is how he described the play: Fonseca, playing shortstop, moved to his left to get the ball, went down and was flat on his back before somehow making the throw to first base. “The ball was a strike,” said Sage.
The runner beat the throw by about two steps, but jaws dropped all the same.
Say this about Fonseca, he has a wealth of athletic talent.
“He’s got as much ability as anybody,” Sage said. “His ability is just off the charts.”
A three-sport standout who also excels in football and basketball, Fonseca has been a starter for the baseball Porters since he was a freshman. With his junior season coming to a close, he seems intent on finishing strong. Of the three hits Greenport mustered in an 8-5 loss to visiting Pierson/Bridgehampton on Monday, Fonseca had two of them, including an RBI double. That was the first of his two RBIs on the day.
“He’s always there when we need him, always bringing in players, always making the plays we need,” said rightfielder Remi Droskoski.
As one of the pitchers on the starting staff, Fonseca normally throws fastballs and curveballs, but he also has a knuckleball in his repertoire. “I usually only throw that one when we’re up by a lot,” he said. “It’s hard to throw.”
The biggest difference in Fonseca, as compared to the 2016 version, may be more mental than physical. He said he has learned not to get as angry with himself as he used to be after making a bad play.
“This year he’s been better about shaking stuff off and kind of being a better example in that respect,” Sage said. “He is very hard on himself, but that’s his attitude. He’s got a winning attitude. He wants to do well and he wants to carry the team.”
Physically, the 5-foot-7 Fonseca is packed with athleticism.
“The kid can take two steps and almost dunk” a basketball, Sage said. “I’ve never seen a kid his size jump like him. He can jump out of the gym.”
Described as being “very soft-spoken,” Fonseca can also bring “a little bit of fire to him when the situation calls for it,” Sage said. The coach added: “He’s a pretty confident kid. He doesn’t get rattled very easily. He’s the guy that wants to be up in the big spot and he wants to be pitching in the big spot. He’s never one to shy away from the big stage.”
In the sixth inning of Monday’s game, Pierson had a runner on first when Fonseca hit the ground from his shortstop position to glove a grounder by Sam Warna. While on the ground, Fonseca got enough on the his throw to second base for the forceout. It was another fine play by Fonseca, the sort the Porters expect from him.
Said Sage, “I’m glad I’m going to have him back next year.”
Photo caption: Jordan Fonseca’s athleticism has helped him excel as a shortstop and pitcher for Greenport. (Credit: Bob Liepa)