Every Little League World Series there's always one kid who makes everyone say, "Wait, he's 12???" Sometimes it doesn't even have to be a boy, as stars like Mo'ne Davis, Maddy Freking and Ella Bruning have proved to us. Still, you get the point.
This year's LLWS features an expanded field -- there are now 20 teams, 10 international and 10 from the U.S. -- which means there are more games and more players who will be in the spotlight on ESPN. Having watched some 1,000 hours of regional play leading up to the Williamsport Baseballpalooza, I can tell you there's one kid you need on your radar.
His name is Kaden Hall, and he's an absolute flamethrower for Hagerstown, Indiana, the team representing the Great Lakes Region.
Indiana's Kaden Hall Throws Serious Heat
The first time I watched this kid pitch, I knew he was something special. For starters, he's about as tall as his coaches, so he's physically imposing on the mound. Then there's that lively fastball that he runs up to 75 mph. That equates to an upper-90s fastball in MLB, considering the Little League mounds are much shorter at 46 feet.
He struck out 12 against a very good Kentucky team in a regional game, though I should note the umpire's zone was about as wide as an NFL end zone. Still, Hall's ability to paint that strike zone was nothing short of Picasso-like.
And it's not just on the bump where this kid excels. In Indiana's regional championship game, he hit a two-run laser home run to help propel Indiana to the Little League World Series. It's the first highlight in the video below:
Surprisingly, there hasn't been much chatter about Kaden Hall just yet. Something tells me that's about to change as he plays in front of millions of viewers.
As Indiana opens up their LLWS play on Thursday against the Midwest, be ready for some serious heat from Hall.