Dakota Bennett. | Caleb Suggs

Brewer community gives Bennett a hero sendoff

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Dakota Bennett has yet to throw a single pitch as a part of the Miami Marlins organization, but to the Brewer faithful that doesn’t much matter. Plenty of Brewer Patriots fans came out to Bobby Maxwell field for what would be Bennett’s last appearance in the small community before heading off to Florida.

Bennett was recently drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He signed a rookie contract that will pay him $350,000, which is way above the pay grade of a normal 11th round draft pick. Bennett is excited for the opportunity. “I can’t explain it. I have never been this excited, I feel like I’m on top of the world.” Bennett said. “That’s (going pro) the dream. I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time.”

Bennett was a nightmare for opposing teams this year on the mound. The left-hander posted a record of 6-1 with a .054 ERA and 144 strikeouts, which led the country at the end of the regular season, in 64 1/3 innings. He finished the season as a first team All-State pitcher. Bennett’s biggest moment of the season came in the last game he pitched in, which was against the Cullman Bearcats who were loaded with Division 1 talent this year. Bennett struck out 18 in the game and held the Bearcats scoreless before having to exit the game after reaching the max number of pitches allowed by the AHSAA.

Bennett was committed to the University of Alabama as a junior but decommitted and signed with Arkansas last November. For a while, Bennett thought he would be going to college. “About a month before the draft I was really leaning towards going to college.” Bennett said. “The closer it got it started getting more serious and I decided I wanted to go pro. I didn’t get drafted in the top 10 rounds but they (Miami Marlins) were treating me like I was.”

Bennett is ready for his journey into the MLB, but hasn’t forgotten what Brewer has done for him. “Looking back now I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. I played here for six years.” Bennett said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better six years.” Bennett made his last appearance at Brewer by signing autographs at Bobby Maxwell field and if all goes according to plan, those autographs could be worth a lot someday.

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