JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) – Early November; Cullen Horowicz took the spotlight for the 2020 Power Showcase Home Run Derby in Texas, and walked out as Overall Champion.
Set in the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field, Cullen cracked his bat into the history books, with a 490-foot bomb off a wooden bat, and a 501-foot dinger with a metal bat.
Needless to say, there’s one aspect of baseball he enjoys above everyone else.
“Hitting.” said Cullen, in a one word answer.
He placed second in the 2019 edition of the Home Run Derby; but truth be told, Cullen’s appearance in the 2020 showcase was not guaranteed.
“We weren’t sure we were going to go to back this year.” said Chris Horowicz, Cullen’s father. “And through a lot of dialogue, both with Cullen, my wife Karissa, and the gentleman that directs the Power Showcase, Brian Domenico, we decided to actually – very close to the last minute – make that journey and go back.”
In a segment on MLB Network; Brian Domenico, CEO of the Power Showcase World Classic; said one of the top players to watch this past event was Cullen. And Cullen’s talents haven’t gone unnoticed; he recently committed to Army Baseball; back in June 2020.
“So when he came to us during the first part of COVID, we were a little stressed when he said he wanted to decommit from Campbell, and go ahead and – try to go to the Academy, specifically West Point.” said Chris Horowicz, “During that time, we just took a deep breath, had a couple conversations, and made sure that it was the right thing to do, for him.”
“I was proud of him either way, it’s quite an accomplishment to play Division I at either level, and I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly supportive the Campbell coaching staff was, when he called them. It was a very, very tough phone call to make, and they were incredible.” Chris Horowicz said.
Cullen’s love for baseball, and his great aspirations for himself within the game, started really young as well. But, even at a young age, that talent never went unrecognized.
“Probably started when I was nine, or 10 years old.” said Cullen Horowicz, “Before that, I was actually a football player that played baseball. And then also I started getting concussions, and then after that I kind of had to focus on baseball. But once I started working at it, that’s kind of when I generally started to fall in love with it. And ever since then, it’s been a true, love relationship between the two of us.”
“You can kind of tell when a guy has something, just the way they carry themselves.” said Mike Wineke, Cullen’s childhood coach for the Shutout Orioles, a travel team based out of Baltimore. “Obviously size, and strength, was kind of above everybody at that time. You know, he started swinging a bat, you could tell the ball, even at 12 years old, the ball came off the bat harder than other guys.”
And that talent, is backed up by a work ethic, and a mental fortitude; that you just can’t teach.
“I was just down in Ashville, North Carolina for work, and watched my wife send a picture of him, hitting in the cage. Outside. 20-something degrees. In the snow.” said Chris Horowicz.
“I mean it’s a great feeling, but you always have to go to the box, knowing that you, like what you have is going to beat what they have.” said Cullen, when asked about the feeling behind being a power hitter. “And that’s not a cocky thing, it’s just more of mentally being confident, and being mentally sronger – that like, everyday – even if you’re not playing your best, or even if you don’t have your best swing that day, you’re still better than the person across from you.”
Cullen’s goal is to make it to the Major League; and with the stuff he’s shown early, like he says, there is no limit to what he can do, and where he can go.