Recruiting Q&A: 2018 Aaron Mann

By: Zac Bottoms
Arkansas Scouting Director

I had the opportunity to talk about recruiting and his entire process, with 2018 CIF Aaron Mann. He committed to Drury University  

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process?

Aaron Mann: I expected the recruiting to start really late, like during my senior season but when I started playing on the Prospects I realized that it begins very early and there is a process to it that is more complex than it looks from the outside.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Aaron Mann: It definitely was a factor. I narrowed down my search to a school that was either within 5 hours of driving, a nonstop flight, or a place where I had family.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Aaron Mann: Drury first saw me at the Premier World Series in Joplin. My high school coach, Rusty Passini called them before the tournament and sent them my information. Coach Hughes, the hitting coach and Coach Nasby, the head coach came to watch our games. Luckily I performed well and they called me and said they would like to have me on a visit and to offer me. I communicated with them for the next couple weeks until ultimately I made my decision to commit.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Aaron Mann: The best player I have faced in Arkansas is one of my good friends, Jordan Wicks from Conway. He’s a fierce competitor and an animal on the mound. He also can rake at the plate too.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were an elite player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Aaron Mann: After the end of my sophomore season, I realized that I wanted to play college baseball because I ended up receiving All-State and All-Conference honors for my season.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Aaron Mann: I was looking for a college that fit me as a student. I take my academics very seriously and I wanted a school where I could receive the best education with the scholarship I was getting for my athletics. I also was looking for a school where I felt wanted, valued, and to be at a place where I could have a viable shot at playing as a freshman, while still receiving the best education for my money.

PBR: What is your best attribute as a baseball player and how does that transfer onto the field for your team?

Aaron Mann: My best attribute as a baseball player is my work ethic. I try not to let anyone work harder than me on the field, in the cage, or in the weight room. I use it to motivate my teammates to follow my lead when we play.

PBR: What part of your game needs the biggest improvement, why, and what will you do to improve it?

Aaron Mann: I think that my consistency as a pitcher needs improvement, which will come with more practice in the bullpen. I could also improve my speed and agility which would help me in all parts of the game.  

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Aaron Mann: I would tell them to keep working to become the best version of themselves. Take care of your grades early, because it is a huge factor when coaches are recruiting you if you qualify for academic scholarships. Also, don’t get discouraged if you see kids in your class start to commit places very early. There is a place to play in college for anyone who works hard enough.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Aaron Mann:I continue to work in the weight room and stay healthy. I hit in the cage every day and have started to throw after a few months off to get my arm in shape. The most important part is to get on top of school work in the fall before we start missing a lot of school in the spring for games.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Aaron Mann: The thing that I like the most about Drury University is the family atmosphere of the team. The coaches and players seemed like they enjoyed spending time with each other and they did a lot of teambuilding things that were similar to what we do at Central. The key factor for me baseball-wise was my chance to both play third base and get a chance to pitch. Drury has a special program for two-way players that has had lots of success.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Aaron Mann: Dallas Baptist University, Arkansas State, UA Little Rock, Trinity University, and George Washington University.

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