Q&A with Texas A&M Commit: Tommy Gillman


By Jeff Markle
Assistant State Director

PBR Colorado is continuing it's look at committed players, today we turn our attention to the class of 2016 and PBR Colorado No. 12 ranked 2016 player Tommy Gillman, a 5-foot-10, 170 pound, switch hitting SS from Columbine high School and Texas A&M commit. Gillman will make the move this year from behind the plate to shortstop, a position he played all summer and fall and will hold down for the next two years for the Rebels.  After a Sophomore year that saw him hit, .364 with 13 extra base hits and 28 RBI, he is looking forward to defending the Jeffco League Title and making a run deep into May.  Prep Baseball Report Colorado is excited to see Gillman's skills on display at the Preseaon All State Showcase, February 22nd at Slammers South. 

PBR: Why did you choose Texas A&M?

Gillman:  My dream ever since I was little kid was to play in the SEC. Choosing Texas A&M made that dream become a reality. The SEC is the best conference for baseball, and to know that I will be playing in it, shows me that I really am about to make my dream a reality. Another factor that helped me make my decision was how outstanding the coaches there are. I've talked to all of them multiple times and can really connect with them and I feel really welcomed by them. Coach Childress (Head Coach) has kept a relationship with me ever since I went to their camp last January, he was actually the very first coach to call me on September 1st, which meant a ton to me. We talk a lot, and not just about baseball. I've gotten to know about his family and a lot about him and he's gotten to know the same about me. My decision to choose Texas A&M is something I'm very confident in and extremely pumped about.

PBR: Where did Texas A&M first see you compete?

Gillman:  Texas A&M first saw me play at there winter camp last January. Ever since then they kept in contact and traveled to see me play this last fall and summer.

PBR: What role do the coaches expect you to play during your first year on campus?

Gillman:  The role I will play is completely dependent upon me. I will get exactly what I earn. I will get there and I will compete for my position. If by the end of the fall I've shown to be the best shortstop, I will play short, if I've shown to be the best second basemen, then I will play second. The fact that there is so much competition like this makes it ten times better. I absolutely love to compete and love to work for what I want. Achieving something and receiving a reward because of the hard work put into it means more to me than anything els. The fact that I can get whatever I work for pushes me more and more to work everyday. Coach Childress loves the fact that I have the ability to switch hit and he stresses to me that I need to continue to keep improving each side every day. Being able to switch hit is very valuable and can help me earn my way to a spot in the lineup.

PBR: What is your biggest strength as a player and how do you feel that will help Texas A&M?

Gillman:  I love to play hard, that's just how I like to play and it makes the game way more fun to me. When I went to their camp in January,  Coach Childress told everyone who was there that what he wanted to see, was guys play like their hair was on fire, he wanted to see guys who would give every ounce and completely empty their tank by the end of the camp, as soon as he said that, I knew that he was the type of coach I wanted to play for, because that's exactly how I like to play. By the end of the camp, Coach  Childress had told me that I did exactly what he asked for and he loved it. I like to play like I have a chip on my shoulder and I love to play the game hard with tons of energy. That type of thing is contagious, and I know that if I can bring that to the team that will help not just me, but everyone around me. I know my dad played like that, and my brother did too. I watched my brother play hard everyday in high school and in college and I loved it. I knew I was next.

PBR:  What advice would you give about the recruiting process?

Gillman:  The biggest thing for me was definitely camps. But I made sure to choose camps that were more than one day, that's way schools could really get a feel for how I like to play the game. I chose the camps of schools I wanted to play at, and every camp I went to got me involved with that schools recruiting process. If I would have never gone to A&M's camp, they would have never known who I was, and they would have never took there time to come watch me play over the summer and fall. Another huge part is just getting your name out. Send emails to any schools you might be interested in. If they don't know who you are, That's a great way to gain recognition from them.

PBR:  What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?

Gillman:  My most memorable baseball moment up to date was going to Oklahoma with the Colorado Junior Team. Representing the state of Colorado was really cool for me. We all stayed with host families, who would literally do anything for us kids. They took us and watched every one of our games, and they also took us to do something every day and every night when we didn't have a game. One of the things we did was Noodling (Fishing for catfish with your bare hands) that was an awesome experience and a little freaky at the same time. I will always remember that trip and the guys I played with and the families I stayed with. It was incredible.

PBR:  What would you say are your best assets both on and off the field that will help your team this year?

Gillman:  My best assets this year on the field is the ability to switch hit, play defense, and run. All of those will be very helpful, and our team this year will have a lot of speed on it as well. My biggest assets off the field is my grades and the connections and friendships I have with my teammates. I love my teammates and feel very close to them. A team with great chemistry is what it takes to win and we have a lot of that. I am excited for this coming up spring

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?

Gillman:  The man with the biggest impact on me as a baseball player is definitely my dad. That old man has taught me everything I know about baseball. Whenever I ask him to come throw to me, or to come hit grounders to me, he is always there to do that for me. I have a great knowledge for the game and I get that from him. The best part about playing for him is that I love to play the game hard and aggressive, and he loves to see that. It's easy to play for a guy who you can relate to, and it's definitely easy to play for a guy that has the same thoughts as you while you're playing. My dad has made me the hard nosed player I am today.

PBR: Who do you play for in the summer and what was your most exciting experience?

Gillman:  I play for Slammers Black with Mark Holzemer in the summer. I love that team. I love the guys on it and all of our coaches. It's great playing for a team with so much talent. And with a coach like Holzemer who works so hard to get all of us recognized. Whenever we go to tourneys, because we have so much pitching and so much talent there are always college coaches at our games which gives all of our players an opportunity to be seen, and is just exciting in general. My most memorable moment with this team is last summer in Georgia, we played in a perfect game tournament with over 190 teams. We ended up making it all the way to the semis and placed 4th in the tournament. That experience was great and playing other teams with so much talent and ending up beating them was an awesome experience.

PBR: Who is the toughest pitcher/hitter you have faced in Colorado?

Gillman:  The toughest pitcher I have faced in Colorado, is my own teammate Jake Eissler. The dudes a haus. I've only faced him once, but watching him deal during the summer and fall makes that decision easy. Whenever he is pitching for our team, he shuts down the opponents. He is fun to watch and has great stuff, and a great presence on the mound, nothing gets to him. That's what makes him so good. I can't wait to see where he ends up going.

PBR: What are your goals both individually and for the team going into your senior season?

Gillman:  My individual goals coming into this season is to polish out both my right handed swing and my left handed swing. Being able to switch hit us huge, and I want to be the best right handed hitter and the best left handed hitter I can be. I don't want to only be confident about one side, I want to be dominant on both sides of the plate. I also have a goal of becoming even faster. Being fast is fun, but I want to get my 60 time down to a 6.6 or 6.7. I love running the bases, and I love running down balls in the whole and up the middle when I'm playing short. If I can get even faster, it will help my game a lot. As a team, we have the goal of winning league and ultimately making it to state. We play in a really tough league and winning it would be special.  I also would say it's safe to say that we lost our best pitcher last year, Blake Weiman. And we are exited to see what pitchers step up this spring and who becomes our new "guy". There is a lot of guys fighting for spots this year and a lot of competition. I personally love that because now we have guys who know that they need to work to earn a spot and beat out the other person who is trying to get that same spot as well, that makes everyone better and makes everyone have a desire to earn a position even more. I can think of a few specific guys that I see that are consistently working everyday weather it's up at the field hitting, or in the gym working out. I love seeing that type of stuff and I think that will help us become a very strong team.

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