Prep Baseball Report

From Hockey Recruit To Baseball Commit For Addonizio

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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From Hockey Recruit To Baseball Commit For Addonizio

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TJ Addonizio 3B / OF / Frederick Gunn School, CT / 2024

HENRICO, Va. - It was just two years back that TJ Addonizio had hockey on his mind when it came to college athletics. But the Frederick Gunn High School senior is now a baseball commit to Richmond.

“This is kind of surprising,” Addonizio admitted. “It was only two years ago I went to a boarding school to play hockey and was being recruited for hockey. But after a year I switched over to baseball. I was always good at baseball and realized I was better at it than hockey and decided to dedicate my life to that. I’ve been making a lot of progress. I think my ceiling is higher than many think.”

Richmond hopes that is the case after offering the 18-year-old a roster spot following a camp in late August.

“It was two days, metrics and fielding day one and then a scrimmage,” Addonizio reflected. “My first at-bat I got hit in the hand. The next at-bat I was talking to the coaches about a player that they said was hit by a pitch and then he hit a home run and I went up and hit one. That showed them character and a bit of heart.”

A triple and double later in the scrimmage showed them more about the left-handed hitting senior.

“That showcase was the telling point for me,” Addonizio said. “The next day I got a text from coach (Mik) Aoki, the new head coach, and went into his office with my dad for a meeting and he offered.”

There was a lot to consider according to Addonizio.

“I was stuck between academic D-III schools, Richmond and a couple of other D-I schools,” Addonizio explained. “But with the combination of academics and athletics at Richmond, I knew it was right. I applied and Dec. 15 it became official. Richmond was the place for me.”

So what stood out about Richmond?

“The campus itself,” Addonizio noted. “The business program and the baseball program. I had a lot of conversations with the assistant coach, Nate Mulberg, and the head coach. I really got along with them, we had a connection. The guys on the team are great, too.”

Addonizio, who recently moved with his family to Virginia but is still a student at Frederick Gunn boarding school in Connecticut, made an impression on Richmond.

“They really like my hitting,” the 5-11 185-pounder said. “That’s the best feature about me, along with my character.”

An improved game was key in becoming a Division I commit to the Atlantic 10 Conference university.

“My 60 time was 7.6 and I’ve got it down to 7.0,” Addonizio noted about how his metrics have improved since dedicating himself to baseball. “My exit was 80 and now it’s mid-90s. It was 93 at the Richmond camp. My arm velocity is also going up. All my metrics have gone up.

“PBR events inspired me to how important that was and coach (Jeff) Trundy at Gunn helped me with that.”

The initial PBR showcase was a learning experience for Addonizio, who was recruited as an infielder/utility player.

“I was more into hockey at the time and not prepared,” Addonizio said. “I didn’t perform well but it inspired me. I’ve been to three more and it’s night and day. I’ve improved so much. Having that video and that page for coaches to clip on helps so much. Coaches are asking for it. I also went to a PBR event in Georgia and talked to coaches there. Those events are great.”

Addonizio, a 3.9 student looking at a major in business, is confident he can be a major asset to the program at Richmond.

“I’ve been captain of my prep school team for two years, so I’ll bring somebody that can lead the team with good positive energy,” Addonizio explained. “Helping out morale wise, I think those leadership skills will come in handy. I also think with my bat I can do a lot of damage at this level.”

A commitment is “really exciting” according to Addonizio.

“I’m looking forward to playing for a team like that, with guys on the team becoming a part of your family,” Addonizio concluded. “It’s like a second family on campus. I’m looking forward to that along with building that bond.”

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