Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with Iowa Commit Zion Pettigrew

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2017 SS Zion Pettigrew of Mount Carmel recently committed to Iowa. He is the 12th member of Team Illinois to commit out of the 2015 PBR Future Games. Here is a report on Pettigrew from the event.

Zion PettigrewFuture Games 2015 - 6-foot, 165-pound, toolsy, athletic right-handed hitting shortstop seems to do everything well on the baseball field. He ran a 6.91 60, clocked at 88 mph from across the infield, defends, and looks to be a force at the plate. Defensively, has plenty of arm strength, range and hands to stay on the left-side of the infield at the next level. Flashed a quick arm from an over-the-top arm slot. Plus carry on his throws especially from deep in the hole. Plays tall with body control and a plus transfer. Offensively, the right-handed hitter had an exit velocity of 91 mph. Loose, really athletic hands, and lots of whip in swing. Pull-side hitter, attacks the baseball. Hands work above the ball as he enters the hitting zone. Utilizes the lower half; routinely up off his back toe and contact. Pettigrew has an extremely high ceiling and should be a high follow in the 2017 class.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Pettigrew: I expected the process to go fairly slow. I thought that I would have to take a lot of time deciding which school I would want to continue my baseball career at. But once I knew, it was an easy decision to make.

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

Pettigrew: When I was considering schools I wanted to make sure I had a good fit academically. I wanted to make sure that I liked the coaches and that I would be able to develop there. I also wanted to make sure that I was in a challenging environment where I could also win.

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

Pettigrew: The location did not matter when I was considering schools. But Iowa only being three hours away was an added bonus.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Pettigrew: I had been in contact with a couple schools after an event with the Wisconsin hitters. Things really started to heat up after the PBR Futures Games. It was a great event and I got a lot of exposure there.

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

Pettigrew: Iowa first saw me a couple years ago at a showcase ran by the Wisconsin Hitters. After the PBR Futures Games we started talking once a week and developed a good relationship.

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

Pettigrew: I really liked the coaching staff. The key factors in my decision were the coaching staff, the education, and being at a program where I could develop as a player. 

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

Pettigrew: Iowa, Michigan, Missouri State, University of Texas RGV, and West Virginia.

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

Pettigrew: The best player I have faced in my state would probably be Jeremy Houston. I was able to play against him over the summer and I am able to have him as a teammate during the high school season. He’s a great defender, he can run, and he can hit. I always try to up my intensity when were on the field together.

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

Pettigrew: From early age I had always dreamed about playing baseball at the next level. Things really started to get serious when I entered high school. I saw guys committing to schools and I knew I wanted that to be me someday. 

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

Pettigrew: I would suggest that they find a balance between school and baseball. To achieve theirs goals they have to work hard in the classroom and on the field. 

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Pettigrew: The most memorable experience I had was winning the Kernels tournament in Iowa. I was on a great hitters team and got to play with a lot of high caliber athletes.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Pettigrew: I feel Mt. Carmel will come back with a loaded team for two years in a row. We’ve got a lot of talent. I expect this year that we can get another trip back to state. 

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Pettigrew: I play with the Rawlings hitters during the summer. The most memorable experience I had, again, was winning the Kernels tournament in Iowa. It was a great team and a lot of fun to be on. 

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