Q&A with Wichita State Commit SS Isaiah Cohens (Goddard, 2019)

Shon Plack
Kansas Scouting Director

Isaiah Cohens (Goddard, 2019) is a 5-foot-10 146-pound switch hitting shortstop in Kansas’ 2019 class and has recently committed to Wichita State. 

He runs a 4.58 home-to-first and has an exit velo of 69 mph.  At the plate, he has a balanced set up with some hand load and a short stride. Cohens has a gap to gap approach and a similar swing from both sides of plate.  He has a more pull approach from left side. 

On the infield, Cohens has athletic actions with a high three quarters release.  His hands and feet work together to create a clean exchange.  He has a loose arm action and makes mostly accurate throws, some with carry. He has a slender frame that will allow for added strength as he develops. 

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

Cohens: My expectations were that it would be a hard journey but mostly very complicated, and in fact it was the opposite of my expectations. It was pretty easy because of the opportunities and guidance that my coaches have given me, and for the last year I have practically taken no days off. With hard work and the right people around me I just kept my head down. Everything fell into place just right and a little after I turned 15 I had a Division 1 baseball offer.

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

Cohens: Yes, this was actually the final determining factor in where I wanted to play. For having my coaches Billy Hall and Bryan James with me to get me this far in my career I am so thankful. They are not only my coaches, but they act as both my mentors and friends whenever I need it. I don’t see why I should not be able to stay around them after my highschool career. I also have family, friends, supporters, and resources here that have helped me get this far as well, and for them to see me play in person as I grow up would be amazing.

PBR: Where did Wichita State first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Cohens: I’m not very sure on this one, but I think it was somewhere around my 8th grade or Freshman summer. I was playing in a showcase up at Wichita State under the lights. Everybody there was super friendly and gave me tips and other things to help me perform better. In between BP rounds I was talking to Coach Walker behind the turtle and we were joking around with each other having a nice and fun conversation. I will never forget this because it was my first interaction with a college coach and it felt completely normal.

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

Cohens: One that I can name off the top of my head would have to be Braden Minor. He was a  RHP pitcher who played in the same organization as me and was a 2016 grad committed to OU. He was about 88-90 from the mound and being able to face him at 14 years old helped me see what it would be like to face higher level pitching later on in high school.

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

Cohens: I always tell all of my teammates I used to play with or kids that congratulate me that if they work hard and keep good grades they could be in the same position that I am in now.

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

Cohens: I’ve played fall ball with the 18u to keep me in baseball shape so that I’m still seeing live pitching in the offseason and getting reps in the field. I do weight training as well as speed and strength training up at my academy to keep myself in good running condition.

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

Cohens: My most memorable experience happens to be the worst moment in my career and not the best. We were playing at TCU and I was just antsy because that was the first big school I’ve really played at while being young. That game I went 0-for at the plate while committing about 4 or 5 errors in the field and they were back-to-back so I didn’t have time to clear my head. I just couldn’t think straight or even walk straight for that matter. After the fact, I am happy that it happened because it was a HUGE learning experience for me and now when I go out on the field I just have fun and I want the ball hit to me. I learned that you cannot be afraid to fail because eventually it is going to happen.

PBR: What do you like most about Wichita State and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Cohens: Well the first time I talked to Coach Butler on the phone me and him clicked right away and it felt like I had already known him for a very long time. Soon after we met in person, and he is a very positive guy who made me feel like I was at home and I knew that I wouldn’t get that feeling in very many other places.
PBR: : What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?
Cohens: I was mainly interested  in Arkansas and TCU besides Wichita St.
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?

Cohens: This past summer we played in a VTool tournament hosted at University of Arkansas. This was defensively the best four days I have ever played. I was pretty livid that I did not get to actually play at the game at the University but I later was told that putting me in that game was not worth it. In the next four games I went out on the field with an “I dare you to hit me the ball” mentality and I guess a light switch just flipped inside of me. I started to make plays that nobody would have even thought about making and I was confident to the point where my teammates wanted the baseball hit to me everytime.
PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Cohens: My team this year will consist of a few seniors, a lot of juniors, a couple sophomores, and what I think will be one freshman on varsity. I feel that this year my team will make a huge turn around compared to our season from last year. I expect us to compete in every game we play this year because I know we have the talent to do so. My goal is to take the season one game at a time and just have fun, which is one thing we didn’t do a whole lot last year.
Cohens: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

I play for the Wichita Arsenal Stars 17u team for Impact Sports.  Billy Hall is my head coach.   My most memorable experience would have to be when we went to play in that Arkansas tournament. Besides the game at Baum Stadium we actually played as a team and really just had fun on and off of the field in that tournament. I remember at the Fayetteville High School game our coaches said that  we could hold our teammates accountable for stuff and try to criticize them if they needed it. The funny thing is we blew that way out of proportion and we were just bagging on each other which was fun for us. We weren’t really thinking of the game and we ran their pitcher off the mound in the first inning. That was the best game my team played that whole summer because we were hitting through the lineup almost every inning, we were soaking in the environment and just playing ball.

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