Q&A with Arkansas Commit RHP/SS Tyler Benninghoff (Rockhurst, 2016)



Shon Plack
MIssouri Scouting Director

Tyler Benninghoff (Rockhurst, 2015), Missouri's #1 ranked player in the 2016 class and #35 overall, has verbally committed to play at Arkansas.  Benninghoff is 6-foot-4 185-pound athlete that projects on the mound as well as in the field.  On the mound, he starts with a controlled vertical knee lift then explodes at the plate utilizing simple, fast arm action and a ¾ slot.  His fastball ranged from 86-90 mph.  Benninghoff’s 74-75 breaking ball has late, sharp break to it (definitely an at-bat ender as he learns to harness it).  He also has a 73-76 change-up. 

On the infield, Benninghoff has quick footwork and quick exchanges.  He has a strong accurate arm and a top infield velo at 84 mph.  Hitting-wise he starts with a balanced set-up and wide stance.  He uses a simple stride and no hand load.  He has a short bat path, compact swing and bat speed, not common characteristics for long-armed hitters. His top exit velocity was 86 mph and a 7.19 60 time.

Benninghoff attended PBR's Future Games last July, and has Rockhurst currently ranked #6 in Missouri Class 5.  He will joining his brother, Jack, who is currently a freshman at Arkansas.  

Below is a look into the recruiting process for Tyler. 

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

Benninghoff: My expectations in the recruiting process were that is was going to be a tough and long hard process. It definitely wasn't as I expected because all the coaches made it easy for me.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?
 
Benninghoff: Location definitely played a factor in my decision because I wanted to be closer to family rather than farther away.

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

Benninhoff: Our relationship started to develop after Arkansas first saw me play for my summer team. After that tournament they contacted my summer baseball coach and developed a relationship from there.

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

Benninghoff: The best player I have faced in Missouri would be Kyle Wilson, a pitcher from Ray-Pec, because he has some of the best stuff I have ever seen.

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

Benninghoff: What I was looking for out of a college program was the best coaches around to help develop me as a player.

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

Benninghoff: Advice I would give to other players would be don't ever get down on your self, baseball is a game of failure, but only the best get back up.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?
 
Benninhoff:  In the offseason I work out every day to stay and shape and I do a throwing program and hit almost every day to stay in baseball shape, and I also do Crossover Symmetry bands.

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

Benninghoff: The most memorable moment in my baseball career would be facing my brother in Rockhurst's blue and white baseball scrimmage freshman year and striking him out.

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

Benninghoff: What I like most about Arkansas is the Atmosphere, they pride themselves on winning and settle for nothing less. Key factors in my decision were the proximity, the amazing coaching staff, and it didn't hurt having my brother Jack already on the team.

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

Benninghoff: Schools that were on my short list included Mississippi State, TCU, Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, and Kansas

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?
 
Benninghoff: The recruiting process really started to heat up my Sophomore summer while spending the summer with Jeremy Jones and Building Champions. An event that really turned the corner for me would have been my performance at both the PG Junior National and PBR's Futures Games

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals? Name some players that will play a key role for Rockhurst in 2015.
 
Benninghoff: I feel like our high school team will be competitive again this year because of our experienced pitching staff. Our expectations is to make it to state. Some key players this year will be our shortstop Luke Ritter, our first basemen Ben Whetstone, outfielders T.J. Green along with Nick Bosma, and our pitching staff in Jon Wemhoff, Nick Bosma, J.T. Watt, and Brooks Hallock.

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

Benninghoff: I played with Building Champions in the summer. My most memorable experience has been developing a relationship with all the great coaches and players and all that they have done for me.

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