Q&A with Lindenwood Commit RHP Weston Baker (SLUH, 2017)



Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Weston Baker (SLUH, 2017) committed to play college baseball at Lindenwood.  The 6-foot-4 190-pound right-handed pitcher Struck out five batters in his two innings of work at the PBR GPA Games in Chicago last August.

Baker has an uptemp tall/fall delivery, uptempo delivery. He has long, loose arm action from a high ¾ angle. His fastball has arm side run with late action, sitting 85-89 mph, touching 90 mph. Baker's curveball has 11/5 shape at 68-70 mph. His changeup, maintains arm speed, shows sinking action, and is able to throw for strikes, 68-70 mph. He has a splitter at 74-76 mph.

Baker was a member of Team Missouri at the 2015 Future Games at Grand Park in Indiana.  Below, he talks about his recruiting process.

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

Baker: I expected the recruiting process to be a roller coaster with both ups and downs. I realized that it can be both exciting and stressful, at the same time. The recruiting process can control you if you are not careful. I've seen guys committing to a school, then de-commit, or vice versa. But if you take your time and ask lots of questions great things will happen.

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

Baker: I honestly picked the school for fit, which was a multitude of factors but ultimately I picked Lindenwood based on the fact that it felt like home and it was the best fit for my academic and baseball desires.

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

Baker: They had actually been watching and taking notes on me, without me even realizing it, spring of my Junior Year. Coach Beuster called me, happily, but unexpectedly, at the end of the summer season to tell me about Lindenwood, and ask where I was in my recruiting process. I hadn't decided at that point, and told him I was heading up to a PBR event in Chicago, which again, without me knowing, he drove up and watched me pitch. So next thing I know my parents and I visited campus twice, where I got to meet Coach Bletcher, and hear his vision and philosophy, which we all loved, and the rest was easy...I found my home.

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

Baker: The best player I have faced and had the privilege to play with would have to be Weston Schad. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet but when he steps in the box his size, strength, and competitiveness can't go unnoticed. He demands respect at the plate and plays the game the way it should be. I know he'll be a powerful hitter for Murray State, and I wish him well.

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

Baker: Advice I would give young players would be resist committing just for the sake of committing, because all of your buddies are. Instead, be proactive and if you have heart, desire, and talent, you'll find a home to play baseball. I was fortunate to have offers, and that's great but the hardest thing is taking your time and being sure that your college really fits what you want to accomplish.

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

Baker: Over the offseason I focus on keeping myself in the best possible shape. This offseason I have put more emphasis on the weight room and my health than ever before. With the guidance of Nathan Yamnitz, of Performance Zone Fitness, I have made incredible strides and only plan on continuing to get better. As far as pitching, after taking off several weeks, and rebuilding my base by tons of band work and long toss, it's time to head indoors and refine things. Many important coaches have helped me improve my pitching by sharing their time and knowledge, and for them I am grateful...thank you, Coach Lessmann, Coach Lance Schuermann, Coach Brian Delunas, and Coach Adam Jahnsen.

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

Baker: The most memorable moment in my baseball career is last year when I had the privilege to throw a no-hitter against Loyola of Chicago and to witness another no-hitter thrown by my teammate and friend John Brinkman the next week.

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

Baker: The Coaching Staff, lead by Coach Bletcher, and head assistant Coach Beuster, went out of their way to make me feel at home, and really let me know they wanted me at Lindenwood. They had me meet with various professors in the department  of my field of interest who also made me feel welcome. Coach Bletcher encouraged me to pursue a passion, and even to take action and study abroad. I truly felt that he and his staff made my visit more than just baseball but about the college I will call home and the impact it will have on the rest of my life. They showed me the baseball and training facilities that rival, if not exceed, any Division 1 facilities I had seen. I was sold because of their philosophy to balance a college social life, with baseball, and academics. It's a place like no other.

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

Baker: Of the schools I was fortunate enough to receive an offer, and they all were great, the two that stood out on my short list were Murray State and Arkansas State. Once again because of the great coaching staff, and respect I have for Coach Moulder and Coach Raffo.  

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?

Baker: My college process didn't really heat up until my sophomore year when I was fortunate enough to attend the PBR Futures Game.

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

Baker: My High School, St. Louis University High, will be lead by Coach Nicollerat and an awesome group of seniors: Donovan Ditto, Nick Peccola, Adam Kleffner, and Jake Safarian. I have high hopes for this year and I expect to play hard as a team every time we go out, but my main goal is to enjoy my Senior Year and the wonderful experience high school baseball provides.

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

Baker: I played with the St. Louis Prospects and had the privilege to play with some guys that today I can honestly call my best friends. I was coached by Coach Craig Ringe and Coach Drew Benes, whom couldn't have been better mentors and teachers. The most memorable moment would have to be at the end of the season and our last game when there was a sheer sadness due to the realization that we would never play together  again. We had such great chemistry that stemmed from our coaches and trickled down to each and every player.

 

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