Akron Opportunity A Shot At Doing Something Special For Sprockett


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Akron Opportunity A Shot At Doing Something Special For Sprockett

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Michael Sprockett

Class of 2021 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Lakota East
    State: OH
  • Summer Team: Cincinnati Baseball Club 17U - Johnson
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R

Statistics

Position
7.66
60-yard
(07/06/20)
1.94 - 2.01
Pop Time
(07/06/20)
77
C Velo
(02/22/20)
95
Exit Velo
(07/06/20)
4.58
H-1st
(02/17/19)
Position
60-yard
7.66
Pop Time
1.94 - 2.01
C Velo
77
Exit Velo
95
Position
60-yard
7.87
Pop Time
1.97 - 2.02
C Velo
77
Exit Velo
85
Position
Pop Time
2.03 - 2.09
C Velo
71
H-1st
4.81
Exit Velo
81
Position
Pop Time
2 - 2.12
C Velo
74
H-1st
4.58
Exit Velo
76
Trackman - Hitting
95.2
Exit Velocity (max)
(07/06/20)
86.8
Exit Velocity (avg)
(07/06/20)
264
Distance (avg)
(07/06/20)
340
Distance (max)
(07/06/20)
42
Hard Hit %
(07/06/20)
67
Sweet Spot %
(07/06/20)
33
Line Drive %
(07/06/20)
50.0
Fly Ball %
(07/06/20)
17
Ground Ball %
(07/06/20)
Trackman - Hitting
Exit Velocity (max)
95.2
Exit Velocity (avg)
86.8
Distance (avg)
264
Distance (max)
340
Hard Hit %
Sweet Spot %
Line Drive %
Fly Ball %
Ground Ball %
Blast - Hitting
22.5
Hand Speed (max)
(07/06/20)
20.6
Hand Speed (avg)
(07/06/20)
77.0
Bat Speed (max)
(07/06/20)
72.1
Bat Speed (avg)
(07/06/20)
10.5
Rot. Acc (max)
(07/06/20)
6.4
Rot. Acc (avg)
(07/06/20)
59
On Plane Eff (avg)
(07/06/20)
Blast - Hitting
Hand Speed (max)
22.5
Hand Speed (avg)
20.6
Bat Speed (max)
77
Bat Speed (avg)
72.1
Rot. Acc (max)
Rot. Acc (avg)
On Plane Eff (avg)

Akron Opportunity A Shot At Doing Something Special For Sprockett

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP - Mike Sprockett is obviously excited about an opportunity to be part of the Akron baseball program.

“They have a shot of doing something special,” explained the Lakota East senior committed to the Mid-American Conference school in early September after a connection began during the summer.

“They started reaching out in July,” reflected the ninth-rated 2021 catcher in Ohio. “The first call was just about getting to know the coaches and figuring out the program. After that I sent videos from the (PBR) Top Prospect Games and some tournaments and they liked what they saw.”

Sprockett is more than happy to be joining the Division I program three-plus hours from home following a difficult recruiting process.

“Obviously the hardest part was going into senior year not knowing where you’re going,” Sprockett admitted. “You just have to brush away the nerves and focus on what you can control. Once I focused on the game, it was surprising the colleges that came in.

“Akron surprised me. They had a couple guys that decommitted and gave me a call. It took off from there. It was really out of the blue, but I’m fortunate it happened.”

The 74th-ranked senior in the state impressed the Akron coaches.

“They like my bat a little bit and I can catch a little bit, too,” the left-handed hitting Sprockett noted. “Leadership is also a big deal for them. I control the pitchers and call a good game, even though they call the pitches there. I think leadership is really big for them and keeping everything under control.”

A trip to the university with family sealed the deal for Sprockett, who was also considering Charleston while Miami of Ohio was waiting on a decision regarding roster expansion.

“My family and I walked around the campus and we were really surprised how nice we thought it was,” Sprockett pointed out. “It’s a smaller version of Cincinnati with an urban feel.”

But there was much more the 17-year-old liked about Akron.

“Honestly, the coaches were the biggest deal for me,” Sprockett said. “Coach (Chris) Sabo is building the program around this class. They're just starting to make an identity with Akron baseball and it’s exciting to hear their drive to win and to focus on the process every day.

“The coaches and I talked about wanting to build the program around guys that grind and get after it. My mindset is to do that every day. You win championships off the field. The work you do off the field makes it easier to win championships on the field.”

An improved game brought attention to Sprockett, who in the past year has grown from 5-9, 165 pounds to 5-10, 200 pounds.

“I’ve gained 40 pounds of muscle and that’s a game changer,” Sprockett explained. “I had to look in the mirror and decide if I wanted it. I found a group of guys to work out with at the same place and we got after it together. That makes the grind easier.”

There were other areas that Sprockett got better at as well.

“The biggest thing from last year to this year is I’ve improved on the mental side of things and just staying with my approach,” Sprockett said. “Receiving wise, I’ve also made huge improvements with my catching.”

Of course, Sprockett is far from settled.

“The biggest thing I want to work on is still my mental side,” Sprockett related. “The jump to the next level is a lot harder. The game goes a lot faster. I’ve got to be able to slow it down, to trust my swing and trust what I’m doing in the weight room.”

Sprockett, who carries a 4.3 GPA and plans to major in marketing management, points to a pair of people - Jarett Rindfleisch and Andy Johnson - as his biggest supporters.

“Jarett has been huge for me,” Sprockett noted. “I’ve been working with him for six or seven years. He’s been like an older brother to me. He’s taught me hitting, catching and the mental side of the game.

“Andy has been my summer coach since 13U and has also coached my brother. He’s been one of the best coaches for us. He tries to do whatever he can to help us out. Those two guys have been a huge help.”

Admittedly, a commitment brings relief to Sprockett.

“This definitely takes a weight off my shoulders, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” Sprockett said. “I can’t let this change my mentality. I’m going to stay the same and get in the weight room. There are a lot of things to work on. But it is a huge weight off the shoulders.”

The chance to “do something special” makes it even more exciting.

“This has been a lifelong dream,” Sprockett added. “For as long as I can remember I’ve watched my older sister play softball and watched a brother who plays baseball at Earlham now. Since forever I’ve wanted to play in big games.”