Slanker Beginning To Make A Statement
July 26, 2021
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Slanker Beginning To Make A Statement
CANFIELD - The Future Games is right around the corner. Ben Slanker is ready to make a statement.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” the Canfield incoming-junior said about the PBR event in Lake Point, Ga. “I plan to have fun, be myself and show all the coaches what I can do.”
Jordan Chiero, PBR Ohio Director of Scouting, is confident the fourth-ranked uncommitted 2023 in the state will deliver.
“He’s one of the guys college coaches will circle after the workout session of the Future Games,” Chiero said of the left-handed hitting outfielder.
Schools in the midwest have already taken notice.
“In December to early January I started talking with Xavier,” Slanker reflected. “They had very high interest and offered a couple weeks later. Then I started talking with multiple schools - Ohio State, Penn State, Wright State, Kent State, Miami, Youngstown State. Most saw me on video during the winter, Wright State and YSU at the Top Prospect Games in early June.”
The fifth-ranked 2023 outfielder in Ohio enjoyed his experience at the prestigious showcase.
“It was five hours away but I think it was worth it,” Slanker related. “A lot of scouts were there. Personally, I felt I did pretty well and I met some new friends.”
One part of his game grabbed the attention of those in attendance.
“Most said they like my swing the most,” Slanker pointed out about what college coaches are telling him.
Chiero sees that area of the game as his greatest attribute.
“The hit tool stands out here,” Chiero said about the 6-0 180-pounder from Canfield. “He has one of the more athletic swings the state has to offer, and from the left side. He’s capable of upper-90s pop off the bat. He is also a quality defender in either corner.”
Getting recognized has, admittedly, been difficult the past year with covid.
“It’s been hard,” Slanker said. “During quarantine I didn’t leave the house. I just went to the basement and took swings off the tee. Playing with Team Ohio (Pro Select) is all the exposure I’ve gotten.”
Still, three offers have come in from Wright State and Youngstown State in addition to Xavier.
“I hope to start talking to more colleges and finish my recruiting in the fall or winter,” the 16-year-old noted. “I haven’t taken any visits yet, but plan to visit Xavier in a couple months.”
The idea of playing college baseball has been around a long time for the 19th-rated 2023 in Ohio.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to make it past the high-school level and possibly further,” Slanker explained. “When I got my first offer I knew then that I could do it.”
Improvement has followed.
“I used to be a lazy kid but now that I know college coaches are there I’ve stepped up my game and hustle more,” noted Slanker, who also pointed to changes in his swing as making a difference as well.
It has Slanker believing he can be a major asset to any college program.
“I feel I can help a team in a lot of ways,” Slanker said. “I’ll bring more energy. I can help kids in a slump when they’re down on themselves and get them back on their feet. I can also help the team win games.”
His mother and coaches on Team Ohio have been the biggest influences according to Slanker, a 3.5 student undecided on a college major.
“I don’t have an exact timetable, I’d say probably this year,” Slanker said about making a commitment. “In talking to coaches so far, most tell me about their accomplishments and championships and I like that.
“The first thing I’m looking for is a good education,” Slanker added. “I want a school that’s a good fit for me. The distance doesn’t matter. I just want the perfect fit for who I am.”
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