Stock Keeps Rising For RHP Copenhaver
March 23, 2021
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Stock Keeps Rising For RHP Copenhaver
HAMILTON - With a fastball now touching 91, the stock for Nik Copenhaver continues to rise.
“At 6-4, 200 pounds, Copenhaver fits the mold of wide-shouldered, athletic players that come out of the state of Ohio, and still holds even more physical projection,” noted PBR National Crosschecker Shooter Hunt in a posting that lists the Badin right-handed pitcher among the ‘Top 100 Risers’ in the country in the 2023 class.
And that was when the second-rated uncommitted sophomore pitcher in Ohio was “only” hitting 86 on the radar back in December.
Just three pitchers threw faster than Copenhaver’s 91 velo at the recent PBR Ohio Procase and all are two grades ahead of the Badin 16-year-old.
“At the Future Games he showed a ton to like at 6-foot-4 with pitchability and a mid-80s fastball that you could see taking another jump,” related Jordan Chiero, PBR Ohio Director of Scouting. “Well, that jump happened at this year’s ProCase in February. He ran that fastball up to 91 showing a more physical frame and more explosive delivery. In my opinion, you’re looking at a future Power 5 commit.”
Three colleges have been in conversation with the 14th-ranked 2023 in the state, but “nobody consistently” according to Copenhaver.
“In June I started talking with Ohio State and Campbell and they’ve been keeping up with me watching every event I’ve been to,” explained Copenhaver, who in addition to the Procase in February has participated at the Future Games in August and the Southern Ohio Underclass Games in July since the beginning of last summer. “I’ve also talked with Kentucky. My summer coach told them about me.”
The 120th-rated sophomore right-handed pitcher in the nation has found PBR exposure valuable in the recruiting process.
“After the Future Games I was getting calls and then in late December and January I still heard ‘we saw you at the Future Games,’” Copenhaver said. “Everybody I’ve talked to tuned into the Procase as well. It seems colleges are really involved with those events. It’s really helped my recruitment a lot.”
Those at the next level have found Copenhaver to have a promising future.
“They like my size and how easy I throw the ball,” Copenhaver noted. “They think I’m a pretty projectable kid.”
Improvement has come through hard work over the past year.
“I took the offseason pretty seriously,” Copenhaver related. “I hit the gym six or seven times a week from the last day of fall ball until now and I’ve gained 25 pounds. I went from 180ish to 205 doing a bunch of things like mobility and getting my body different for pitching on the mound. I wasn’t very mobile before but I’ve been eating a lot, getting stronger and getting my body right.”
However, there is more progress to be made for the third-ranked 2023 RHP in Ohio.
“I need to get better at pitching with runners on base,” Copenhaver admitted. “My slide-step is iffy. I also need to work on my pickoff moves, though they’re getting better. Basically, I just need to be more consistent. Last summer I threw good games and then a bad one. Over the fall there were more good games and less bad games.”
The desire to play college baseball has been there for some time.
“Since I was a kid I’ve thought about it, but I didn’t know the level,” Copenhaver explained. “When I was a little kid I wasn’t the best baseball player, but had above-average fastball velo. By eighth grade I wasn’t throwing hard at all and I needed to figure something out. D-I baseball was where I wanted to play and I started to get after it more. That’s when baseball became something I wanted to do after high school.”
When Copenhaver talked with a college for the first time - last summer with Xavier - the idea became more realistic.
“After that I realized I might be able to pursue this dream of mine,” Copenhaver said. “More phone calls happened and it hit me that I might have a shot at this.”
Coaches (Brion) Treadway, (Chuck) McKinney and (Jon) Keesling along with Josh Elleman have been instrumental in the development of Copenhaver on the mound.
“Josh Elleman recently taught me to use more of my lower half and got me stronger,” Copenhaver noted. “That’s where I made my four mile-an-hour jump from fall ball to the Procase.”
While college coaches can see what Copenhaver hits on the radar, the Badin product believes they are not able to see what he brings as a complete player.
“They’re missing out on the kind of kid I am in the dugout and on the field,” Copenhaver pointed out. “I’m an absolute animal, but it’s all positive energy for my team.”
That is what Copenhaver feels he can provide at the next level.
“What you’ll be getting is the best teammate you can ask for,” Copenhaver explained. “I’m an absolute energy guy that’s really into the game and really wants to win. Some guys aren’t ready for intense moments in games, but I live off them. I enjoy being in the most intense moments. I’m also a hard worker. I’m not going to let anyone outwork me.”
A 4.4 student who is undecided on a college major, Copenhaver can not wait for the months ahead with high school baseball season ready to begin.
“I think I’ll make my decision by the end of summer or early fall,” Copenhaver said. “I hope to start the year off throwing strikes and dominating the high school baseball scene and in the summer pop a few higher velo numbers and get all these schools attention. Compete, compete, compete.
“I really can’t wait for the coaches to be able to come see what I’m about instead of just talking to me.”
- Ohio Procase 'Most Talented We Have Had Yet' - Mar 1, 2022
- Results From 2022 Ohio ProCase - Feb 21, 2022
- 2021 Future Games: Team Ohio - Commitment Tracker - Sep 30, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: Heff's Hits - Aug 16, 2021
- Team Ohio: Future Games Continues To Grow And Impress - Aug 7, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: Team Ohio - Workout Day/Gameday Notes - Aug 5, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: Team Ohio - Top Performers - Aug 5, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: Team Ohio - Showcase Statistical Results - Aug 3, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: College Commitment Tracker - Aug 3, 2021
- 2021 Future Games: Team Ohio - Meet The Team - Jul 26, 2021
- Results From 2021 Ohio Top Prospect Games - Jun 10, 2021
- 2021 Ohio Top Prospect Games - Advanced Analytics: The Arms - Jun 10, 2021
- 2021 Ohio Top Prospect Games - Advanced Analytics: The Bats - Jun 10, 2021
- 2023 Overall Rankings: UNCOMMITTED Focus - Apr 22, 2021
- Stock Keeps Rising For RHP Copenhaver - Mar 23, 2021
- 2021 Ohio ProCase - Quick Hits - Mar 4, 2021
- Results From 2021 Ohio ProCase - Feb 16, 2021
- Updated & Expanded 2023 Overall Rankings - Dec 22, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games - New Look, Same Excitement - Ohio Prospects - Aug 13, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games - Ohio Prospects Advanced Analytics - Aug 7, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games - Team Ohio Day One Game Notes - Aug 6, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games - Team Ohio Day Two Game Notes - Aug 6, 2020
- Results From 2020 Northeast Future Games - Aug 3, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games - Team Ohio Workout Day Notes - Aug 3, 2020
- 2020 Northeast Future Games: Meet The Team - Team Ohio - Jul 29, 2020
- 2020 Southern Ohio Underclass Games - Advanced Metrics w/Trackman and Blast Tech - Jul 21, 2020
- 2020 Southern Ohio Underclass Games - Quick Hits - Jul 21, 2020
- 2020 Southern Ohio Underclass Games - Sneak Peek - Jul 21, 2020
- Results From 2020 Southern Ohio Underclass Games - Jul 15, 2020
- 2020 Southern Ohio Top Prospect Games - Quick Hits - Jul 15, 2020
- Results From 2020 Southern Ohio Top Prospect Games - Jul 9, 2020
- 2020 Southern Ohio Top Prospect Games - Advanced Metrics w/Trackman and Blast Tech - Jul 9, 2020
- 2020 Preseason All-State Underclass - Complete Evaluations - Mar 8, 2020
- 2020 Preseason All-State Underclass Wrapup - An Opportunity To 'Show Their Skills' For Underclassmen - Feb 14, 2020
- 2020 Preseason All-State Underclass - Advanced Pitching Metrics - Feb 13, 2020
- Results from 2020 Preseason All-State Underclass - Feb 10, 2020