VMI A Dream Come True For Culpepper


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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VMI A Dream Come True For Culpepper

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Addison Culpepper

Class of 2021 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: 2B
  • High School: Beavercreek
    State: OH
  • Summer Team: Canes
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 170lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Position
6.97
60-yard
(07/06/20)
74
INF Velo
(01/20/20)
80
OF Velo
(01/20/20)
89
Exit Velo
(07/06/20)
4.20
H-1st
(06/11/19)
Position
60-yard
7.14
INF Velo
74
OF Velo
80
Exit Velo
83
Position
INF Velo
72
OF Velo
77
H-1st
4.2
Exit Velo
78
Position
60-yard
7.15
INF Velo
72
OF Velo
74
Exit Velo
83
Trackman - Hitting
89.5
Exit Velocity (max)
(07/06/20)
83.2
Exit Velocity (avg)
(07/06/20)
234
Distance (avg)
(07/06/20)
308
Distance (max)
(07/06/20)
Trackman - Hitting
Exit Velocity (max)
89.5
Exit Velocity (avg)
83.2
Distance (avg)
234
Distance (max)
308
Sweet Spot %
Line Drive %
Fly Ball %
Ground Ball %
Blast - Hitting
23.9
Hand Speed (max)
(07/06/20)
22.2
Hand Speed (avg)
(07/06/20)
73.9
Bat Speed (max)
(07/06/20)
69.9
Bat Speed (avg)
(07/06/20)
Blast - Hitting
Rot. Acc (max)
Rot. Acc (avg)
Hand Speed (max)
23.9
Hand Speed (avg)
22.2
Bat Speed (max)
73.9
Bat Speed (avg)
69.9
On Plane Eff (avg)

VMI A Dream Come True For Culpepper

XENIA - Baseball or no baseball, Addison Culpepper was planning on going to Virginia Military Institute.

“I’ve had my eyes on it since seventh grade,” the Beavercreek senior said about VMI. “I love what it stands for. They bring out leaders of the world.”

A chance encounter helped make the baseball portion of VMI a reality.

“I was training in Cincinnati with Kevin Whatley when one of his friends saw my VMI shirt,” Culpepper reflected. “He goes, ‘you know about VMI?’ He said ‘I know the head coach’ and he got me in contact with him.”

It was a dream come true for the 31st-ranked 2021 outfielder in Ohio, who was planning an academic visit to the school even before beginning conversation with head coach Jonathan Hadra.

“I was going to VMI to look at the school,” Culpepper added. “It was over night, so coach Hadra put me with some baseball players. It was a cool experience.”

The dream was becoming a reality at that point..

“I’d always wanted to play college baseball since seventh grade with an end goal to play for VMI,” Culpepper said. “But when Covid hit there was a lot of uncertainty. It was almost a deal breaker. But I stayed in contact with them, I kept working and I gained 10 pounds.

“I went to the (Southern Ohio) Top Prospect Games and that was a big help,” Culpepper continued in reference to the PBR event in July. “I was able to send him video and he liked that. About three weeks ago I committed while on a zoom call.”

VMI was impressed with what Culpepper showed on the video.

“He liked my approach batting,” the 181st-ranked senior in the state related. “He thought I’d be a good extra-base guy.”

Culpepper pointed to his sub-7.0 time in the 60 as another area of the game he can provide the Cadets.

“I pride myself in having a lot of speed on the basepaths,” Culpepper noted. “I feel I can be the dude that brings a lot of effort and high intensity to the program. I’m a player you can rely on.”

The 5-10 175-pounder has made strides in getting his game to the level of a D-I commit to the Southern Conference school.

“I’ve got a lot more power hitting the ball now,” Culpepper said. “I’ve gone from a singles guy to doubles and triples which I can utilize my speed more. My exit velo has gone from the low-80s to 89 at the Top Prospect Games and that correlates to putting on muscle.”

The work has not stopped for the 15th 2021 outfielder in Ohio to make his college commitment.

“I want to improve my arm strength and be a more consistent outfielder,” Culpepper said of his workout plans. “I want to be more fluid so when I get there I have a great chance to compete for a spot.”

In addition to his workout partner Whatley, who he has been training with since freshman year, Culpepper points to his grandfather as a major part of his success on the diamond.

“He used to be the head coach at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee and has been a big influence in my life when it comes to baseball,” Culpepper said about Jackie Reazis, a member of the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame. “My high school coach Brandon Long has also been a really big help on my baseball journey.”

Admittedly, the recruiting process was different than expected for Culpepper, a 3.79 student looking at a major in history at VMI.

“There was a lot of uncertainty with the deadline pushed back,” Culpepper said. “It was a very stressful time. A big help was going to the Top Prospect Games. I was able to get my name out there against good competition from a reliable source.”

Making it official with VMI is as good as it gets for Culpepper.

“It’s a feeling of relief and a feeling of happiness and joy,” Culpepper said. “My dream has now become a reality. My dad is originally from Virginia and he told me about VMI. I did research on it and it’s a tough college but a rewarding college once you get out.

“The biggest challenge is the Rat Line the first six months at VMI,” Culpepper added in reference to strenuous physical activity designed to instill and reinforce character traits that will serve a cadet well during his or her cadet years and in life after VMI. “A lot of privileges are taken away. To balance school work with that and baseball is very hard. But I look forward to that challenge.”