Prep Baseball Report

Vandegrift Looks Forward To 'Different Level Of Baseball' At Akron

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Vandegrift Looks Forward To ‘Different Level Of Baseball’ At Akron

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Landon Vandegrift RHP / SS / Teays Valley, OH / 2024

ORIENT - The ability to adapt helped Landon Vandegrift make an impression on the coaches at Akron.

“When I went to a camp there I didn’t have a good slider which is my best pitch, so I went to my changeup more to get outs,” the Teays Valley senior reflected. “They like the way I adjusted.”

A couple of weeks later, the 59th-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in Ohio was offered.

“I went on an unofficial visit in early September and liked everything about it,” Vandegrift related. “The campus is nice, the baseball facilities are also nice and I liked the coaches. The coaches know what they’re talking about, they put the players first.”

A commitment followed for Vandegrift, who also had interest from Cedarville, Rose Holman and Wittenberg as well as Marietta.

“They all contacted me after going to the Top Prospect Games,” Vandegrift pointed out. “I’d only talked to a few schools before that, probably 10.”

The TPG ignited a recruiting process that began back in 2020.

“I started emailing a bunch of coaches and that helped, but I was young,” Vandegrift explained. “Then I went to a PBR Scout Day and that got my name out there a lot. I also had colleges come watch me in-game, but the Top Prospect Games was the main thing that put my name out there.”

Improvement was vital in the recruitment of the 6-1 165-pounder, who initially believed his future was as a position player.

“I was always a shortstop and a pitcher, but I liked shortstop more,” Vandegrift noted. “But when my velo started to get higher I started pitching more and liked it more, with the art of it. That’s when I decided I wanted to pitch.

“I worked a lot with my changeup,” Vandegrift continued. “The more pitches you have helps. I did a throwing program, I lifted and I worked on my mechanics. I was 84 at the start of my junior year and now I’m up to 89.”

The 131st-ranked senior in the state pointed to high school coaches Mark Colburn and Chris Wooten as being key components in his baseball journey.

“Both helped me through my recruitment and gave me advice on what camps to go to,” related Vandegrift, who also credited the North Columbus Bruins travel program with being an important part of his development in becoming an Akron commit.

Vandegrift is excited about where he goes from here.

“I’m hoping I can bring them a good reliable pitcher, someone they can trust, and someone with a fun personality,” Vandegrift said. “I have good enough velo, I just need to continue to figure out how to get outs, and keep it comfortable with a four-pitch mix and good command.”

Mechanical engineering will be the college major for the 17-year-old, who carries a 3.98 unweighted GPA at Teays Valley.

“It was a little stressful when I decided I wanted to go to Akron,” Vandegrift admitted. “I had to decide if I wanted to commit or if I wanted to wait, but once I committed there was less stress and now I’m excited to go to Akron and help the team win.”

There is more that Vandegrift looks forward to when it comes to heading off to college two hours from home.

“I’m ready to experience a different level of baseball,” Vandegrift concluded. “I’m looking forward to making lifelong friendships and not only being a better baseball player but also a better person.”

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