Future Games Helps Valdes Find College Home
September 27, 2022
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Future Games Helps Valdes Find College Home
MILTON, Ontario - The Future Games helped Jorge Valdes find a perfect fit for his style of play. A month later, the top-rated 2024 outfielder in Canada was a West Virginia commit.
“They saw me at the Future Games from day one to day three,” Valdes explained. “They reached out on day three and we had a phone call. They gave me an offer within five minutes. It was pretty shocking for me. That’s crazy it came so quickly. They gave me no deadline, they said take your time.”
Others, in particular North Carolina State, also showed an interest in the left-handed hitting Bishop Reding High School junior.
“I talked to them the first day after the Future Games,” Valdes said of NC State. “They saw I ran a four-flat down the line and saw a couple of plays I made in the outfield.”
The third-ranked 2024 in Ontario then did his research.
“West Virginia was closer to home so I could save a lot of money,” Valdes assessed about his decision. “On the visit I thought it was a great fit. It’s a big campus and the baseball stadium was sick. What they have to offer is so great.”
A commitment brought an end to a recruiting process that was minimal prior to the Future Games.
“I was talking to a couple of smaller schools, the one big one was Iowa,” Valdes related. “But the Future Games is really where I got all my connections from. It’s not the easiest in Canada, no one comes up to Canada to look at you, you’ve got to go down there. But the Future Games helped get me noticed a lot.”
The desire to play at the next level has been ongoing for Valdes.
“I’ve wanted to play college baseball since I got with OBJ in 12U,” Valdes said. “After that I knew college baseball was a big thing for me. I just love playing baseball and hanging around people that play. Now I love it even more. Me thinking I can play baseball at such a high level is amazing.”
West Virginia is confident that the 5-10 160-pounder will be a great fit.
“They liked the way I played and how I played hard,” Valdes noted about what WVU saw in his game at the PBR event in Georgia. “I took extra bases and stole bases and that’s how they play. It’s a small-ball school, one that’s gritty, and grinders. They’re very aggressive on the base paths and that’s the way I play. They like the way I hustled down the first-base line.”
That comes with figuring out what he does best on the ball diamond.
“I’ve developed a lot the last couple of years,” the 17-year-old center fielder explained. “I realized I’m not a home run hitter. When I went to Florida with guys two years older than me and a lot bigger I’m thinking, ‘how am I going to get on the field?’ The coaches told me to be a small-ball hitter, that’s what colleges like. I developed that and have gotten very good at it, while working on my speed a lot.
“Now that I’m committed I’m going to work on driving gaps. After that, my next goal is to get drafted.”
But for now Valdes is focused on what he can bring to the West Virginia program.
“On and off the field I’ll provide leadership,” Valdes said. “I’m learning what it takes to be a leader. I’m a natural leader and I think I can bring that to the table. I also believe I can bring my mental game. I’m not the type of guy that gets down.”
Making a college decision, admittedly, brings plenty of delightment to Valdes.
“What a great feeling,” Valdes noted. “When I did my research I found that West Virginia is a good school in a Power 5 conference with a good academic program. I’m more confident in my decision than ever after that. It took a lot of stress off my shoulders.”
Sports marketing or “something to do with sports” is what Valdes said he plans to major in at the Big 12 Conference school.
“My recruitment came quickly after the Future Games,” pointed out Valdes, who carries a 3.1 GPA in high school. “Some schools didn’t come as quickly and I’m thinking, ‘do I wait on them?’ But I knew a good opportunity when I saw one with West Virginia.”
It has Valdes looking forward to his days ahead at a university located six hours from home.
“Everyone around you has the same or bigger goal than you,” Valdes said. “That’s people you want to be around. It will improve my skills being around people that care what they’re doing and what they’re eating. That will help you be better and I want to do anything I can to get better.”
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