Pinkney Bringing Leadership Qualities To Rutgers


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Pinkney Bringing Leadership Qualities To Rutgers

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Hugh Pinkney

Class of 2022 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Silverthorn CI
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Ontario Terriers
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: L/R

Statistics

Position
7.29
60-yard
(08/06/20)
1.99 - 2.26
Pop Time
(04/07/19)
81
INF Velo
(08/03/19)
76
C Velo
(04/07/19)
86
Exit Velo
(08/03/19)
Position
60-yard
7.29
Pop Time
2.1 - 2.15
C Velo
74
Exit Velo
81
Position
60-yard
7.44
Pop Time
1.99 - 2.09
INF Velo
81
C Velo
75
Exit Velo
86
Position
Pop Time
1.99 - 2.26
C Velo
76
Exit Velo
78

Pinkney Bringing Leadership Qualities To Rutgers

TORONTO - Catcher proved to be the perfect position for Hugh Pinkney.

His ability behind the plate helped land the third-rated 2022 player in Canada a scholarship to Rutgers.

“I used to be a shortstop when I was younger but nobody wanted to catch and my dad was the coach so he threw me back there,” reflected Pinkney. “I’ve been working as a catcher ever since. I like being behind the plate and seeing everything.”

The leadership qualities at catcher are a nice fit for Pinkney, who is quarterback on the football team at Silverthorn Collegiate High School and also a captain on the basketball squad.

“Playing those roles like quarterback and as a captain gives you that vibe of being a leader,” the incoming junior said. “I just need to keep working hard and prove myself as a leader.”

Rutgers came away impressed with what the 6-2 165-pound left-handed hitter showed on videos during the recruiting process.

“Initially I sent them an email when I got back from our Florida trip,” Pinkney related. “I sent around 10 emails to college coaches and one of their assistants responded. We had multiple conversations during quarantine and I developed a relationship with him. They use PBR as a resource for videos and I also sent some other videos of me catching.”

An offer followed, with Pinkney taking a virtual visit to the school next before the decision to commit.

“It’s a great school academically and they have a very nice campus,” explained Pinkney, whose home in Toronto is a 10-hour drive from Rutgers. “The coaches are amazing. The program is up and coming and in a great conference. The athletic department is pouring in lots of money to make Rugers a power in the Big 10.”

The hope is that Pinkney can be a big part of the process.

“They like my swing and my catching and receiving behind the plate,” noted Pinkney, who was among four prospects in the 2022 class to watch after their play last summer according to Jesse Levine, PBR Ontario scout. “They really liked what they saw on video with my projectability and future.”

Improvement has been vital in getting to this point.

“I’ve definitely gotten a lot stronger,” Pinkney said about his all-around betterment. “With that added strength I’m able to receive pitches better and I definitely have more strength at the plate. I feel I can drive the ball harder. With my arm, I can really get the ball down to second better. Just having more strength has really helped me improve.”

But the just-turned 16-year-old (July 11) understands that the sweat and grind has only just begun.

“I still have to work on adding more strength and work with my receiving,” Pinkney pointed out. “With the faster velocity I’ll be seeing, I need to be able to adjust to all the pitchers. I’ve also got to get quicker at the plate facing the faster velo. It’s all about adjusting to the faster game and high-quality baseball in the Big 10.”

The desire to reach that level of play started only a few years ago.

“I was around 12-years-old and attended a tournament for 12s for the first time where I saw some college scouts,” Pinkney remembered. “Everyone has the dream of playing MLB and it was then I realized this is the path and it was a realistic goal. It sparked from there and I've been working toward it for four years.”

The opportunity to play Division I baseball is exciting for Pinkney, who carries a 4.0 GPA and considering business or science as a college major.

“This means the world to me,” Pinkney said. “I’ve been striving for this for a while and to secure it is a great feeling. But I wouldn’t be able to do it without my coches, my teammates and my family. This is very special for me to do and to do it with the support of my teammates, coaches and family.”

Recruitment was admittedly different than originally anticipated.

“It was definitely altered because of COVID,” Pinkney noted. “I sent out around 30 emails to various schools and ended up talking to Rutgers, Campbell and Miami of Ohio. It was very exciting talking to those college coaches. It was almost a dream come true for me.”

Training during the virus was also a challenge.

“I took zoom classes all day and when school was out I’d work out at the park,” explained Pinkney, who also took time in the day to study for the SAT. “I also worked out on my own in the driveway and I went to the backyard and hit off the tee for an hour. It was tough putting in work there at home with limited resources.”

Hard work is only one trait that Pinkney believes he will provide a program at Rutgers in search of its first winning season since joining the Big 10 in 2015.

“I feel I can bring intensity, a great teammate and leader and some good baseball as well,” Pinkney said.