Prep Baseball Report

1B/3B J.J. Matijevic Commits to Arizona

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

J.J. Matijevic has had a tremendous amount of success and plenty of accolades bestowed on him in his first two years of high school baseball. While the recognition is nice, and definitely appreciated, the No. 1 ranked player in the Class of 2014 has his sight set on much loftier goals.

MatijevicStep one in that process was realized this week when the 6-foot-2, 205-pound left-handed power hitter made his verbal commitment to the Arizona Wildcats. The defending NCAA Division I Champions landed the Norwin HS junior over a host of other DI schools that Matijevic had been considering. According to Matijevic, "I was also looking at Coastal Carolina, UCF, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Clemson. I chose Arizona because I fell in love with the campus as soon as I got there. The weather is amazing, the coaches are great, the campus is beautiful and they are the defending National Champs with a good chance to get right back there again this year."

Matijevic has been traveling the country playing aggressive travel baseball in the Evoshield Canes M-A program (now known as Chandler Baseball). While he has not played in Arizona to date, the Wildcats coaching staff has been able to see him play in person. Matijevic related that, "I was first seen by their coaches in August at a national event in San Diego. Ever since then, I have talked to assistant coach Matt Siegel every week and built a great relationship with him. I met the rest of their coaching staff when I went to Arizona in late November and they were awesome people and coaches. I love how they coach and explain everything. I can't wait to be a Wildcat."  

The reigning WPIAL AAAA Player of the Year hopes to make an early impact in the Wildcat lineup. "My biggest strength as a player is my hitting. Hopefully, I perform at the plate, bring in runs and help the Wildcats win games. The coaching staff expects me to come in and compete as a freshman. They see me as a middle of the lineup hitter.

With his college decision out of the way, Matijevic can turn to other items on the checklist. His Norwin HS team has completed two consecutive undefeated regular seasons, only to lose in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs both years. Matijevic stated that helping his high school team succeed this year is one of the priorities on his list. "My individual goal is to obviously get drafted and become a professional player. As for high school, I know we lost a lot of seniors last season, but I am going to do my best in helping every teammate to be successful this upcoming season. There is no doubt in my mind that we can be just as good this year."

Matijevic is the No. 1 ranked player in the Class of 2014 in Pennsylvania and the No. 15 ranked player in the PBR combined rankings. The future Wildcat stated that, "PBR played a big role in my recruitment process by getting my name out on their website and writing great articles about me."

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