Q&A with Air Force Commit Ben Hauser

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

OF/RHP Ben Hauser of Sun Prairie recently committed to Air Force. Hauser is currently ranked No. 14 in the Wisconsin Class of 2017. He is the one of 16 Division I commits from the 2015 Wisconsin Future Games Team. Here is a report on Hauser from last years Future Games.

Ben Hauser7/31/15 - Hauser used the Future Games to raise his recruiting stock. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound, physical, left-handed hitting outfielder showed raw arm strength throwing 87 mph from the outfield during workouts.  Offensively hits from a tall, narrow setup with a leg lift stride. Short swing path with a fast bat. Pull hitter who showed pop in batting practice. 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Athletic fielder, plays thru the ball, and projects for a corner outfield spot. Ran the 60 at 7.37. In games went 1-3 and showed a patient approach working three walks and scoring a run. Delivery works across his body, closed landing, works around a firm front side. Arm action is shorter, strong arm, over the top slot. Fastball touched 85 mph, mostly straight four seam action, sat 80-84 mph in game. Curveball sat 68-71 mph, breaks on a 12/6 plane. Changeup has fade to arm side at 75 mph. Should see recruiting interest pick up after his performance at the Future Games.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Hauser: Going into the recruiting process I didn’t really know what to expect. After the Futures Games and then playing with GRB I gained more interest from colleges. At first talking to coaches is a little nerve wracking, but the more you do it the easier it gets. Looking back the recruiting process was a fun experience and fairly easy, but there was a lot of pressure involved in the process.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Hauser: The first thing I was looking for in a college was excellent academics. After that I wanted to find a place where the coaches really cared about me as a player and a kid. As soon as I talked to Coach Kaz I could tell he was very passionate about the academy and the game of baseball and I really liked that.  When I first met coach Kaz in person and had the opportunity to see what they had to offer I knew it was the place for me.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Hauser: Location wasn’t a huge factor in my decision. It would have been nice to be close to home so my family could watch me, but I felt very comfortable at the Air Force Academy. The coaches, top notch academics, and tremendous opportunities created a great atmosphere and made the decision a good one for me.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Hauser: The recruiting process started after playing in the Futures Games.  I received some interest after that, but things really started to heat up while playing for GRB this summer.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Hauser: Air Force first saw me play in Atlanta this summer. I had previously talked to their football defensive coordinator and that put the Air Force Academy on my radar.  After they saw me play in Atlanta Coach Kaz and I had many phone conversations and we developed a good relationship. He told me they were interested and I visited. As soon as I met him in person I knew I wanted to play for him. 

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Hauser: I really feel like going to the Air Force Academy will allow me to develop to my full potential, not only as a baseball player but as a person and academically as well. The key factors were their academics as they are second to none. There are so many opportunities for me to grow as a leader and a person. They play in a great conference and at a high level of D1 baseball and I am excited to accept the challenges that it will present. There are so many people around you at the academy that are committed to seeing you succeed, and that was a major factor as well. Although my family doesn’t have anyone in the military, it will be a honor to serve my country.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Hauser: Madison College, Creighton, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Belmont.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Hauser: The best player I have faced in this state is Ben Rortvedt. He is in our conference so I have played against him many times. He is a great defensive catcher and is always a threat at the plate with his power.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Hauser: Last summer at the Area Code tryout I did well and when I was selected to be on the team I knew that I had the ability to play baseball at a high level.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Hauser: The best advice I can give to young players is to work hard and give 100% with everything you do. Nothing is handed to you, you have to earn it. Also, play different sports and get involved in different activities. It will make you a better athlete and competitor in the long run.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Hauser: The most memorable moment in my baseball career would be being on the 2014 Sun Prairie state championship team and getting to run the bases. The bus ride home and all of the fire trucks that escorted us to the high school is something I will never forget.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Hauser: We lost 7 seniors, but we are returning quite a few talented kids. Our pitching staff has the potential to be very good and at Sun Prairie we always have a bunch of good baseball players and great competitors. We expect to be competitive in every game we play, win the Big Eight, get to the state tournament, and bring the gold ball back to Sun Prairie.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Hauser: I played with GRB Rays this past summer. My most memorable experience this summer was winning the Dinger Bat World Series in Cincinnati and pitching against Tri-State Arsenal at Lakepoint.

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