Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with Illinois State commit J.P. Gauthier

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

After missing out on the first edition of Wisconsin’s Class of 2021 Rankings back in September, De Pere’s J.P. Gauthier debuted all the way up at No. 12 in the December update. What helped him get there was his performance at STiKS Academy at a PBR event back in October.

There, at the Southern Wisconsin Open, Gauthier displayed loose and easy bat speed from the right-handed batter’s box and showed our staff that he should have the tools to stick at the hot corner at the next level. He came out of the event ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect among the loaded group of 2021s in attendance.

Gauthier announced his commitment to Illinois State in late November, making him the third member of the state’s 2021 class to formally announce a verbal decision on his future college. His strong finish to 2018 should help him retain his status as one of the state’s top-ranked sophomores this year.

Check out our chat with Gauthier below on how he handled the recruiting process and what went into his decision on committing to the Normal, Ill., program.


JP Gauthier 3B / SS / De Pere, WI / 2021

10/21/18 - Projectable frame at 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, long and lean. Right-handed hitter, tall open stance, smooth loading actions, leg kick trigger, good balance. Loose hands create bat speed, in rhythm hitter, pull side tendency with hard contact off the bat. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Natural actions on the infield, projects at third base, hands play soft and funnel to release. Arm carries, 83 mph across, high ¾ slot, athletic arm action. 7.84 runner in the 60.

J.P. Gauthier (10/21/18)


PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated?

Gauthier: Honestly, I did not have any expectations. My goal was simple: Practice, train, and prepare to be the best player I can be, but always strive to get better. With this, I hoped the process would take care of itself. The visibility that PBR offers played a key role in this as well.

P: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at? Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

G: Out of a college program, I was looking for the coaches and the position the coaches were recruiting me for. And, was location critical to my decision making? No. However, I am excited that the location will make it easier for my family to watch me play.

P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Where did the college you chose first see you?

G: My most recent PBR event in October as well as a college showcase event really helped. As well, my travel team coach – Coach Jason Berken with Impact Sports Academy – played a key role in this for me. I had the opportunity to participate in a college showcase that [ISU assistant coach] Wally Crancer attended and the relationship developed from there.

P: What do you like most about Illinois State and what were the key factors in making your decision?

G: ISU has the desired major that I want to pursue and the school feels like home already. Also, I respect and appreciate what Coach Holm, Coach Crancer, Coach Fujinaka, and the rest of the Redbird coaching staff has accomplished on and off the diamond. I can’t wait to be part of that.

P: 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?

G: At the end of this season, I met with Coach Berken, we reviewed the season, discussed my goals, and Coach Berken provided insight on what he thought my ability was but equally important, he was honest with me on what I needed to work on.

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

G: Set goals for yourself and work harder than those around you. Be coachable. Also, realize that good grades are absolutely critical.

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

G: I have been fortunate to have such great memories as a result of baseball.  I have been fortunate to have great coaches and learn about the Pyramid of Success, great teammates that turned into great friends, and play in tournaments like Cooperstown and the Marucci World Series.  All of those really led to my most memorable moment – being blessed to have Illinois State believe in me and give me the opportunity to play collegiate baseball at the highest level.

P: Preview De Pere’s season for us. How do you feel your team will be?

G: We have a lot talent from our freshman class to our senior class and I am looking forward to our team competing at a high level this coming year.