Q&A with Kent State Commit Ben Carew

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2016 OF Ben Carew from Kimberly recently committed to Kent State. Carew is ranked No. 25 in the Wisconsin Class of 2016. A toolsy player with speed being his best asset (6.76 runner in the 60) had an impressive fall, culminating at the Wisconsin Unsigned Senior Games. Carew was named the top overall prospect at the Unsigned Senior Games, here is a report from the event.

Ben Carew9.20.15 - 6-foot, 175-pound, right-handed hitting OF/2B with an athletic frame. Currently ranked No. 27 in the Wisconsin Class of 2016. Defensively in the outfield has a long, loose arm action from a high ¾ arm slot with carry on throws. Plays thru the ball with athletic actions and fluid footwork. Threw 86 mph from the outfield. In the infield showed off arm strength with athletic actions, throwing 86 mph across the infield. Offensively hits from an upright, slightly open stance with a smooth load and leg kick stride. Fluid rhythm with a short, level swing path and a fast bat. Went 1-2 in game with a single. Showed strength thru contact with 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Home to first at 4.33. One of the top uncommitted position players in the state.

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

Carew: Coming into the recruiting process everything was very new to me so I didn’t have many expectations. I didn’t realize how different the process can be for everyone. For some, the process is pretty smooth and colleges seek them out. For others, like myself, you need to initiate the contact and put yourself out there. So in that regard the recruiting process was more difficult for me along with the fact that there is a lot of stuff you can’t control the only thing you can control is how you play the game.

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

Carew: I was looking for a successful program that has a winning tradition and does things the right way. Having the privilege of playing for one of the better high school baseball programs in the state of Wisconsin, I wanted to continue that same culture and mindset into college. Also, I was looking for a place that was going to challenge me and make me the best baseball player I can be.

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

Carew: The distance from home didn’t matter much to me. I figured that I would find a school that would make me feel comfortable regardless of the distance.

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?

Carew: There wasn’t a specific time when the recruiting process heated up for me. However, playing over the summer and through the fall with the GRB Rays really got the ball rolling for my recruiting process.

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

Carew: Kent State first saw me play over the summer at the Dinger Wood Bat World Series in Akron, Ohio. We had been in contact before that through Greg Reinhard. After that, we stayed in contact into the fall.

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

Carew: I immediately felt comfortable with the coaching staff and I knew they would push me to be the best baseball player I could be the next four years. I was also really impressed with the baseball facilities, the academic programming, and the overall atmosphere of the campus and surrounding area.

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

Carew: Minnesota St. Mankato, UW-Whitewater, UW-Milwaukee, UW-LaCrosse, Winona St, and Concordia.

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

Carew: The best player I have faced in the state is Ryan Schmitt from Arrowhead. He has great velocity and command to go along with good off speed to keep you off balance. Also, his competitiveness and bulldog mentality really separates him from many other pitchers in the state.

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?

Carew: I first realized I had the potential to play college baseball when I made the GRB team my sophomore year. During the fall I was given the opportunity to play up with some of the 2015 grads such as Alex Henwood, Cade Bunnell, and Rudy Rott. This experience showed me where I needed to get to in order to play at a high level in college. Then my junior year I was selected to play in the PBR Future Games and realized that my abilities were just as good as the other players invited to play.

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

Carew: My advice to young baseball players is to take advantage of every opportunity you are given. Be proactive and do the little things that are going to improve you as a baseball player. Also, don’t expect anything to be given to you. You need to put in the hard work, time, and effort in order to get to where you want to be.

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

Carew: My most memorable baseball experience so far is winning the Fox Valley Association Conference last year and getting to the state tournament in back to back years.

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

Carew: After a deep run last year we lost a handful of great seniors but that shouldn’t hold us back this season. We have our starting catcher, Steven Jacobson returning along with pitcher, Tanner Haessly, outfielder Zach Carney, and infielders Danny VandenBoom and Max Anderson. We also have a lot of younger players that can step up and make an impact this year. Our goals are to win a conference championship and get back to Appleton and finish the job after finishing second the past two seasons.

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

Carew: I played with the GRB Rays in the summer. The most memorable experience I’ve had is being able to play alongside some of the top talent in Wisconsin, making a lot of lifelong friends, and finishing the summer ranked 39th in the nation as a team at the 17u level.

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