Q&A with Michigan commit Dominic Clementi

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Wisconsin/Illinois

Over the weekend Dominic Clementi (Arrowhead) marked the fourth 2016 graduate in Wisconsin to make his college commitment. We got the chance to ask Clementi a few questions about the process and here’s what he had to say.

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

Clementi: Throughout the recruiting process I had no expectations. It certainly moved faster than I had anticipated. The process was fairly smooth due to the support of my family, coaches, and teammates.
PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Clementi: Absolutely. Our goal as a family was to be within 10 hours of home. Throughout my whole life my family has been very involved and we wanted to carry that into my collegiate career. My parents and grandparents make it to every game possible no matter what state we are in. In the beginning of the summer, I wanted to get as far away from home as possible. But after being gone for weeks at a time that changed my thinking on where I wanted to be. With that said, we were very excited to know that I will only be 6 hours away in Ann Arbor.

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

Clementi: First of all, we were looking for a quality education. In addition, I wanted to be a part of a family atmosphere and a place that will develop me to my fullest potential not only as a baseball player, but as a person. Michigan is one of the top schools in the United States, the coaching staff, facilities, tradition, and community support in Ann Arbor are unmatched. I also dream of playing in Omaha and I believe with the way Coach Bakich is leading the program, it is a definite possibility to bring Ann Arbor their 3rd National Championship.

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?

Clementi: The process started to really take off after this summer. At every tournament there were several scouts attending and I believe the University of Illinois tournament was where some heads started to turn towards me. I batted .667 in this tournament and was named a 2013 Prospect Wire All-American.

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

Clementi: Some other schools that I was interested in were Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Boston College.

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

Clementi: The thing I liked most about Michigan was the tradition and how family oriented it is. Michigan is all about the team and the process of developing as a person and player. Everything about Michigan was amazing.

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

Clementi: Playing in the Hitters program, I have had the great privilege and opportunity to face many great players to come through Wisconsin. In spring 2013, I faced off with East Carolina’s LHP Evan Kruczynski. Evan and I are friends and I looked up to him throughout the process. He brought such intensity and focus to the mound every game; I guess that’s why we all feared him.
PBR: What is your best attribute as a baseball player and how does that transfer onto the field for your team?

Clementi: I think my best attribute is my athleticism and intensity. Pete Rose, given the name Charlie Hustle, said, “Be aggressive; be more aggressive, and never be satisfied. That’s how I played the game.” That is how I try to play the game, and that’s how I want to be remembered.
PBR: What part of your game needs the biggest improvement, why, and what will you do to improve it?

Clementi: The biggest improvement I need to make is tracking down the ball in the outfield because I would often struggle on going back on the ball and figuring out where the ball was going to be. To improve this I just have to take a lot of fly balls and really focus.
PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Clementi: My biggest advice I can give to young ball players is to never be satisfied and always work harder than the other guy.
PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Clementi: In the offseason I work out at NX Level Sports Performance with Coach Brad Arnett 3 times a week. Once or twice a week, I go down to Racine to Hitters Baseball Academy for team practice/workout. Also, I hit every day at NX Level and at home in the basement. To keep my arm velocity up, I am on a velocity program run through Hitters Academy.
PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Clementi: No question, committing to my dream school, Michigan. 

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