Q&A with St. Louis Commit Jarrett Fueger

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2018 3B Jarrett Fueger of Waunakee recently committed to St. Louis University. Fueger is the second player from the 2016 Wisconsin Future Games team to make a commitment following the event. Fueger is ranked No. 29 in the Wisconsin Class of 2018. Here is a report on Fueger from the Future Games.

Jarrett FuegerFuture Games 2016 - 6-foot-2, 175-pound third baseman, carries strength. Offensively hits from the right side, slightly open stance, tall setup. Aggressive approach, swings hard, hits off back side, path is flat through the zone. Produced hard line drives in BP, best contact is to opposite field gap. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed average hands at third base, arm played at 76 mph across the diamond. 7.47 runner in the 60.

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

Fueger: My expectations for the recruiting process was that it was going to be a very stressful process, but it turned out to be not as expected at all. The process was very stress free thanks to all the support from my coaches and family, who helped make it an easy process, in finding me the right fit.

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

Fueger: A few things I was looking for out of a college program were, a quality education, a baseball program that has had success, a place that wasn’t too far away from home and a place that really cared about their players as not just athletes but as a person off the field as well. St. Louis was a great fit in all these areas.

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

Fueger: The distance from home definitely played a part in my decision. I wanted a place that was far enough away from home to have the feeling of being independent, but also a place that was in a central location to my home. My family has been my biggest support system throughout my whole career and I want them to have the opportunity to watch me play, and St. Louis being only 5 hours away gives them the opportunity.

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?

Fueger: The recruiting process really started to heat up for me this Summer playing for GRB’s 17u team. Specifically after the Music City Invitational in Nashville and the Perfect Game National Championship. In both tournaments we faced lots of really good pitching and a lot of the best 2017 arms already committed to the top D1 programs around the country . In these tournaments I had a lot of success, which is where my recruiting really started to get going.

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

Fueger: The first time St. Louis saw me was at the Top Prospect Showcase at GRB in the winter, the first time they actually saw me play was at the Perfect Game National Championship. After a game down in Atlanta, on the 4th of July, I got the chance to call Coach Will Bradley on the phone and he talked to me a lot about Saint Louis and what the school had to offer and all the new renovations they are putting into both the school and baseball program. From here we continued to talk throughout the summer and he was able to see me play again along with coach Connor Gandossy down in Huntley, Illinois. After this we made the plans to do a visit following the PBR Futures Games. On the visit I loved the school and knew that playing for a guy like Coach Will, the hitting coach at St. Louis, would be a perfect fit. All the coaches really care about their players as men on and off the field which really attracted me to the University. Following the visit about two weeks later I called Coach Hendrickson, which was when I received my offer. After talking on the phone I knew playing at St. Louis was what I wanted to do. After a day of talking with my family and thinking over the offer I decided to make my verbal commitment.

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

Fueger: The things I like most about St. Louis would be the commitment and support of the baseball program. Since the college doesn’t have a football team, they put a majority of their  focus on baseball. Along with this, Saint Louis has a family like atmosphere where you are not just a replaceable asset, but someone who the coaches and teachers on the campus will work closely with to ensure you get the best experience possible. I also wanted a school that has both strong academics to go with a history of baseball success, which St. Louis provides. On top of all this I have an opportunity to compete for playing time as soon as I get on campus. The location of the college allows for us to get outside earlier than normal, and the turf field provides us with the opportunity to be taking ground balls in January if we want.

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

Fueger: Other schools on my short list included, Illinois State, Xavier, Ohio, Cincinnati, and Miami of Ohio.

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

Fueger: The best player I have faced in my state would have to be Alan Roden. I’ve had the privilege of playing with him the last 2 years, but previously I have played against him since I was 9 years old. Even at that age he still put together more competitive at bats than any player I have ever played against. He has the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap for doubles and triples, beat out routine ground balls, doesn’t ever expand the strike zone, and never strikeouts. Evident by his 1 strikeout through the entire high school season this year. Along with this ability to change the game in the batter’s box, he can play every outfield position at an above average level along with playing 2nd and 3rd base and on top of that has the ability to be an above average catcher who calls a better game than anyone I have ever seen.

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?

Fueger: When I was 13 years old I got selected to represent the Great Lakes region at the USA NTIS playing against the best young players around the US. Down at the event I got challenged by pitchers more than I ever had before and this event turned into a wakeup call where I realized I had all the talent to compete with them and if I dedicated myself to putting in the work and perfecting my game I could definitely take my game to the next level.

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

Fueger: The best advice I can give to any young baseball player is to work hard and know what you want and to make goals and stay focused. It is very easy to get caught up in wanting to spend all your time with friends and having fun, but if you really want to play baseball at the next level you need to make sacrifices, you have to miss time out with your friends and spend it practicing and getting better. You shouldn’t let anyone work harder than you, Derek Jeter really said it best “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” You should set goals, and your goals should be one’s that aren’t easily obtainable. People are going to tell you along the way that you can’t do stuff and aren’t good enough but you have to use that as motivation to work harder and earn everything you get. You also can’t miss out on your opportunities, when you get the chance to play against the best players around the world you need to make the most of it. Also make sure to thank your family and coaches for everything they do for you both on and off the field. Nobody would be the player they are today without them.

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

Fueger: The most memorable moment of my baseball career to this point would be hosting a playoff game last year for my high school team. The previous year we had been terrible and had only won 4 games, when I was a freshman, but my sophomore season, we really turned it around and finished with 14 wins and a record over .500 and I was our team captain. The playoff game we hosted was at Warrior Field, in Waunakee in front of a packed house, and I recorded the last 6 outs on the mound to get the save and to close out a 3-2 victory over Tomah to advance in playoffs. 

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

Fueger: This year for high school for Waunakee we are returning about 80-90% of our starters. I think our team will have a good chance to win our conference and make a deep run in the playoffs with the chance to win our sectional. My expectations for this season would be to win our conference and advance to the sectional final and win that and advance to the state tournament. As a sophomore I was a first team all conference infielder and my goal would be to do that again as well as lead our team to the state tournament. Our head coach Spencer Lee has been working with me since I was 8 and coaching me since then and does a great job of getting us ready with the limited time we get in Wisconsin.

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

Fueger: In the summer I play for GRB’s 17u team. Greg and Max do a great job working with players and getting everyone seen, none of this would be possible without the work that they do. The most memorable experience I have with the team would be winning the Dinger Bat World Series in Cincinnati. We were down 5 runs going into the bottom of the 6th inning and rallied to score 7 in the inning and turned a double play in the top of the 7th with runners of 1st and 2nd to win the game. My most memorable moment individually would be playing at the Perfect Game National Championship in Atlanta in a game we were tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 6th, I came up to bat with the bases loaded and on a 1-2 count hit a triple off the right field wall to put us up for good. 

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