Hutchinson Ready For College Baseball Experience
College baseball life is something that Connor Hutchinson has aspired to experience.
“I have friends that have told me about it and I can’t wait to be a part of that,” the Troy High School junior related.
It is now a reality for the 10th-rated 2023 shortstop in Ohio after a commitment with Ball State.
“I decided to go to a camp there at the last minute,” noted Hutchinson about the university in Muncie, Ind. “I showed up and performed like I usually do. After that they took me on a campus tour and we talked in the locker room about what you have to do to be a Ball State baseball player. The next day (head) coach (Rich) Maloney offered. We thought it was best for me and my family and we decided to take the offer.”
Hutchinson showed a lot of promise to Ball State.
“They liked my arm strength in the field and said I had fluid hands in the field,” Hutchinson explained. “My 60 time was a PR, 6.72, and they like their middle infielders to be 6.7 and below. My infield velo was 91.”
The 43rd-ranked junior in the state found a lot to like about the Mid-American Conference school.
“I love the coaches,” Hutchinson said. “I feel the coaching staff is amazing. I can relate to coach Maloney, he was a shortstop and coached Derek Jeter. With the amount of guys they’ve sent to pro baseball, I feel going to Ball State will help me be the best I can be.
“The school also has the most majors to consider,” added Hutchinson, a 3.6 student planning on a major in exercise science. “I think it’s the best option for me school-wise and athletic-wise.”
The potential to be a two-way player also exists for the 6-0 165-pound right-hander.
“They want to see me pitch in the spring, but I think there’s a good chance I could be a two-way,” pointed out Hutchinson, who had a two-way offer from Wright State while being recruited as a pitcher-only by Pittsburgh and as an infielder by Cincinnati.
“I feel my fielding has improved a lot from my freshman and sophomore years to my junior year,” Hutchinson added about what helped attract interest from the college level. “Hitting is something I struggled with in the past but with the coaches I have now I think I’ll be a lot better. I quit basketball to focus this winter on baseball.”
The idea of playing college baseball at a high level was not something the 16-year-old felt was a possibility just a few years back.
“Freshman year my coaches had a couple calls with college coaches,” Hutchinson reflected. “I knew I had the talent, but not D-I. But sophomore year I started talking to coaches and that summer I went off and played amazing. More coaches talked to me, but then Covid hit. More started talking to me in the summer and then on Sept. 1 eight coaches reached out.”
It helped bring a close to a long recruiting process.
“It definitely was slow because of Covid,” Hutchinson related. “I feel I was helped out a lot by my coaching staff at high school and with my summer team. They sent out my video from PBR and coaches reached out after that. PBR events helped a lot getting my numbers out there. Throwing 90 across the field, most high school kids can’t do that, so that helped set it off.”
High school infield coach Jake Wells and Troy pitching coach Keith Murray have been influential in becoming the two-way player he is according to Hutchinson, who believes he can be a major asset to the MAC program in Indiana.
“I’m a very, very competitive guy, I don’t like to lose,” Hutchinson pointed out. “I go hard in practice and don’t mess around. Off the field I don’t like to get in trouble, I avoid trouble. I’m on time, do my assignments and make sure I’m always prepared.”
Knowing where his future lies brings relief to Hutchinson, the third-ranked uncommitted junior in Ohio prior to his decision to attend Ball State.
“I put in a lot of work to be a Division I player,” Hutchinson said. “My freshman and sophomore years I never thought this could happen. Now I can go out and play baseball, have fun and not worry about criticism from coaches.”
The Troy junior also looks forward to his college days ahead.
“I can’t wait to help out my teammates and be part of a program like Ball State,” Hutchinson concluded.