Q&A with Arkansas Commit Zeb Vermillion (SM East, 2017)



Shon Plack
Kansas Scouting Director

Zeb Vermillion (Shawnee Mission East, 2017) is a 6-foot-5 175-pound right-handed pitcher that led the Lancers to the semifinals in the Kansas 6A tournament last spring.  After a successful summer of showcase baseball with the KC Sluggers, Vermillion attended the PBR Future Games in late July. 

At the Future Games, Vermillion was impressive with an 85-88 mph fastball with late run, working both sides of the plate.  He has an over-the-top release with quick arm speed.  He showed command of his breaking ball and change-up.  His curveball is a late breaking and  11-to-5 in shape at 71-72 mph.  His change-up has late sink at 80-82 mph with fastball arm speed.  Vermillion showed loose arm action and the projection for increased velo as he develops.

Soon after, Vermillion committed to play college baseball at Arkansas and is currently playing for the Kansas City Royals Elite Scout team this fall. 

Here is a look inside the process that landed Vermillion at Arkansas. 

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

Vermillion: I knew it was going to be a long and persistent process, but I didn’t find it to be too hard and I knew I should take in the experience and have fun with it.

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

Vermillion: I wasn’t worrying about distance too much, but I did want my parents to be able to come and watch me.

PBR: Where did Arkansas first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Vermillion: Arkansas first saw me in my Sophomore season when I was pitching against Blue Valley Southwest. From then on I started talking to the coaches about every week or so and went down a couple times for a visit to get a feel for what Arkansas really is.

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

Vermillion: The best player I have faced in my state is Joey Wentz. We play on the same high school team and we scrimmage a lot. Joey is by far one of the best hitters I have ever seen and is a huge competitor.

PBR: Describe your experience at the PBR Future Games.

Vermillion: I had a lot of fun at the Future Games. I got to meet some great players and coaches. I knew quite a few of the kids on my team so it was very easy to play with them, making it a lot easier to play against the great competition.

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

Vermillion: Never stop working, no matter how good you are, you can always be better.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Vermillion: Usually my offseason is only the winter, and I play basketball, which keeps me in great shape as it is.

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

Vermillion: My most memorable moment in my baseball career is when I was really little playing in a small league with my friends, and one game I remember I went 4 for 4 with 4 homeruns and a grand slam. Which is ironic because I’m primarily a pitcher.

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

Vermillion: I had very high thoughts on Clemson, Wichita State, and Missouri, but every school I looked at was a great option for me.

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?

Vermillion: I never felt like one single performance kicked off the recruitment process for me. As I played, the recruitment started building up gradually, not all at once. 

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals? Name some players that will play a key role for Shawnee Mission East in 2016.

Vermillion: I feel our team is going to be one of if not the best team in the state. I would very much like to win state, but with this team I feel like we could win state and have an undefeated record. Some key players will be Joey Wentz, Luke Anderson, Jake Randa, Henry Miller, and Trevor Thompson. We will have an outstanding pitching rotation and a great heart of the lineup offense.

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

Vermillion: The team I’m going to play with this summer is the Ironmen Baseball Club out of Louisville. This is going to be my first year on the team, but I played with some of the players in Atlanta and had a blast.

 

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