Q&A with Western Kentucky commit OF Jake Randa (SM East, 2017)

Shon Plack
Kansas Scouting Director

Jake Randa (Shawnee Mission East, 2017) has chosen to play at Western Kentucky after the conclusion of his high school career.  He is a left-handed hitting outfielder and stands 6-foot 180-pounds. 

Randa has a simple stroke at the plate.  He has loose hands and takes a short patch to contact.  His exit velo is 85 mph.  In the outfield, Randa has positional velo of 83 mph and he runs a 7.39 60. 

Currently Randa is preparing for his junior season at Shawnee Mission East.  The Lancers are one of the top teams in Kansas and Randa will be a huge part of the teams success.  Here is a look inside the recruiting process for Jake Randa.

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

Randa: My recruiting process went exactly the way that I wanted it to go. At first it was overwhelming, being only 16 years old and having college coaches coming to watch me play. But as I played in front of them more and more, it got a lot less stressful. I would have to say that it was halfway between being easy or difficult.
PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Randa: Not one bit, since the beginning I have always said that I wanted to get away from home.  
PBR: Where did Western Kentucky first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Randa: Western Kentucky first saw me play at the PBR Futures Games in Indianapolis, IN. Our relationship grew strong over the winter through numerous calls, texts, and letters, and I took my unofficial visit January 30th.

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

Randa: Oh man… This is easily the hardest question to answer because of all of the talent that we have here.. You have guys Like Will Brennan (Kansas State) who can hit 89 on the bump as a lefty and can hit any ball pitched to him when he’s in the box, and you have power arms like Lucas Krull (Arkansas), Riley Pint (LSU), and my teammates Joey Wentz (Virginia), Zeb Vermillion (Arkansas), and Luke Anderson (Missouri). I honestly can’t really tell you just one, so I am going to have to go with all of them.
PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Randa: My advice for you guys is to not sell yourself short, go out and take what’s yours!

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

Randa: I play football in the fall. About 2 weeks after football season is over I start hitting and throwing. During the winter I lift and condition with David Justice at AYC Fitness, and I start getting ready for the high school season about mid-December and that goes all the way until tryouts.

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

Randa: Hmmm, I have a lot to choose from.. My favorite baseball memory would probably have to be hitting a sitting cow with a home run ball while playing in Oklahoma when I was in 5th grade.

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

Randa: I liked everything about Western Kentucky. Their coaching staff, behind Head Coach Pawlowski, is very energetic and you can just tell that they are there to win. Their facilities are state-of-the-art, and the campus itself is the perfect size for me.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?
Randa: Lipscomb University and the University of Nebraska.

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?

Randa: The recruiting process really started to heat up for me last November, I started to figure out where I was wanting to go around that time as well.
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.

Randa: I feel like this team has a chance to do something really special. Our ultimate goal is to win a state championship, but another goal is to win an outright Sunflower League championship. We shared the honor last year for the first time in 29 years but it would be awesome to have it just to ourselves. We are returning a majority of our lineup from last year including Luke Anderson, Henry Miller, Joey Wentz, and Zeb Vermillion. Our Pitching rotation should be very dangerous. Having three pitchers committed to pitch at Division One programs means that every team will be facing a good arm. And having a Utility Guy like Trevor Thompson will be huge for us.

PBR: Describe your experience at the PBR Future Games last July.

Randa: It was truly a first-class event. Everything ran very smoothly and the amount of scouts in attendance was absolutely ridiculous.  

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

Randa: I play with Ironmen Baseball Club out of Louisville, Kentucky. This will be my first year with the team. 

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