Commitment Spotlight- '17 Zach Smith, C/RHP, Rochester John Marshall

By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

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Zach Smith 

Name: Zach Smith
Position: C/RHP
Class: 2017
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 195-pounds
High School: Rochester John Marshall
PBR Rank: #13 in MN 2017 Class

Evaluation: 6/20/16- 5-foot-11, 190-pound right-handed hitting 2-way player. Strong sturdy build. 7.78 runner. Balanced stance, short stride, uses lower half well in swing, consistent hard contact, mid/pull approach, quiet head to contact and repeats swing well. 86 mph exit velocity. Quiet receiver with ability to stick pitches in zone. Soft glove and catches with ease. Moves well laterally, needs to improve blocking mechanics, clean exchanges, longer release, works low and through to target on throws, above average carry and accuracy to bag. 78 mph arm strength with 2.15-2.21 pop times. Repeats well on mound. Consistent strike thrower with downhill fastball from short arm action. Fastball was 85-86 mph in one inning of work. Good shape and rotation on 11/5 breaking ball for strikes. Avg./ok fade on changeup with slowed arm action. 

PBR: Why did you choose North Dakota State University?   
SMITH: I chose NDSU because of many reasons. I developed a great relationship with Coach Brown and Coach Oakes. When I went on my unofficial visit I was very impressed with the facilities, the stadium that I will be playing in, and the academic side of NDSU. I also was happy that NDSU is close to home so family and friends can come and see me play.

PBR: What other schools were you considering? 
SMITH: I had a lot of interest from Midwest Division 1 and Division 2 schools. I also had interest from many Junior Colleges in the Midwest.

PBR: Where did the coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with them? 
SMITH: They first saw me at the PBR Top Prospect Games. After the showcase I talked on the phone with Coach Brown and I started to develop a relationship with him. I also was in contact a lot with Coach Oakes and we began to develop our relationship together as well.

PBR: Do you feel relieved now that the process is over and you can just focus on baseball and not deal with everything that goes into picking a school? 
SMITH: I am happy that the recruiting process is over and I can just focus on school and developing into a better baseball player going into my senior year.

PBR: Was there one deciding factor that put your choice over the top?  
SMITH: There were many factors that went into my decision but the most important was my relationship with Coach Brown and Coach Oakes, the facilities, and the academic side to NDSU.

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today? 
SMITH: There are many people that have helped me get to where I am today. All of my coaches; beginning from when I started playing as a little kid all the way up to all of my high school coaches. There are 2 specific people that have helped me immensely though. Adam Barta has helped coach and develop me into the player I am today. I have learned so much about the game of baseball from him and I wouldn't be where I am today without him. Also, my dad has always been there for me. He has taught me the basics about baseball starting at a very young age and has continued to help and push me to get better to this day.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult? 
SMITH: I wasn't quite sure how the recruiting process would go when it all started. I just tried to stay patient through it all and it all worked out for me. It was an easy decision for me.

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff have in store for you in your freshman season? 
SMITH: Coach Brown has said that I will have every opportunity to earn a spot playing as a freshman. I will have an opportunity to earn a spot pitching and also a spot in the lineup hitting. I look forward to getting on campus and working the hardest I can to earn a spot playing and contributing.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date? 
SMITH: The most memorable baseball moment for me is making it to the Legion State Tournament this past summer and winning our first game 1-0 in 16 innings. I pitched the first 9 innings and had the walk-off hit in the 16th inning.

PBR: Who is the best player that you have competed against? 
SMITH: Ty Buck from Red Wing. He is a great player.