Prep Baseball Report

Q&A wih Central Missouri Commit 3B Kole Ficken (Boonville, 2018)

Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Cole Ficken (Boonville, 2018) is a 6-foot-2 195-pound right-handed hitting third baseman and has committed to play at Central Missouri. 

Ficken represented Missouri at the PBR Future Games last summer and was an honorable-Mention All-State selction in Class 4 after leading Boonville to the state championship game last season. 

He ran a 7.28 60 and a 4.37 home-to-first with an exit velo of 94 mph from the right side. Ficken has an aggressive swing with a controlled leg kick.  He has power to pull side with quick bat speed. 

On the infield, Ficken has an 80 mph positional velo with loose over the top release.  His footwork creates momentum though the catch, while his hands and feet stay in sync to make accurate throws with carry.

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

Ficken: I really didn’t know what to expect really. It was difficult at times. I was told by my Coaches to be patient and let the process happen, not to worry about all of the players who were committing so early. Even when you would hear people say “I can’t believe that guy committed to that school…makes no sense”. Coach Jones and Brown always said don’t worry when a school is a good fit …. you will know it.   

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

Ficken: No… however I am very blessed to be at a school as competitive as UCM and it is close to home.

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

Ficken: I am not sure. I know that Coach Crookes and Coach Stambersky had told me they had been keeping track of me for quite a while they had seen me several times and called a lot of coaches and scouts about me.

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

Ficken: Well I have not faced him but I am blessed to call him my Building Champions teammate. Christian Franklin (2018 Arkansas) is the best I have seen/or played with. He is so fast and has such quick hands. You go to the park every day expecting him to make some ESPN top 10 catch in center field and usually... he does. I would pay money to watch him play.

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

Ficken: Get your work in every day. Work hard every day. Tee Work, Tee Work, Tee work. Lift hard, speed and agilities, always sprint on and off the field stay away from social media, get good grades, study/watch the game and become a student of the game. Respect the game...  MOST IMPORTANT SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WATCHING….ALWAYS!!   

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

Ficken: Lift, hit, run, hit, agilities, hit, take ground balls, hit. Get work in every day. I am planning on playing football in the fall of 2017 at Boonville High School

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

Ficken: I have two memorable moments 1. Playing with Coach Fred Smith for a 4A State Title vs. MICDS in 2016 2. Making it all the way to the semifinals of the WWBA Underclass World Championship with Coach J.J. Picollo, Coach Jack Monahan and the Royals Scout Team. We got 3rd out of 250 teams.

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

Ficken: The Coaches they are straightforward and honest and very competitive. Key factors include The facilities are good, the program is always competitive and successful. The expectation is to win the MIAA go to the DII World Series every year and compete for a National Championship. 

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

Ficken: Growing up all I ever wanted was to be was a Missouri Tiger. I had a great relationship with Coach Hunter Mense at Mizzou and really thought it was a forgone conclusion when there was a coaching change it seemed there was no longer any interest by the new staff.. I had received some interest from Dartmouth, Cornell, Illinois State, Western Illinois, Missouri State, State Fair, Kansas State, Illinois State.  

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?    

Ficken: I don’t think it ever reached a fever pitch or anything like that. I don’t think it was one game or tournament. I think that UCM felt like my total body of work over the past few years was solid and my work ethic was good. They liked my size, strength and ability to hit the ball deep.  

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

Ficken: Boonville Pirates expect to compete for a Conference, District, and State Title. We return all but three starters from last year’s team so we should be very very competitive. Pitching, and adjusting to the new pitching rules for high school will take some getting used to. We feel like we can score runs so as with most baseball we will go as far as our pitching and defense take us.   

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

Ficken: Building Champions Academy 17U White (Coach Jeremy Jones, J.J. Picollo, and Neb Brown) making it all the way to the finals at Texas Tech in the 18 U tourney when I was 16 years old.