Q&A with Drury Commit 1B/RHP Tyler Peterson (Rockhurst, 2015)



Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Drury recently received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-3 215-pound 1B/RHP Tyler Peterson (Rockhurst, 2015).  At PBR's Class of 2015 Games in August, Peterson posted a home-to-first time of 4.59, and an exit velocity of 88 mph. Peterson has a balanced, athletic setup. He shows fluid rhythm and a level bat path. Tyler produces gap-to-gap line drives with his swing. In game action, he stroked a ball to deep center field for a double. During the defensive evaluations, he threw from a high ¾ arm slot, making mostly accurate throws at 78 mph. Peterson displayed quick fluid feet with a clean exchange. 

Before Peterson lands on the Drury campus in the fall of 2015, he is looking for an expanded role in hopes to lead a talented Rockhurst team to the Missouri Class 5 Final Four in June.  Here is a look inside the recruitment of Peterson and how he selected Drury University. 

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

Peterson: I knew the process would take a lot of hard work and patience on my part.  I sent out emails inviting coaches to come see me play at tournaments with my profile and video attached.  I then followed up after the game to understand interest and areas of improvement. You have to be actively engaged in the process.

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

Peterson: Location or distance did not play a factor in my search or decision.  My goal was to find a school with a strong baseball and academic program.  I was looking for coaches that could take me to the next level.

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

Peterson: I sent Drury my profile and videos middle of the summer.  They saw me play in a tournament in Springfield, Mo.  It all really came together when I attended their prospect showcase in the fall.  I knew then that their winning record was not only due to having talented players; but from the dedicated staff. An on campus visit with the coaches sealed the deal, Drury was the school for me.

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

Peterson: Ryan Cyr, who committed to Mississippi State, is a talented pitcher.  It was always challenging, but a good learning experience to face him in tournaments.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Peterson: Along with academics, I wanted to be part of a proven baseball program.  I knew in order for me to continue to the next level I needed a program where strength training was a key element with an opportunity to play.  Drury baseball has a 3.4 team GPA and a winning record of 44 – 13.  I am proud to be a Panther.

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

Peterson: Most Coaches I talked to were looking for dual players.  Make sure you know your strengths and work hard to demonstrate your abilities at a showcase.  Your summer coach may want you in a certain position, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on another position on your own so you can show off your athleticism at a tryout.  Once you figure out what college or conference you’re interested in, attend their showcases.  It gives you a chance to work directly with the coaches and ask current college players questions about the baseball program and academics.  Grades are very important. Never under estimate the value of academic scholarship money.  And finally, become as lean and mean as possible. Over the summer I lost eight percent body fat and gained about fifteen pounds of muscle. This ultimately made me faster and able to consistently crush the ball.

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

Peterson: Strength training, speed and agility are always important.  I work out 4 days a week in the gym and hit 5 days a week in the cage.  On days I can’t get in the gym for a workout due to academic workload, I run a couple of miles. Never underestimate your diet.  Eating clean has improved my performance a  lot.

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

Peterson: Spending three days with Army baseball, 7 a.m. to lights out at 11 p.m. was an amazing experience.  I have such admiration for our military and the level of mental and physical discipline they exercise daily.  West Point has the most impressive facilities I’ve ever seen. Hitting a home run on Double Day field is priceless to me, I will never forget that moment.

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

Peterson: Hands down the quality coaching staff at Drury was a big selling point for me.  I also liked that they had academic programs in several majors I’m interested in pursuing.  Everything I was looking for was at Drury University.

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

Peterson: West Point, New Mexico Military Institute, UCM, and William Jewell.

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?

Peterson: The recruiting process started to heat up for me when West Point saw me play in Joplin, Missouri.  I have to say that fall showcases where key to getting in front of coaches one on one in their environment.

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 Rockhurst in 2015.

Peterson: Rockhurst Baseball always has a lot of talent.  I look forward to playing Senior year with my friends from various teams across the city.   

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

Peterson: I played with Building Champions this past summer.  Several talented guys from the Lee’s Summit area were added to the team.  My most memorable summer experience was playing in the 18U Premier Championship in Joplin, MO.

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