Prep Baseball Report

Competitive Slaby Ready To Be Part Of EMU Family

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Competitive Slaby Ready To Be Part Of EMU Family

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Henry Slaby RHP / St. Edward, OH / 2024

AVON LAKE - There were other visits and offers, but those did not match up to Eastern Michigan in the eyes of Henry Slaby.

“Eastern Michigan was the last visit I had planned at the time, but after seeing everything it was the last one I realized I needed,” explained the St. Edward High School senior, who committed to the Mid-American Conference school after earlier offers from Seton Hill and East Tennessee State.

Interest from EMU began in the summer.

“The first time coach Britt saw me was at the Top Prospect Games when he was with Charleston,” the 25th-rated 2024 right-handed pitcher in Ohio said in reference to new Eastern Michigan head coach Robbie Britt. “He was close to the change to Eastern. He saw me a couple of more times and invited me out. I loved it. He offered me there. I took a couple of days, but committed pretty quickly.”

It was a memorable time at Ypsilanti according to Slaby.

“Before I even saw the field or the facilities, coach sat me and my mom down to talk about the core values he wanted to instill, what he hopes for the next few years and his philosophy,” Slaby reflected. “It gave me everything I needed. I saw a different light to it, the way he talked about utilizing everything.”

The new Eastern mentor was impressed with what he had seen in the 6-2 205-pounder.

“What he touched on was he thought I was a competitive pitcher and consistent strike thrower,” Slaby related. “He liked the presence I carry out there and the way I fight.”

Improvement on the mound benefited the cause.

“For me, just getting stronger and more athletic has really helped,” Slaby noted. “Freshman year I was the same level as all the other kids my age, but I knew college baseball was my dream and I started working toward it. Cleveland BioSport was a huge help in me being the player and person I want to be.”

Co-owner and creator Brad Stillings in particular.

“He’s been a huge help for me, someone to bounce ideas off and add perspective to what I’m doing,” Slaby said.

There was additional assistance in his journey to play baseball at the next level.

“The recruiting process was definitely stressful at points, trying to work out a schedule and planning visits,” the 17-year-old explained. “Obviously, the bad comes with the good. There were a lot of moments to enjoy, but not a moment I took for granted. It’s a huge blessing to play at this level.

“A big help in getting noticed came after the Release Scout Day,” Slaby continued. “I was invited to the Top Prospect Games and that’s where coach Britt saw me. He saw what I was able to do and it worked out in the end.”

A commitment meant Slaby had reached a goal that began a few years back.

“It all started before high school, around seventh or eighth grade,” Slaby related. “That’s when I realized all of the friends I had made from sports and how much I loved playing it. That’s when I decided I wanted to play it for as long as I can.”

The 60th-ranked senior in the state was ecstatic when it became official that Eastern Michigan would be his home after high school.

“I’m beyond excited for the opportunity,” Slaby said. “When I finally decided, and talked to my parents about it, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. What I’m especially glad about is it’s a decision I never second guessed. I knew I’d be happy with it in the future.”

Slaby is confident he can make an impact once arriving at the university, located 21/4 hours from home.

“I think on and off the field they will be getting a dedicated worker,” Slaby explained. “Once I’m there for a few years I’ll be a leader. I like to lead by example and help others when I can. I also think they’re getting one of the best competitors in Ohio. I never back down from a challenge.”

That includes in the classroom where Slaby carries a 4.4 GPA at St. Edward and plans to major in business at Eastern Michigan.

“What I’m excited for is the opportunity to be with a team,” Slaby concluded. “Anthony Hutter, Tyler Yudess and Michael Ciavolella all play for the same organization (Release) and are going there. I’m looking forward to making that family away from my family with guys that have the same interest and same passion as me.”

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