Toledo 'A Breath Of Fresh Air' For Leininger


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Toledo ‘A Breath Of Fresh Air’ For Leininger

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Nathan Leininger

Class of 2022 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 1B
  • High School: Olentangy Liberty
    State: OH
  • Summer Team: Triple Crown Royals
  • Height: 6-4
    Weight: 180lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
86
Max FB
(06/10/21)
81 - 86
FB
(06/10/21)
70 - 74
CB
(06/10/21)
75 - 77
CH
(02/18/21)
74 - 76
SL
(02/18/21)
Pitching
Max FB
86
FB
81 - 86
CB
70 - 74
Pitching
Max FB
81
FB
78 - 81
CB
71 - 73
SL
74 - 76
Pitching
Max FB
85
FB
83 - 85
CH
75 - 77
SL
74 - 76
Position
77
INF Velo
(02/18/21)
81
Exit Velo
(02/18/21)
Trackman - Fastball
85.3
Velocity (max)
(02/18/21)
82.2
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/18/21)
2063
Spin Rate (max)
(02/18/21)
1919
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/18/21)
Trackman - Fastball
Velocity (max)
85.3
Velo Range
83.2 - 85.2
Eff Velocity (avg)
82.2
Spin Rate (max)
2063
Spin Rate (avg)
1919
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Slider
75.4
Velocity (max)
(02/18/21)
71.6
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/18/21)
2313
Spin Rate (max)
(02/18/21)
2237
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/18/21)
Trackman - Slider
Velocity (max)
75.4
Velo Range
73.3 - 75.1
Eff Velocity (avg)
71.6
Spin Rate (max)
2313
Spin Rate (avg)
2237
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - ChangeUp
76.5
Velocity (max)
(02/18/21)
72.8
Eff Velocity (avg)
(02/18/21)
1857
Spin Rate (max)
(02/18/21)
1749
Spin Rate (avg)
(02/18/21)
Trackman - ChangeUp
Velocity (max)
76.5
Velo Range
74.4 - 76.5
Eff Velocity (avg)
72.8
Spin Rate (max)
1857
Spin Rate (avg)
1749
IVB (max)
IVB (avg)
HM (max)
HM (avg)
Extension (avg)
Release Ht (avg)
Spin Score (max)
Zone %
Trackman - Hitting
81.4
Exit Velocity (max)
(02/18/21)
69.1
Exit Velocity (avg)
(02/18/21)
137
Distance (avg)
(02/18/21)
269
Distance (max)
(02/18/21)
Trackman - Hitting
Exit Velocity (max)
81.4
Exit Velocity (avg)
69.1
Distance (avg)
137
Distance (max)
269
Sweet Spot %
Line Drive %
Ground Ball %
Blast - Hitting
19.5
Hand Speed (max)
(02/18/21)
18.1
Hand Speed (avg)
(02/18/21)
62.7
Bat Speed (max)
(02/18/21)
59.9
Bat Speed (avg)
(02/18/21)
Blast - Hitting
Rot. Acc (max)
Rot. Acc (avg)
Hand Speed (max)
19.5
Hand Speed (avg)
18.1
Bat Speed (max)
62.7
Bat Speed (avg)
59.9
On Plane Eff (avg)

Toledo ‘A Breath Of Fresh Air’ For Leininger

POWELL - There were a lot of surprises in a recruiting process for Nathan Leininger that came to an end with a commitment to Toledo.

“I didn’t even start thinking about playing college baseball until the summer going into my junior year,” the Olentangy Liberty senior reflected. “I wasn’t really informed about the process, I thought college baseball was the best of the best. Then I met Duke Dickerson, a college coach with Capital, who explained it to me.”

Soon after, playing at the next level started to become a reality.

“When my velocity jumped up a couple of D-I schools started looking at me,” noted the 25th-rated 2022 right-handed pitcher in Ohio. “After that I knew I could play.”

At the outset of summer the 17-year-old formed a list of colleges to consider.

“It was schools that I conceivably could get an offer,” Leininger related. “Toledo was at the top of the list.”

Communication with the Mid-American Conference program began but it did not last long … or so Leininger believed.

“They came and watched me and some of my teammates,” Leininger said. “I didn’t talk to them, but they told my summer coach they wanted me to come to a camp. I went to that and talked to (head) coach (Rob) Reinstetle. But after that there wasn’t a lot of communication.”

That is ... until August when the 80th-rated 2022 in Ohio was given an offer from UT via phone call.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Leininger admitted. “It was kind of out of the blue. I was talking to some others and had almost ruled Toledo out. I hadn’t talked to them since June, so it was a surprise.”

Eastern Michigan, Earlham and Seton Hill were schools Leininger was considering before Toledo reentered the picture.

“I ended up going to see the campus and I committed a week later,” noted Leininger, who pointed to the environment at the school as one plus. “I really liked the energy of the pitching coach (John Sheehan). It’s something I wanted to be a part of. I felt like it was a place I wanted to attend. It’s the perfect size. Everything is close together, but it’s a big enough school where you can meet a lot of people.”

Toledo saw enough in the 6-4 180-pound right-hander to believe there was a bright future ahead.

“They like my size and my projectability,” related Leininger, whose home in Powell is a little more than two hours away from the university. “They like where I’m at now, but they really like my projectability of where I will be. They also like my mechanics on the mound and my arm slot which makes it hard to pick up.”

The fifth-ranked uncommitted 2022 RHP in Ohio before deciding on Toledo, Leininger made a lot of strides in the past year.

“Last year my velocity was high-70s, low-80s,” the Olentangy Liberty senior pointed out. “It wasn’t until last year that I put in the work to get stronger and my velocity jumped seven to eight miles an hour. I’m more in shape and I’m more flexible. I decided if this is what I want to do I’ve got to put in the work.”

Dickerson, travel coach Mike Kula and Liberty coaches Ty Brenning and Jimmy Onate along with coach Jarod Yoakam were influential in helping in development and the recruiting process for Leininger.

“I wasn’t getting much interest during the high school season but when summer came is when it started to take off,” Leininger noted. “The goal of our travel team was to win but also to help kids get to play in college. There were only a small number of schools I was interested in so when Toledo called it was a breath of fresh air.”

With a 3.95 GPA, Leininger is looking at a major in sports medicine or pre-dental as he prepares for college life with baseball.

“My parents were super proud and super happy,” Leininger said about his commitment. “My youngest brother (Brady, age 11) was the most supportive of everyone. He looks up to me. It was a realization that I’m a role model for my brother.

“For me personally, it was pretty stressful. After the call with Toledo it was a huge weight off my shoulders. But I realize I’m not done yet. What’s left is working hard and producing.”



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