Q&A with Harford Community College Commit Zach Craven

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Zachary CravenScouts and coaches are constantly reminding prospects that hard work and effort gets noticed. 1B Zach Craven (McKeesport HS) is a perfect example of the fact that effort and energy on a baseball field will always be noticed. Craven is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect that plays the game the right way. He bounces on and off the field and has the type of personality that teammates are drawn to.

The right-handed hitter has displayed an 87 mph bat exit velocity and an uncanny ability to drive in runs. Craven is at his best offensively when he steps to the plate with runners in scoring position. Defensively, Craven has showcased agility around the bag at 1B and a 78 mph arm across the diamond. 

Craven attacked his search for the right college with the same effort and energy he displays on the field. After a full summer and fall of exploring his options he announced his commitment to play his college baseball at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland. Craven spoke with Prep Baseball Report shortly following his announcement about his decision and the road that led him to Harford.

PBR:  Where have you decided to attend college and why did you make this choice?

Craven: I chose Harford Community College in Maryland. My goal has always been to play NCAA Division 1 baseball and I found that it really takes a well rounded athlete to play at that level. By playing at the JUCO level I will be able to continue to develop the skills that I need to compete with the best. After two years at Harford and working with Coach Eller, I will revisit D1 schools.

PBR:  What other schools were you considering?

Craven: I also had conversations with Buffalo, Temple, Oakland, Alderson Broaddus, Mansfield, Thiel, Pitt-Greensburg, Penn State Harrisburg and Penn State Behrend.

PBR:  Was distance from home a factor in your decision?

Craven: Not at all. It’s about a 4 ½ hour drive and definitely worth it because the baseball I’ll be playing will be amazing.

PBR:  Where did the coaches first see you?  How did your relationship develop with their coaching staff?

Craven: I reached out to Coach Eller with videos and comments from Prep Baseball Report and he really liked what he had saw and invited me to the campus. I made a visit and knew immediately that Harford was the right fit for me.

PBR:  What role do the coaches expect you to play your first year on campus?

Craven: One of the biggest factors in looking at schools was the potential for playing time. I did not want to go to a program where I felt that I would not be able to compete for playing time quickly. Harford will graduate their starting first baseman this spring giving me an opportunity to fight for playing time my freshman year.

PBR:  What is your biggest strength as a player and how do you feel that will help your team?

Craven:  I pride myself on putting defense first. My goal at first base is to help our team save runs every time I step on the field.

PBR:  Who do you play for in the summer and what was your most memorable experience from this past summer?

Craven: I played with an amazing group of athletes this summer with the B2B Bombers. I really enjoyed playing for a team that had passion and a determination to win along with quality coaching by Coach Vernesoni and Coach Jones. I also want to thank Coach Ninemire, Coach Tavares, & Coach Pope for all the development help throughout the summer.

PBR:  What is your current GPA?   

Craven: My current GPA is 3.2.

PBR:  Now that you have your commitment out of the way, what are your goals both individually and for the team going into your senior season?

Craven:  I plan to work hard to keep up academically. I want to leave a positive example for the players behind me in the program, showing that hard work leads to great results.

PBR: How did Prep Baseball Report aid you in gaining exposure as a potential college baseball recruit?

Craven: There is no way that I could have covered the ground that I have in the last year without Prep Baseball Report. The amount of traffic to the website from all over the country is amazing. The honest comments made regarding my abilities helped me as a player to work on my strengths and weakness.

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