Prep Star Zack Engelken Gives Nebraska Baseball Optimistic Future

Nebraska baseball prospectsLINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska baseball took some blows during the 2013 season, finishing with a paltry 29-30 record. However, as is so often spoken in the sports world,” There’s always next year.” More appropriate for this circumstance correspondingly, might be “There’s always two years from now.”

The 2014 recruiting class comprises eight players that are ranked in the top 1,000 by Perfect Game, together with five top-500 prospects and three top-300 players that put Nebraska in position to compete like never before.

Among these recruits is the big right-handed pitcher Zack Engelken, out of Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

Nebraska baseball College Baseball Central spoke with the 18 year old prospect on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 and Engelken provided some insight on his expectations when he arrives on campus in 2015.

“The fans are one of the main reasons I chose to commit to Nebraska,” Engelken said. “My unofficial visit was great and the facilities were second to none. Whatever I do I’m going to do my best and make an impact my freshman year.”

With a three pitch arsenal Engelken assisted in leading Blue Valley West HS to the Kansas state championship in 2013 and is hoping to repeat that performance this year. This should aid in his preparation for college ball most assuredly.

“I am working on my changeup during the off-season,” the 6’5 210 lb. RHP added. “It’s not as consistent as I would like it to be and I’m trying to get a better feel for it. I am getting stronger and I have put on an extra 15 pounds. Hopefully I can get my velocity up and get my third pitch going for strikes.”

Engelken, like many young prospects, look to gain advice from players that are further along in the recruiting process to help gain an edge.

Texas Rangers prospect Colin Wiles was Engelkens mentor. Engelken had a chance to see Wiles pitch when Wiles was a senior and Engelken was a sophomore.

“It was awesome to see him pitch,” Engelken explained. “I have been looking up to him for a long time, and his approach to the game – a bulldog mentality – has been a privilege for me to be able to observe.”

About the Author

Matthew Gray
Matthew Gray is a national writer for College Baseball Central and a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, granting him an official vote annually on which coaches and players will be inducted. Matthew is also a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, which gives him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy (Player of the Year), Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. Matthew is college baseball's go to source for exclusive player, coach, scout and executive interview based articles. He is at the forefront of prospect knowledge in the nation, and owns a strong managerial and professional background which includes over 25 years of experience as an author, scout, coach and athlete. Matthew has two daughters, Shelby, and Michelle. Follow Matthew on Twitter @CBCBaseball95