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TCU baseball fans will recognize a new, but familiar face during the 2017 season.
Paschal High School catcher, Andrew Medford signed a letter of intent to play for the Frogs.
Paschal Head Coach Darrell Preston said he expects Medford to make the jump to the collegiate game.
“Kids look to him first – he’s the leader. The catcher has got to be a leader of the program. Kind of like the quarterback in football,” Preston said. “He’s definitely been that guy for us. They look to him and respond to him.”
After signing his national letter of intent, Andrew Medford will attempt to follow in the footsteps of a string of successful catchers who have thrived under the tutelage of TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
Paschal Head Coach Darrell Preston said he believes the senior has the makeup, like that of recent TCU backstops Bryan Holaday, Kyle Bacak and Evan Skoug, to make the jump to the collegiate game.
“Kids look to him first – he’s the leader. The catcher has got to be a leader of the program. Kind of like the quarterback in football,” Preston said. “He’s definitely been that guy for us. They look to him and respond to him.”
Preston said Medford’s catching wasn’t what got him noticed. It was his fielding.
“I think that has taken a big jump with the velocity on the mound,” Preston said. “With his secondary pitches as well. I think that’s why TCU jumped on him.”
Medford’s fastball was recorded at 91 mph, according to Perfect Game. He also received a 9 out of 10 grade from the prospect service.
Perfect Game also recorded a 1.88 “pop time” for Medford behind the plate.
A pop time is a defensive metric used to judge catchers by recording the time it takes from the moment the ball hits the catcher’s glove to when the ball hits the glove of the middle infielder covering second base. For reference, the NCSA recruiting service considers a “top-tier” prospect to be a catcher who consistently records a time below 2.0.
“He’s always been outstanding behind the plate,” Preston said. “His pop time has always been consistent and accurate.”
Now the challenge lies in the transitioning his talent from the high school game to the rigors of the college level.
Preston, a former baseball player at UTA, can speak from experience.
“They don’t understand how difficult it is to go from high school and play at the Division I level. A lot of times in high school you’re still playing for fun, but when you go to the next level, it’s a job,” he said. “They’re paying for you to go to school and to play for them.”