Adjusting from high school to college can be challenging. On the baseball field, going from facing high school hitting and pitching to that on the college level is a whole new ballgame. TCU freshman Luken Baker seems to be doing just fine making the adjustment.
“It’s been awesome, said Baker. “I’m loving every minute of it.”
And he should. Baker is hitting .333 with two homers and 19 RBI this season. On the mound, he’s 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in with 20 strikeouts in 21.1 innings of work. So is there a different approach when taking the mound and then stepping up to the plate?
“There’s not really any difference,” Baker explains. “It’s basically a split focus. Whenever I’m on the mound I have to be focused there and once I get off the mound and go up to hit I have to be totally locked in. Right after that, flip it around.”
Before stepping foot on the TCU campus, Baker already had quite a resume. He was the 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year, three-time USA Baseball alum and won the MLB Junior Select home run derby at the 2014 MLB All-Star game. Scouts considered him an early first round draft pick before committing to TCU. Needless to say, he was already battle-tested before joining the college ranks.
“Every game can be close. Every team you play whether you think they are good or they’re not, everyone’s good at this level,” said Baker. “Just being out here every day and going through hours on hours of what we do, that’s the huge difference, the amount of commitment in college baseball rather than high school baseball.”
As the adjustments and commitments continue, Baker could put up some huge numbers and become a star before his TCU career is over.
By C. James