- Name: Jared Liebelt
- Classification: 2017
- Position: RHP
- Ht: Wt: 6-foot-0, 165
- Bats-Throws: R-R
- Junior College: Waubonsee Community College (via Villanova University)
- High School: West Aurora (IL) High School
- Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State
"I officially visited Mississippi State last weekend," said Liebelt. "Stepping on their campus was kind of mind-blowing. The field was absolutely incredible. The Palmeiro Center and the weight room were outstanding. And when they showed me the plans for the new Dude, a 55 million dollar project, that blew my mind. It looked more like a pro stadium than college baseball stadium."
He took a few days to think about his experience at Mississippi State before deciding to commit.
"I wanted to talk to a couple of other schools that I was going to visit before deciding, the University of Arizona and the University of Kentucky," said Liebelt. "After talking to them and my family we determined that there wasn't going to be anything better than what Mississippi State could offer in regards to financial scholarship and what the program itself had to offer."
He then let Mississippi State know that he was committing.
"I committed Wednesday night," said Liebelt. "I called (Mississippi State assistant) Coach (Gary) Henderson when I committed. I told him that I was going to accept his offer and couldn't wait to get on campus. He was equally excited."
He explained how Mississippi State initially got involved in his recruitment.
"This summer I played with the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League in Wisconsin," said Liebelt. "In one particular game there was a pro scout there that took notice of me. I think he contacted Coach Henderson or someone on the Mississippi State coaching staff. They called the Loggers and got Coach Henderson in contact with me. About a week later he flew up to Wisconsin and watched me throw in a game. He really liked what he saw, and, obviously, I was very interested in Mississippi State because it is probably the biggest school that I have ever been recruited by.
"Coach Henderson said he really liked my ability to pound the strikezone and how I attacked hitters with my fastball. He also really liked my two-seam fastball movement because it has a really late and heavy sinking movement. He also liked that when I got behind in the count I was confident enough to use any of my pitches to get back into the zone. He said I could work on getting my breaking ball a little more consistent. He also said he wants me to get in the weight room since I am about a 165 pounds. All the coaches mentioned that to me."
His two-seam fastball velocity also intrigued Henderson and the other coaches recruiting him.
"In the spring I topped out at 94, although I only touched it one or two times," said Liebelt. "Then, this summer (at La Crosse) I had a bunch of outings where I was sitting 92-94 and hitting 94 consistently. That was really exciting considering my freshman fall (at Villanova) I was topping out at 88 and sitting consistently at 86."
He explained how he increased his fastball velocity by eight miles per hour in a matter of months.
"When I transferred (from Villanova) to my junior college program they introduced me to a program designed by (former MLB pitcher) Tom House," said Liebelt. "I did a lot of drills from his program that really focused on things like hip and shoulder separation, driving down on the mound. That is where you get a lot of your velocity, from the separation and the torque that your hips and torso create. I also got on a weighted ball program that I went really hard at. I think all of that really helped."
Liebelt had great success at Waubonsee Community College his freshman season, recording a 9-4 record with a 2.11 ERA in 13 games, all as a starter. He struck out 100 batters in 81.0 innings, while allowing 56 hits and 24 walks.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network.