Card Commit Q&A: Jonathan Kaskow

The next avenue for recruiting coverage is on the diamond. Many of the best baseball players in the country will next month sign their National Letters of Intent, and that includes Stanford-bound Jonathan Kaskow. The 6'4" talented Texas corner infielder is prized for his hitting from both sides of the plate, and he helps us to get to know him through this Q&A session.  First of all, I'm sure it was a summer of showcases for you.  How do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?

Jonathan Kaskow:  This summer went very well and was definitely busy.  I enjoyed playing with and against some of the best players in the nation and felt I gave a good representation of my abilities to the college coaches and pro scouts.  With just about every game being watched by them, I learned how to block that out and approach every game with the same preparation and intensity I always have.  Which event do you think you had your best showing at?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I would say my best showing was probably at the Connie Mack Regional World Series Qualifier played at Northwood University in June.  I had three home runs with a walk-off to win a big game against one of our rivals.  If you had describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out - what should people know about your style of play?

Jonathan Kaskow:  To describe my overall game, I'd say: aggressive, intense, and perceptive.  I consider myself an intense competitor and it is reflected in all aspects of my game.  What would you say is your strongest attribute as a player?

Jonathan Kaskow:  The strongest attribute of my game is being able to switch-hit for both power and average.  Have you thought ahead about the decision you could have to make between going pro and college?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I made a verbal commitment to Stanford University in July. I definitely want to play professionally when the right opportunity presents itself, whether that is out of high school or after my junior year of college.  What do you feel are the most significant improvements you have to make over the next year?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I want to continue to get physically stronger and quicker and will work hard in my off-season weight and conditioning program.  There are specific pitches I would like to be able to hit better from both sides of the plate and will work to achieve this with the help of my coach, pitching machine, and live reps.  It seems that you were a player that moved up a lot on many prospects lists this summer.  What differences do you think there were in your game that got you the added attention?

Jonathan Kaskow:  The feedback I received was that the scouts liked my swing and ability to hit with power to all fields from both sides of the plate.  I also entered the summer after having a strong high school season and making the All-State team.  What do you feel is the most important thing we should know about that is not visible at first glance?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I think my coaches might be able to give you better insight on this question, but I would say I am very disciplined, have a high work ethic and am extremely focused.  I am a team player and try to help my team capitalize on any and every opportunity.  I approach the game from a professional manner and try not to let my emotions swing too high or low.  What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I would say Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers primarily because he is a switch-hitter with power and is plus defensively.  He also seems to handle himself very professionally on and off the field.  How would you describe your approach at the plate?

Jonathan Kaskow:  My approach at the plate would be what I would call "controlled aggressiveness," waiting to get the right pitch in the right count.  You've been praised for your offensive skills by many scouts.  What do you think makes you such a strong hitter?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I have always had good eye-hand coordination and at age 11 had a coach recommend I switch-hit.  Being right-handed, I had to work hard at it but soon developed a very natural left-handed swing.  I think it is a combination of excellent hitting instruction, God-given natural ability, a lot of hard work, experience, and a good mental approach at the plate.  I love to hit.  How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I have been very fortunate in being a part of one of the best select teams in the country since I was 12.  Having the experience year after year of reaching the finals of national tournaments has helped me to know what it takes to play competitively with pressure and what it takes to be successful.  Playing with and against strong competition helps me play my best game.  How would you break down your defensive game?  Do you feel it is one of your stronger points?

Jonathan Kaskow:  I would say my defensive game is one of my stronger points because of my athleticism, which I think is related to my playing shortstop for years before moving to first base at age 15.  I think I am strong around the bag, have good hands, and have a strong arm.  This summer I was clocked at 88-89 mph across the infield.  While I feel first is my strongest position, I can play third and corner outfield as well.

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