LHP/OF Rock Rucker Talks Recruiting

Rock Rucker, a 6-4.5, 225-pound, hard-throwing left-handed pitcher/outfielder who is playing for the Marucci Elite team at the 17U World Wood Bat Association National Championship this weekend and all of next week, talked with Gene's Page about how his recruiting is going and how he performed during Saturday's game in his one inning of work.

Rock Rucker Profile

Prior to the game, you said you would thrown your fastball 89-92 and that's what you did. What pitches did you throw during today's game other than your fastball?
"Other than my fastball I threw my fast curve. I have a splitter, too, but I didn't throw it today."

You really had great command of your curve today. As for your fastball, was it your two-seam or four-seam that you threw?
"I only threw my four today. Usually, when I start I throw my two."

I know you only pitched today. But you do more than pitch. Describe yourself as a player.
"As of now, I'm more of a pitcher. But I'm trying to get drafted as an outfielder or go to college and do both. I'll try to get better at both while in college and see what happens after I finish college."

Today, I saw how good you are as a pitcher. But what are your strengths as a hitter and outfielder?
"I have a good arm and my throws carry really well. As for hitting, I just have to get into the rhythm and swing it. I was here last week (at the 18U WWBA National Championship) for the 18U Marucci team and did fairly well."

How has playing for the Marucci program helped you as a ball player?
"It helps a lot because you have to push yourself to be better."

A lot of pro scouts and college coaches were at the game watching you and clocking your velocity with their Stalker guns. What colleges are actively recruiting you?
"Florida, Auburn, Mississippi State, Arizona State and Louisville."

How are they recruiting you, calls and emails?
"Calls and emails. I get a lot of emails from Mississippi State. Coach Butch Thompson talks to me a lot (by email)."

What colleges called you July 1st, the first day college coaches could call 2012 recruits?
"Tennessee, Furman, Auburn, Missouri, Arizona State, Jacksonville and Florida State."

Have you thought about what colleges you are most interested in?
"My top four would probably be Arizona State, Mississippi State, Florida and Auburn."

What do you like about those four teams?
"They will give me a chance to be a two-way player. And my mom likes schools that are good academically."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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