2007 Draft Q&A: Ben Klafczynski

Ben Klafczynski is one of the top Midwest high school outfield prospects going into the 2007 MLB amateur draft. The Highland High School star has committed to Kent State and he could have a difficult decision to make if he goes early in the draft. We caught up with Klafczynski for a Q&A.

Personal
Name: Benjamin Klafczynski
Height/Weight: 6'2'', 195
Throws/Bats: R/L
Position: OF
High School: Highland High School, Medina, Ohio

Ben Klafczynski was recently named as a second-team Pre-Season Louisville Slugger All-American. Even before he begins his senior season, Klafczynski is already the Highland High School all-time leader in home runs and RBIs, with 18 and 75, respectively. He also has a career batting average of .335. Klafczynski is an athletic outfielder who has also put together a solid high school basketball career in addition to his career on the diamond. He competed in a number of baseball all-star tournaments this past year, including the USA Tournament of Stars.

We recently spoke with Klafczynski about his experience playing against the best in the country, his thoughts on the draft and more…

Scout: What were the All-Star tournaments like for you?

Ben Klafczynski: They were great experiences. They were really just a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a thing. You are playing against the best players in the country and it is all exciting. You can't describe it. It's just a lot of fun.

Scout: Was there a moment when you felt like you could really compete with the level of competition you were seeing there?

BK: I did feel like I was competing them so it kind of got me motivated to work even harder. It's pretty much who I would be playing against if I was going to go pro, so it is cool to know that I can compete with the best in the country.

Scout: How did you get involved in these tournaments?

BK: One of my summer coaches also coaches at one of the other high schools and he really liked me. He really wanted me to come out for the summer league and I made it and basically it was just the exposure from being in the summer tournament that got me invited to some of the bigger tournaments.

Scout: What are you looking forward to most with your last few months of high school baseball?

BK: I really want to end on a good note. We have a really good team coming back, so I want to compete for the league title and see if we get far in the tournament. It is also an important season for me to show myself to the scouts to possibly show that I am ready to be drafted.

Scout: I know that you signed early with Kent State. What will be the determining factor for you between going to college or going pro if you are drafted?

BK: I'd say if it feels right. I'm going to know after this high school season if I am ready for the pros or not. It's nothing to do with money or anything, but it does have to do a little with where I get drafted because the higher I get drafted, the more it tells me that the scouts think that I am ready too.

Scout: Have you spoken with many scouts at this point?

BK: I have spoken with five or six. One of my fall coaches is a scout for the Cardinals. I guess that some of the other scouts have told me that there are 10 or 15 teams that are looking at me.

Scout: How would you describe yourself as a player?

BK: I'd say that I am confident at the plate. I don't act timid and I am aggressive when I play and that I play hard.

Scout: I know you have done a little bit of pitching, but do you see yourself more as a position player than a pitcher?

BK: Yeah. The pitching I just do in high school. I don't really pitch in the summer or in the bigger tournaments. I just do it for fun. I'll definitely be a position player down the road.

Scout: What drew you to Kent State?

BK: It is a great place to be. It is close to home and a great baseball school. The coaches are the best. They are all top-notch and have all been in pro baseball. They have all had that experience and they get a lot of guys drafted out of Kent State after college. It just seems like all of that fits and it is a great school for academics.


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