For today's first Dynamic Baseball Prospect Focus we head into the Northeast to chat with 2017 UNC commit Buddy Kennedy. Kennedy is a slick fielding third baseman with lots of juice in his bat. Please enjoy today's first Prospect Focus with Buddy Kennedy.
Name: Buddy Kennedy
High School: Millville Senior High School
School Mascot: Thunderbolt
District/Conference: Cape Atlantic
Division/Class: (example: AAA) Group 4
Height/Weight: 6’ 190 lb
College Commit: UNC
Travel Team: Evoshield Canes 17U
Please list events you have participated in Showcases, Big Tournaments, Big Games:
- 16U Perfect Game Tourney All American Team
- WWBA Underclass World All Tourney
- 16U World Series All Tourney
- 16U WWBA All Tournament
- World Underclass All Tournament
- 2015 Carpenter Cup – MVP
- 15U WWBA All Tournament
What is the biggest stage you have ever played on, and why do you feel it was the biggest?
WWBA Underclass World All-Tourney in Jupiter, Florida. I feel it was the biggest stage due to the number of college and pro scouts on site. This venue allowed me to showcase my talent and by playing well I would hope it would open doors for opportunities in the future.
You recently made your college choice, why did you make that choice. What were some of the key factors?
After visiting and talking with various universities, I chose UNC and committed to Coach Fox. I felt that UNC would be the best fit for me to pursue baseball beyond my college years. I believe the coaching staff and baseball program develops players to play at the next level. In addition to baseball, UNC would be able to provide me with an education and degree to pursue a career beyond baseball.
If you had to have one hitter up to bat with the winning run on 3rd in the bottom of the 7th, who would it be?
Being humble, I would pick me. I am a gamer. When put in a clutch situation, I am confident that my talent and ability will overcome the pressure at that moment. I want to help our team come out with the WIN!
If you had to win a game who would be your starting pitcher if you were calling the shots and why?
Andrew Abbott. Andrew demands the mound especially under difficult situations. He remains calm while delivering his pitches and gets the job done.
As pitcher what do you feel your strengths and weaknesses are? What is your go to pitch?
As my mom says, “I am a position player that can pitch.” I am not that 6’6 guy; but when the team needs me, I can be that starter or closer. My weakness is that I play 3rd base 99% of the time and I pitch 1% of the time. My biggest strength is my fastball. This summer it was clocked at 90 mph.
Who is the best teammate/leader you have ever played with and why? (please list the team it was on and year if possible)
Jake “Cat” Catalano. He and I played for the South Jersey Young Guns when were were 11-14 years old. On the field us and that team were unstoppable; however off the field he was a great motivator. He would always pump up all the guys and we would rally together. It was a bond that truly positively impacted our friendships and our baseball games. Cat recently joined the Evoshield Canes Baseball Program in 2015.
Who has made the biggest impact on your baseball career to date, and why?
In addition to my parents, my Pop Pop, Don Money has made the biggest impact on my baseball career. He never sugar coats anything and his constructive criticism makes me stronger and more determined. Playing 15 years in the Majors and managing, coaching and being a hitting specialist for about that same time, his experience and opinion is priceless. He dissects me at the plate, at 3rd and on the mound. He may suggest something so small; and I have to say it makes a positive difference on the field.
What kind of a team do you think your High School Team will be this spring? How far do you think you can go, and why?
This year we should have a strong team; we are heavy with upperclassman. Since being on Varsity as a Freshman; I’ve been able to grow with this group of baseball players. I hope our team makes Conference and gets an invite to the Diamond Classic.
Who is the best player, skill wise, you have ever played with to date?
Jason Groome. He and I played on a travel ball team together when we were younger. His pitching was unstoppable then and now. A Vanderbilt commit, he is geared up to be one of the top 2016 MLB Draft picks.
What kind of things have you done this off season to prepare for this upcoming season Spring/Summer/Fall?
For the past 5 years, after the Fall season, I get a couple weeks off and then go right into Strength & Conditioning Training with PJ Ragone at the PIT. He prepares me for on and off the field situations. I work out privately with him four days a week. This training gets me mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season.
What are you looking forward to most this year in the upcoming school/travel seasons, and why?
In highschool, I am ready to play baseball with my friends and hope to win the Conference and a State Championship. Travel ball season will be intense; however I am up for the challenge to play baseball for Coach Jeff Petty and the Evoshield Canes, 3X WWBA Champions!
If you had a day away from the baseball field what would you go do for fun?
I like to hang out with out my cousins and friends. My cousin and I play video games which get very `intense. Our families are always together so we have wiffle ball games and basketball games in which my dad and uncle still try to beat the younger group. My friends and I work out, go to the batting cages and usually end up eating somewhere together like Jim's Lunch or Buffalo Wild Wings. My best friend is my sister. She is there all the time for me. She is also my ultimate biggest fan!
Who is your pick to win the CWS? What makes you think that this team can run the tables in Omaha?
Have to go with UNC! They have had a great runs and defiantely have the talent and coaching staff to get the job done!