Wichita State’s baseball team is making up ground quickly with commitments from the class of 2014.
Andale-Garden Plain pitcher Tyler Jones is the second player to give new coach Todd Butler an oral commitment this week. Jones earned All-Class 4A honors from the Kansas Baseball Coaches Association. He plays for the Wichita Sluggers Blue in the summer.
Jones (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) said he picked WSU over Kansas State. He liked the combination of pitching coach Brent Kemnitz and Butler, hired in June to replace Gene Stephenson. Jones said he considered WSU before the coaching change, but didn’t get serious about making a choice until recently.
“Brent Kemnitz has been the best pitching coach in the nation, and that made it pretty easy,” Jones said. “I really like the energy (Butler) brings in. He has high expectations.”
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Sluggers coach Matt Baty said Jones reaches 89 mph with his fastball, throws his curve effectively and is working on a changeup. Coaches are introducing him to a slider.
“Once he gains some weight and gets in a weight program, I think he's going to consistently be a low 90s guy,” Baty said. “He really liked (strength coach Kerry Rosenboom) and the weight program.”
Jones said he plans to sign in November. WSU coaches cannot comment on Jones until he signs. On Tuesday, Edmond (Okla.) Deer Creek shortstop Jordan Boyer committed to WSU.