TCU baseball begins drive for fifth consecutive College World Series
Right-handed pitcher Adam Kloffenstein expects to be on the TCU campus this fall but he might first have to make the biggest decision of his life.
The right-hander from Magnolia High School (northwest of Houston) is stoked to be a Horned Frog after falling in love with the campus during a visit two years ago.
But his stock has risen and it's entirely possible he could be selected in the first round of the MLB first-year players draft which begins with the first two rounds at 6 p.m. Monday.
"I'm looking for something pretty extravagant and I'm not saying nobody can get there but it will be a stretch," said Kloffenstein, who turns 18 in August.
It's not that he's necessarily expecting to play hard ball (economically speaking) with a major league organization but underscores his desire to experience college life before turning to his career in baseball. Of course, TCU's excellence on the diamond and head coach Jim Schlossnagle and pitching coach Kirk Saarloos were also huge draws.
"I was on the campus for five minutes and I was ready to go," he said. "That's what sold me. I like it being smaller for a better connection with my professors. Fort Worth is a cool place. I'm looking forward to it. Going to school is just as big a part as the baseball."
Kloffenstein throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball consistently in the mid-90s. He also has an effective changeup and 78 mph curve ball.
Saarloos saw Kloffenstein throw at a Perfect Game showcase between his freshman and sophomore year. By his own admission his 6-foot-1 frame was still covered in baby fat, he wasn't very athletic and he didn't have a curve ball yet.
"I just had a big arm," he said. "Didn't have a whole lot of anything else."
But to Saarloos' credit, he saw something in the 14-year-old and TCU was the first big-time school to offer him a scholarship.
"He saw an upside," said Kloffenstein, who is now 25 pounds lighter and throws about 5-6 mph harder. "I give them all the credit in the world every day.
By last August, Kloffenstein had been contacted by every major league team and earned a spot on the Team USA roster. He had a 1.20 ERA and 113 strikeouts and 17 walks in 80 innings as a senior. He threw three no-hitters in his career, including two this spring. One of them came against district foe Tomball, which was ranked No. 1 in the state at the time.
"I started realizing maybe this thing could work out," he said. "Before I thought it was a long shot that I was going to be a first-day guy."
And if he is?
"If that happens, then we'll cross that bridge," he said. "There are not too many kids turning down top 10 money. But we kind of agreed that college is important. And not just playing in school but the maturity that comes with it and turning into a young man."