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Who Is Kyle Johnson?

Who Is Kyle Johnson?

One of the top two-way prospects in the class of 2018 is now off the chart with Kyle Johnson (Newfield) committing to Stony Brook University on Friday night. The SS/RHP is a slick fielder with great pop at the plate and a 87-89 MPH fastball on the hill.

He’s had a great summer, hitting over .300 against top competition. He also compiled a ridiculous 0.69 ERA with 74 strikeouts against only five walks.

I had a chance to talk to him, and here’s what he had to say…

Can you talk about the commit to Stony Brook and how it came about?

I became very familiar with Stony Brook baseball at a very young age. When I was 4 years old I went to many games with my uncle who worked at the university  and was always around the Stony Brook team. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to play Division 1 baseball at a school with great academics, and Stony Brook covered every aspect.  I first was recruited by Stony Brook going into my sophomore year and after visiting other schools in the area I knew this was the best fit for me. Stony Brook’s trip to the College World Series in 2012 definitely was an eye opener for me watching them play on ESPN, watching local guys doing big things down south showed me that we can compete with anyone in the country. This  made me want to be part of this winning program.

Who were some influential people in this decision?

My biggest influence has been my parents. They have molded me not only into the player I am but the person I am as well. The whole Titan family has helped me a lot since joining the organization when I was 11. In particular, Coach Tom Downey, Eric Joyner, and Chris Sipp have helped me a lot.

You will be only a quick drive from home. How important was it for you to stay close to home?

Staying local was a big factor in making my decision because I can have my family and friends at my games in college just as they have been since I started playing the game. Having my family, friends and former coaches being able to see me play is something I will be very grateful for since they have all helped me get to where I am today. Being close to home allows me to be able to stay in touch with people I grew up with. I knew this was the perfect fit for me.

Baseball Heaven

Who are some Major Leaguers you look up to now or when you were younger?

Major League players I look up to are Francisco Lindor and Marcus Stroman.  Lindor is an incredible shortstop who plays the game with a lot of passion. He doesn’t take the game for granted and plays with a smile on his face each day. Even when times are tough , his body language never changes and I adore that about him. Nothing will phase him as a player. He’s a great defender as well as hitter and is going to be a franchise player. From a pitching standpoint, Marcus Stroman is someone I look up to. People may say he shows “too much emotion” on the mound, but that’s what I admire about him. His passion for the game is amazing and he clearly shows he is a competitor on the mound. His mound presence sets him apart from the rest and he never lets anything intimidate him. He thrives in the big moments and overcomes a lot of adversity, making him one of the top competitors in the game.  These two players I look up to greatly.

How enjoyable has this summer been for you? Are you glad to have this burden off your back and just enjoy the game the rest of the summer?
This summer has been very enjoyable for me, being able to play on the #1 ranked team in NY is an honor and wouldn’t want to be with any other group of guys. Our team has been together for over a year and we all have pulled for each other through the recruiting process. We all push each other to the max and get the best baseball out of each other. This has resulted in us maintaining a winning culture. I never really felt there was a burden on my back and I continued to play the game the same before I made my commitment , I try to play the game always with a smile on my face and just enjoy the opportunity to play the game. My style of play never changed when schools would come watch me play , I never tried to throw harder or hit the ball further. I always give 100% effort no matter the circumstances.  I play the game hungry and hard-nosed , and will do whatever it takes to win. Winning is what is most important to me.
Your Newfield team reminds me a lot of my Centereach team in ’09. We were in the midst of a long playoff drought but we had a team of hungry, 3-year varsity players that were ready to win. Do you think 2018 is a big year for your Wolverines?
 2018 will be the biggest year for Newfield baseball in a long time. I’m very excited for this upcoming season because I know what we have coming back and coming up to the varsity will change the program for the future. We play in a very competitive league and these past two years we have been 1 game away from making playoffs and that is our biggest motivation. We want to prove people wrong and show how far we have come as a program. Coach Joyner and Coach Prisco took over the varsity two years ago and they expect nothing less from us than a league championship. That is our ultimate goal each year. We haven’t won a title since 2005, but in 2018 we hope to change that. We have the tools to do it , it’s just a matter of who wants it more in this league and our team is going to be ready for this year. I am proud to be a Newfield Wolverine and can’t wait to help in trying to achieve our overall goal of winning a league title.

 

 

 

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Profile photo of Vinny Messana
Vinny is the Editor-In-Chief of aXcess Baseball. He is a 2013 graduate of Adelphi University. He previously worked for Bleacher Report and Baseball Info Solutions.

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