Big 12 Baseball

HCS Exclusive Interview: Kansas Catcher Jake English

It’s been ten years since the Kansas Jayhawks have made an NCAA regional. Now we are in late April, and Kansas is not only in the Big 12 title race but on pace to potentially make it back to the postseason. One of the big reasons why is because of catcher Jake English. The senior from Olathe, Kansas, has been crushing at the plate this season, and I got the chance to speak with him about his performance on the field as well as a few other fun questions as well.

How did you get into baseball, and what is your earliest memory of it?

Jake: “I got into the sport of baseball with my dad. My dad played at Kansas, and he played baseball growing up as well. I don’t have an earliest memory of it because I have been playing for as long as I can remember but I do have memories of me getting to play catch with my dad.”


Being from the state of Kansas and having several family members go to the University of Kansas, including your dad, who played baseball there, what did it mean for you to go to Kansas as well?

Jake: “It was super cool, and it was a dream of mine forever to come to Kansas being a fan and getting to watch all the sports here growing up.”

After spending four years in this conference, how would you describe the Big 12 in terms of baseball?

Jake: “It’s a grind. Every year there are a bunch of teams that are good and a bunch of teams that can play with just about anyone. To an outsider, I would say that you never know what you are going to see in the Big 12 year in and year out.”


What is Dan Fitzgerald like as a head coach?

Jake: “Coach Fitz is awesome, and he is one of the best people I have ever met in the game of baseball. He has really pushed the program to take a step to the next level, which is something I think is great. Obviously, I committed here and played for coach Price for two years, but I felt like something that we were missing was getting pushed a little bit further than we were at that time. So, it has been great with Coach Fitz, and he is awesome.”

You are having a career year at the plate, averaging .346, along with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. What has been the secret to your success?

Jake: “Just staying consistent and working with coach Hancock and coach Fitz to just do what we are supposed to do. Everyone in our lineup has been consistent and it makes it easier when everyone is doing it.”

It seems like you guys have a lot of weapons not only at the plate this season but on the mound as well, would you say that this is the best Kansas team you have been on during your time there?

Jake: “By far. Both sides of the ball have been unbelievable. I get a chance to work with pitchers a lot and by far it’s the best pitching staff and lineup I have been a part of, and it is super fun.”

It’s been ten years since Kansas made a regional, what would it mean for you guys to get to the postseason?

Jake: “It would be huge for our program, and it would help us put us back on the map as a baseball school. I know a lot of people seem to write us off that we are a more northern school in the Big 12 so that can be difficult. It would be huge for coach Fitz to do that in his second year to get back to a regional and I think if we keep playing good ball, we can do that.”


Rapid Fire

Do you have any superstitions or have a pregame ritual?

Jake: “I do not. I am not a big superstitious guy. I just try to stay pretty consistent before games, like what time I eat when and when I stretch, but I am not superstitious.”

Favorite MLB team?

Jake: “It’s got to be the Royals since I am from Kansas City.”

Favorite Player of all time?

Jake: “Even though he is not a Royal, I would say Buster Posey. I just loved watching him play growing up.”

Toughest pitcher you have faced this season?

Jake: “Payton Tolle from TCU. He’s really good, and he made it tough for all of us.”

Favorite Place to eat in Lawrence?

Jake: “Texas Roadhouse. You can’t beat a good steak.”

How do you like your steak cooked?

Jake: “Medium.”

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