(Photo via Greyson Jenista’s Twitter @GreysonJenista, seen here)
If you’re interested in college baseball prospects you’ve probably heard the name Greyson Jenista. Jenista is patrolling center field for Wichita State this season, but he can play anywhere on the field and excels at the plate currently batting .288 this season with five home runs, including a grand slam.
Jenista is a leader on a Shockers team that is currently 13-4. After making the switch to the American Athletic Conference, Jenista feels expectations are the same: win, but he thinks the exposure his team has been getting adds to that.
“We’ve got some really good players and people know that now,” said Jenista. Among those really good players is fellow top prospect Alec Bohm. Jenista and Bohm have accomplished a lot since they were roommates as freshman, from becoming Cape Cod League All-Stars to helping their team to an 8-0 start, but they’ve kept close and helped each other along their journey.
“When the pressure hits I kinda go to him he kinda comes to me,” said Jenista. “That’s been the biggest help…having him there to keep me grounded.” Having another top prospect as a teammate isn’t something that everyone gets to experience, but that’s not the only part of being at Wichita State Jenista thinks has helped him keep a good head on his shoulders.
Jenista praises the entire coaching staff as his role models in life. He especially credits Head Coach Todd Butler and Director of Baseball Operations Scott Gurss for sticking around and encouraging he and his teammates to be more than just baseball players, but also good students and sons.
“[They]do a good job of not only just teaching baseball, but teaching life,” said Jenista. “You have to be good people before good players; we’ve all kind of bought into that.” That team culture has helped Jenista appreciate his time on the field.
Though he doesn’t have a motto, he says he always tries to think about respecting the game. One thing that he believes sets him apart from other players is his energy in the locker room. He plays passionately because he knows that not many people get the opportunity he has to do what they love.
He’s wanted to play baseball since he was a kid, and he wants to keep putting in the work to make that dream a reality in the big leagues. He’s been doing that for years, and it all began with his family. Jenista has six siblings, which he credits for helping him have the patience to keep working and to be a good teammate.
Another factor his family life brought him was his original love for baseball. Growing up, he and his cousins played on teams together, and his uncle was their coach. Jenista, like many fans of the sport, has fond memories of collecting baseball cards during his childhood. Although he doesn’t actively collect anymore, he still has all his cards from when he was a kid. Having his family to play ball with is integral to the way he plays now.
“I remember playing with so much joy for the game,” said Jensita, and that’s how he still hopes to play each game. Though he tries to play every game with heart, Jenista doesn’t deny that it feels good when his hard work pays off.
His experience in the Cape Cod League is the prime example of that. He played in the League during the summer of 2016 and didn’t have a great season batting only .229. However, he returned for 2017 with the hope that he could do better.
Jenista didn’t disappoint. He batted .310 and stole nine bases. His coaches praised him for his athleticism, and he earned the MVP honor for the league.
“To go back up there the second year, back to the same team and the same host family, and to have the accumulation of two years of work finally come into full effect was…pretty exciting,” said Jenista. He even ranks it as his best memory of college so far.
Jenista hopes to make more great memories in the baseball world and continue to build his strength of playing with enthusiasm. For that reason, if he could spend the day with anyone it would be David Ortiz.
“Gotta go with Big Papi,” he said. “He seems like an absolute blast to spend a day with. I would love to sit out and watch a game with him and see what he has to say about the game. No matter what you do with him it’s fun.” Jenista would use his day with one of the baseball greats to channel his joy for the game, and to learn more, something he is always trying to do. Look for Jenista to continue to bring the energy to his team and work hard until draft time.