(Photo via the WSU Baseball Twitter account, seen here)
Alec Bohm was the top hitter in Nebraska with a .533 batting average for Omaha Roncalli Catholic High School in 2015, but he was not selected in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Bohm, however, allowed the opportunity to go undrafted as a chance to reintroduce himself to MLB scouts and the rest of college baseball.
Finishing his college career as a .315 hitter, Wichita State’s offensive leader is projected as one of the top prospects in this year’s upcoming MLB draft.
“Out of high school, [playing in the MLB] was something that I wanted to do,” Bohm said before his junior year started. “But I realized I wasn’t ready for it. I had to come here and just get better all around, more athletic, grow mentally, physically, get more mature and perfect my craft. I had a lot of things to improve on and I felt like I’ve done that.”
Having the opportunity to start right away as a freshman, Bohm proved that he could be a contributor for Wichita State. Hitting .303 with 30 RBI, college baseball quickly took notice as he was named to the first team Freshman All-American Team by Collegiate Baseball.
After being named to the first team All-Missouri Valley Conference at third base as a sophomore, Bohm was invited to play in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League for Falmouth (Mass.) Commodores. While playing for Falmouth, MLB scouts quickly took notice to the Cape Cod All-Star’s summer performance. Bohm reached the top ten of the league in batting average, RBI, doubles and home runs.
Taking what he learned in Cape Cod, Bohm and Cape Cod MVP Greyson Jenista took their summer experience as a tool to help a Wichita State in their first year in the third highest rated RPI conference in the American.
“Greyson is more of the verbal one,” Bohm said. “He talks and some of us are just more lead by example, do the right thing and others will follow. It’s leadership by committee, not necessarily one person or two people that lead.”
Alec Bohm talks about Wichita State’s series win over Tulane and how his teammates allowed him to a hit a third inning home run.
With Bohm and Jenista getting discussed as high MLB draft prospects before the 2018 campaign got started, Wichita State head coach Todd Butler had a message for them. Seeing their potential, Butler did not want their performance to suffer due to the fact they were thinking about the future during the season.
Butler’s message was simple: the more they worry about where they will be drafted, the more likely they would drop.
“You can’t be a draft prospect and predict where you’re going to go,” Butler said. “You have to go to class, you have to keep doing what you’ve been for the last two years for your third year. The guys that start predicting what’s going to happen, they end up sliding. So you go out there and play baseball, you play loose and don’t worry about that.”
While Jenista proved how versatile he can be defensively by moving from centerfield to first base in the middle of the season, Bohm showcased why he was a hitting threat to opposing pitchers. In the third highest rated conference in RPI in the country, Bohm hit .320 in conference play and hit 16 home runs during the season while hitting .339 overall.
Even when Bohm has a game where he struggles, he proved that he can still come up with big at-bats. Going 0-3 against MLB Draft prospect Shane McClanahan on May 11, Bohm hit two home runs in front of a number of MLB scouts that led Wichita State to a 17-2 victory over USF.
“In my eyes, Bohm has been one of the best I’ve been able to play with and see for the past three years,” Jenista said. “What he’s doing now and what he did in the Cape is no surprise to any of us. We see it every day, we get to play with him. I wouldn’t say it’s extra motivation, that’s just who he is. That’s him as a ball player. I would say he is the best hitter in college baseball in the country and he goes out and proves it every day.”
Although Wichita State’s season is over, Bohm is still on the watch list for the 2018 Golden Spikes Award as one of 25 semifinalists. The postseason can allow Bohm to prepare himself for the upcoming MLB Draft, but the junior third baseman is not worried about that.
Bohm’s focus is to get better as a baseball player on a daily basis.
“Just trying to get better every day is really my thing,” Bohm said. “I just want to take it one day at a time. I don’t really want to think too far ahead and get ahead of myself. I’m just trying to improve and do the best I can every day and let the games speak for itself.”