When your dad was a second-round draft pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, it was probably a given that Wyatt Fuduric was going to play baseball past high school.
He will as Fuduric agreed to continue his education at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’ll study exercise science and play Division II baseball for the Golden Knights.
He played quarterback for Geneva on fall Friday nights, baseball however is the game that he calls his first love. Aside from his high school team, he also spends his summers playing for the B2 Bulls travel team coached by Zak Blair.
“Baseball has always been a really big thing in my household,” Fuduric said. “I was put into T-ball really soon, it was the first sport I’ve ever played. Football is something I didn’t start playing until years later, baseball has just always been number one.”
Though he started with a bat and glove probably not long after he learned to crawl, it was not until a few years ago that he began to realize the potential to play past the high school level.
“I remember two years ago doing my throwing program with my summer baseball travel team,” he said. “I did really well for how young I was. It kind of made me realize the reality of how I’m not that far away from being a guy that could play in college, and to go to Gannon, a really good school. They have an exciting program that I think is going to grow. It’s really cool.”
For both Geneva and the Bulls, Fuduric played pretty much anywhere on the field, but it was his pitching arm that was most valued.
“He was our number one,” Bulls coach Zak Blair said. “That’s where his future is and I’m excited to see him at Gannon.”
Blair says Fuduric has the kind of stuff that could possibly even take him beyond the college ranks of pitching.
“Wyatt’s off-speed is professional level,” Blair said. “He keeps everybody off-balance. He has a mid-80s fastball right now that will eventually be the upper 80s, low 90s, but his offspeed makes his fastball look like it’s 95. His curveball is a hammer, his changeup is nasty and he can throw all of his pitches for strikes at any time in the count.”
Last summer for his travel team, Fuduric had a string of 26 scoreless innings and four consecutive starts of ten strikeouts or more.
But, as impressive as his on-field performance is, Blair said it’s Fuduric’s actions off the diamond that makes him even more special.
“Wyatt is a relentless worker,” Blair said. “He’s going to be successful at whatever he’s doing. I could see him going to Gannon and becoming the face of the program just because of who he is as a person. I can’t say enough about him as a person off the field. It’s nice to see him get rewarded.
“In today’s world, it’s easy to do the wrong thing, but Wyatt is always thinking ahead and trying to be the best person he can be.”
Roger Wilt, who will make his coaching debut this spring for the Eagles, said Gannon is getting a great player. Wilt was an assistant coach with the Bulls, so he has also been familiar with Fuduric.
“He’s a smart kid, he’s a team-oriented player, they’re going to be very successful with him,” Wilt said.
For Fuduric is very fortunate coming from Ashtabula County and having the people and resources around him to help.
“It’s nice because coming from a smaller area, a smaller school,” he said. “Everything has worked its way to putting me where I am right now, it’s pretty awesome.”