The 2022 Ocean State Waves, of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, have a roster full of top collegiate baseball talent from some of the best college baseball programs in the USA. Players travel from all over the country, stay with host families, play in a highly competitive environment game after game in front of scouts and fans, and become a part of the Waves community from roughly the end of May/early June until sometime in August. This 2022 Waves team is absolutely stacked with baseball talent, take a look at this photo posted on the Ocean State Waves Instagram page. It showcases the college programs that will be represented this summer in the Waves dugout. Very impressive!!!
I am very excited to introduce you to these 2022 Ocean State Waves players, one at a time. This is the next installment of a long series of interviews I have done with the incoming players slated to play for the 2022 Ocean State Waves. The players answered questions on their baseball journey, their mentors and childhood baseball heroes, the process of going from top high school talent to collegiate student athlete, and what their expectations are for their Spring and Summer Baseball seasons. Next up, from Miller Place, NY and Fordham University – T.J. Wachter.
Tell me a little bit about your baseball roots starting with your local Little League and then
possibly your AAU or travel ball. What was that experience like?
- I started playing baseball at the age of 3. I remember my dad telling me that I had to be 4 to start playing tee ball, so he lied about my age when signing me up. I started travel ball when I was 7. I played on a team called the Long Island Falcons.
Think back, what is your earliest memory of baseball? A catch with a sibling, your first hit, a trip to an MLB or Minor League game?
- My earliest baseball memory is playing in the backyard with my dad. My family still has videos of me swinging around a little toy bat trying to hit off my dad.
If you would like to, name some of your baseball and life mentors who helped you along the way.
- My dad is someone that has been my biggest mentor when it comes to baseball and life. He is someone who I’ve always looked up to and continue to try to follow in his footsteps.
Did you have a favorite ballpark growing up that you played in or saw a game at?
- Yankee stadium was definitely my favorite stadium as a young kid.
What was your primary position in youth baseball, high school?
- Starting at a young age, I always loved being in the outfield. While all my teammates wanted to pitch and play shortstop, I wanted to be in the outfield. At around 11 years old, I became a first baseman. I played first throughout middle school, then in high school I played everywhere.
Were you a talented player from the start or did your success come gradually throughout your youth playing days?
- Due to my size I was always better than everyone else on the small fields. I could always hit and throw the ball hard. I struggled a little when I first started playing on the big fields but I was able to adjust quickly.
Did you play multiple sports growing up or did you focus primarily on baseball? Do/Did you see a benefit to playing multiple sports?
- I played multiple sports growing up. I started playing basketball at a very young age, and football at 7. I loved football growing up but baseball became my favorite sport when I was in middle school. I stopped playing football when I was a freshman and stopped playing basketball my senior year.
Brag a little bit, what would you say was your best game? Could be a Little League game or High School game or something more recent. What made this game stand out in your mind?
- The first game that comes to mind is when I played in the Cooperstown Dreams Park championship. I hit 2 homeruns and threw a complete-game.
You are from Miller Place, NY and now attend Fordham University. I’m fairly confident you received offers from schools outside of your home state. What was it about the Fordham baseball program that interested you to play there?
- I always wanted to play close to home. I built a good relationship with the coaches at Fordham very early in my high school career. I knew Fordham was where I wanted to be because I knew I would make an immediate impact, while being able to receive a degree from a top university.
Academically, where are you headed degree wise, and down the road maybe career wise?
- I’m trying to get into Fordham Gabelli School of Business so I can study Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Business. I want to become a Sports Agent after college.
Is this your first summer of collegiate baseball or did you play in previous summers? If so, which league(s) and for what team(s)?
- This is my first year playing summer collegiate baseball. I was extremely excited. I was happy to finally find a place to play, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Waves and NECBL. I feel like it will help bring my game to the next level. I love playing against the best competition possible so I feel like it will only help me. I’m really looking forward to it. I love playing in front of big crowds. It makes the game more fun and makes me realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation.
Play scout for a moment. What should Waves fans know about your game? Are you a power pitcher? Home run power? Going to lead the league in steals? On base percentage guy?
- I’m a guy that can hit. I’m a natural hitter and definitely have some homerun power. People underestimate my speed but I can run a little bit on the bases. I also have a very good arm.
The Ocean State Waves have an incredible legacy of community service work with local youth baseball leagues, schools, and other local non-profits. Can you give me an example of a non-profit or charity that you have done community service work for and why did you choose that charity?
- I love giving back to my community. Throughout high school, I did many different types of community service. I cleaned dog shelters once a month, did campus cleanups whenever I could, and also drove around with my teammates giving back to the less fortunate.
Where can Waves fans find you this upcoming collegiate baseball season at Fordham University and follow you this Spring?
- Waves fans can see me at Fordham University and either at the field, gym, or beach this summer.
- Fordham Baseball Webpage – Fordham Baseball
- Instagram – T.J. Wachter
And stay tuned each week for another Waves roster player profile and as always, any Waves news and notes to keep you up to date on their 2022 summer baseball season.