‘We’ve been where you want to go’: 26 years of MLB experience set to elevate Wichita State baseball

Shockers

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State baseball head coach Eric Wedge has a lofty goal for his team this season.

“We want to cut our walks in half from last season,” said Wedge at the Shocker Elite Pitcher and Catcher Camp.

Wichita State led the American Athletic Conference in walks last season, totaling 307. Memphis had the next highest, with 236.

Wedge is more concerned with efficiency than strikeouts, as he is looking for early contact from his pitching staff.

“We have to trust our stuff,” said Wedge. “Ideally, we don’t want to throw more than three pitches to every hitter. It’s hard to do that if you’re trying to strike everybody out.”

According to pitching coach, Mike Pelfrey, his staff has a unique opportunity, as they are learning from a combined 26 years of MLB experience.

“We ask where they want to be, and they say the big leagues,” said Pelfrey. “We try to preach that to them and tell them, we’ve been where you want to go.”

Pelfrey was drafted ninth overall by the New York Mets during the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft, and went on to pitch in the majors for 12 years with the Mets, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. In total, he appeared in 275 major league contests.

From 2008-11 with New York, he started at least 31 games each season, tallying 45 wins, 435 strikeouts and only 263 walks in 782 2/3 innings.

Eric Wedge began his coaching career in 1998 in the Cleveland Indians minor league system and was named manager of the Indians in October of 2002. In 2007, he led Cleveland to the Central Division title and was named American League Manager of the Year.

The Shockers will open their 2020 season with a three-game series at Northwestern State (La.) Feb. 14-16.

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