Nick Egnatuk comes from a baseball family. His grandpa was a hall of fame baseball player at Rutgers University, his uncle played at the University of Miami and then at Mississippi State, and his father spent two years in professional baseball.
Outside of his family, Egnatuk has been mentored by two high school coaches with pro experience. Despite having multiple resources in his corner, Egnatuk’s father has played the biggest role in his development as a person and baseball player.
“All the credit goes to him,” Egnatuk said of his father. “The money and time. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
A 6-foot-2, 187-pound senior third baseman from Immaculata High School in Somerville, N.J., Egnatuk intends on continuing his education and baseball career at the University of Pittsburgh in fall 2017.
“At the time that was the best offer I had,” Egnatuk said. “Looking back, obviously the ACC was a deciding factor for me. Also the coaching staff and facilities are top notch. At the end of the day, it was the best fit for me.”
Although he has an opportunity to hone his baseball skills at the college level, he might not make it to the University of Pittsburgh.
Baseball America ranks Egnatuk as the 36th-best prep prospect in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft. An athletic third baseman with a strong arm, Egantuk also hits the ball with authority from the right side of the plate due to his outstanding swing and bat speed.
As a result of his skills and potential, his name is getting tossed around in draft chatter. But, he isn’t focused on the expectations of others.
“Personally I try to zone it out,” Egnatuk said. “Other peoples’ opinions don’t matter to me. I’m here to do me and that’s it. Really just trying to not look online. Just talk to people who have been around me and know what I can do and should be doing. Don’t look too far into anything.”
Spending the past off-season participating with some of the nation’s top prep players in the Area Code Games last summer and dedicating his free time to getting faster and stronger in the weight room, Egnatuk hopes to have a productive senior season this spring.
However, he understands it will be harder than in year’s past to have personal success because he’ll likely get pitched around this season.
“I talked to my high school coach and one thing we’re going to do is hit me leadoff this year,” said Egnatuk about potentially getting pitched around. “They won’t walk the first guy in the game so I’ll at least get one at-bat where they have to throw to me. Just not chasing and showing good plate discipline will be important for me. Just trying work counts, get my pitch and not chase anything. If I get walked, I get walked.”
While he hopes to have personal success in his final season of high school baseball, he’s wants to do whatever he can to help his team make a state championship run.
“I’m just trying not to overdo anything,” Egnatuk said. “Just keep it simple and play the best I can. Not trying to impress anyone because when you do that you start pressing. At the end of the day, hopefully win a county championship and make a state run too.”
(Video of Nick Egnatuk from FanGraphs)
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