Tennessee baseball picked up a commitment from 2022 shortstop Kai Wagner over the weekend. Wagner gives the Vols their second commitment in the ’22 class within a week. He chose Tennessee over several Big 12 and Pac-12 schools.
“I’m extremely humbled and excited to announce that I have committed to further my baseball career and education at THE University of Tennessee,” Wagner wrote in a post on Twitter. “A huge thanks to my family, coaches, and all of those that have helped and supported me throughout this process.”
I’m extremely humbled and excited to announce that I have committed to further my baseball career and education at THE University of Tennessee. A huge thanks to my family, coaches, and all of those that have helped and supported me throughout this process. #GBO🍊#SEC pic.twitter.com/RZjb4SyFb6
— Kye Wagner (@KaiWagner07) August 24, 2019
At 6-foot, 165 pounds, Wagner hails from Legend High School in Parker, Colorado. The high school sophomore bats from the left side of the plate, and when he’s not playing shortstop, is a right-handed pitcher. Wagner’s fastball sits in the high-80’s.
“The staff made me feel at home while I was down there,” Wagner told Rocky Top Insider of his decision to commit to the Vols. “I wanted to play in the SEC.
“Coach Vitello on more than one occasion jumped on a plane last minute to come watch me play. His genuine interest in me being apart of his program was apparent. His approach was very honest and upfront. It just felt like a great fit for me.”
Perfect Game described Wagner as a slender frame with a compact build with room to add in the future, following a Perfect Game showcase in 2018. He ran a 7.58 second 60-yard dash at the event.
“Worked out defensively as a primary shortstop,” Perfect Game wrote. “Comes to get the ball with an aggressive close. Gets around and maintains momentum through transition. Soft hands out front with clean actions. Can manipulate slots while keeping throws around the bag.
“Left-handed hitter with an even base. Utilizes a leg lift trigger for timing. Shifts into contact with a rotational swing. Has some bat speed through a slightly lifted plane looking to get the ball in the air.”
— USA Prime Recruiting (@USAPrimeRecruit) August 25, 2019
Four days prior to Wagner’s commitment, fellow Colorado native Reese Chapman committed to Tennessee. Chapman is an outfielder in the class of 2022 who impressed talent evaluators with his power display over the summer from the left-side of the plate.
Tony Vitello’s plan of targeting top targets outside of the south continues to work.
The Vols’ 2019 recruiting class ranked No. 8 in the country, while the 2020 class is currently ranked No. 18 in the nation. Tennessee’s 2021 class is ranked even higher at No. 6, which includes the No. 1 player in the country – Brady House.
Although the 2022 class isn’t ranked yet, Wagner will be a key piece up the middle thanks to the edge he plays the game with.