Meet The New UW Baseball Signees: Kellen Traxel
Dec. 30, 2012
SEATTLE - Over the recent weeks, we've been introducing Husky Baseball fans to the class of 2013 - those high-school seniors who signed National Letters of Intent to enroll at the UW next fall and play on the 2014 Husky team.
The seventh of our 10 signees is Kellen Traxel, a pitcher from South Kitsap High in Port Orchard, Wash. After earning first-team all-league and all-county as a sophomore, he still made second-team as a junior in 2012 despite missing a significant portion of the season with injury.
"Kellen is a left-handed pitchers whose best days are still ahead of him," Coach Lindsay Meggs explained. "Like most talented left-handers his age, Kellen is all elbows and knees. But when it's all on time and on line, Kellen misses the barrel consistently. Kellen loves to work and he loves the game, and when he adds some strength to that frame of his he is going to sneak up on everyone."
Here's a look at Kellen:
UW Baseball: What is your pre-game superstition if you have any?
Answer: Listening to soft music on the way to the game for relaxation.
UW Baseball: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
Answer: Anything light, typically some type of sandwich, and water all day long in preparation for the game.
UW Baseball: Favorite pre-game music?
Answer: Pink Floyd
UW Baseball: What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
Answer: Breaking Bad UW Baseball: If you weren't playing baseball you would ...
Answer: Hanging out with friends & family, watching movies, or reading.
UW Baseball: What is your favorite quote or saying?
Answer: "Swim as far upstream as you possibly can"-Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church
UW Baseball: Who are you most looking forward to playing with at the UW?
Answer: I'm looking forward to playing with everyone on the team--at the official visit everyone was incredibly welcoming and the hospitality was tremendous. The atmosphere is great around the locker room. I used to play with Parker Guinn at the Narrows Baseball Club. It should be exciting to know a couple people, but also to be introduced to a lot of veteran players.
UW Baseball: If you could trade places with one person in professional sports for a day who would it be and why?
Answer: Felix Hernandez--the "King of Seattle." Every time he takes the mound people can sense that something special is going to happen. He's just one of those players who has the talent to do tremendous things on the baseball diamond every fifth day, something every aspiring pitcher wants.
UW Baseball: Do you play any other sports in HS? If so, what?
Answer: I played basketball freshman year through junior year, but this year I decided to focus solely on baseball.
UW Baseball: Have you always been a pitcher?
Answer: Every since high school I have been a pitcher only. I used to play outfield and first base before high school, but ever since then there's been no point for me to own a bat.
UW Baseball: When did you start thinking about playing in college?
Answer: I have always dreamed of playing in the big leagues, but the opportunity of college baseball has always been something that I have thought about since my early middle school years.
UW Baseball: What are your personal goals this season and in your career at UW?
Answer: This season I want to help my team get back to state, as well as helping the rest of the seniors usher in our new coach as it is his first season with the team. It's important that we soften the transition so our underclassmen can have great opportunities after our senior class graduates. At UW my goal is to earn my way into the starting rotation, and be someone who Coach Meggs can rely on, whether that is out of the pen or in the starting rotation, so that we can all achieve that goal of Omaha.
UW Baseball: Why UW Baseball?
Answer: The University of Washington has always been the place I have wanted to go. Growing up I always would watch the basketball games and would envision myself on the team one day. It has always been the place I have wanted to go--and the fact that I get to play baseball on top of that is truly a blessing that I am extremely thankful for. Furthermore, I have always loved Seattle and this area, and being able to attend the top University in the area that I have an affinity for is truly special.
UW Baseball: What is your best memory of Baseball at any level?
Answer: My sophomore year I was able to pitch in the game that allowed my team to clinch a state berth in the playoffs. It was special because none of the other kids on the team had been to state in their high school careers yet--and I was able to be a part of it as a sophomore.
UW Baseball: What are some of the strengths of your game that you will bring to the UW?
Answer: My curveball is something that has always been my strength. If I am able to utilize it to the best of my abilities I will be able to keep hitters off balance and get outs at the next level--something crucial to success.
UW Baseball: Have you thought much about what you want to major in?
Answer: I have always been a math guy, but I am unsure as to what I will major in. The fact that I like math leaves me lots of opportunities for a major, but at this time I don't know what exactly it will be.
UW Baseball: Away from the field and the classroom, what are some of your hobbies, or what do you like to watch?
Answer: Away from the field and the classroom, I really just enjoy relaxing and spending time with my family--things that I'm not able to do while I'm busy with school and baseball, which makes those times all the more important to me. Watching TV and reading are my main hobbies, but whenever I can catch a UW game, I always take that opportunity.