Valencia’s Brock Kleszcz grew up in a baseball family. With a dad and two older brothers who played the sport, the Valencia outfielder had plenty of baseball support growing up.
“It definitely didn’t make it easy, but it was fun,” Kleszcz said. “They always encouraged me and it definitely wasn’t easy being the youngest one. I was getting picked on, but that’s how it is when you’re the youngest one.”
Well-meaning teasing aside, his family provided support when it came to the recruitment process, too.
Kleszcz committed to the University of California, San Diego on Wednesday and said that his older brother, Cole, who was drafted by the New York Mets in the 33rd round of this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, had some advice to give.
“Just go wherever you feel comfortable with,” Kleszcz said of what his brother told him. “And when you make your decision, forget about everything else and you have to go all-in on that one school.”
Kleszcz was focused on a few schools leading up to Wednesday, including Fresno State and Concordia in addition to UCSD. He visited Fresno State on Wednesday, July 10, then UCSD on the following Saturday.
He loved the location of the school and felt a good connection with the coaching staff. A few days after the visit, he called the coaches and told them he wanted to commit, accomplishing his goal of choosing a school before the start of his senior year of high school.
“I still have to worry about senior year, but not having to worry about going to college, I know where I’m going, that takes a big load off my shoulders,” Kleszcz said.
Kleszcz plays center field for the Vikings and logged a .460 batting average in his junior year to go with 25 RBIs and two home runs. With Valencia, he finished atop the Foothill League standings and was named All-Foothill League first team at the conclusion of the season.
At UCSD, Kleszcz will join former West Ranch baseball player Blake Baumgartner. During the recruiting process, he also sought advice from Justin Donatella, a pitcher who played for the Tritons until he was drafted in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015.
Before he gets to college, Kleszcz has a few goals in mind for his senior year at Valencia.
“Winning a CIF championship is the main goal, but I feel like our team improved a lot this year and even before then, we’re going to be really good,” he said. “All seniors are coming back and I think we have a good shot at winning the Foothill League again.”