By: Eric Leary
College Commitment: University of South Carolina
It became very clear in speaking with Connor Fuhrman of Lord Botetourt High School that his views on enjoying two of his favorite activities have plenty of similarities. He loves to play baseball. And he also loves to fish. On the diamond, the 2022 outfielder described himself as “a calm player” that doesn’t allow frustrations derail his focus to perform. The same view can be seen from his outdoors side as he called fishing both “relaxing and intense.” He’s a competitor that loves to win. He’s a sportsman that expects to catch fish. The anticipation factor in each venture becomes a driving force.
The freshman out of Daleville, Virginia, committed his baseball skills to the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2018. And though his high school and even his showcase career may find him in a variety of positions in the lineup (including on the mound), centerfield appears to be his favorite spot. No matter where he takes the field his competitive nature is sure to win the day. Dirtbags Director of Player Development Brent Haynes had this to say about Connor, “He is a very versatile player that can play any position on the field and do whatever it takes to help his team win.”
,Upon becoming a Dirtbag in the fall of 2017, Fuhrman made this apparent while playing with CJ Beatty’s 14u squad. That team won – A LOT. And Connor loved that part of the experience. In fact, he credits playing in the “big events” since being a Dirtbag as a cause for his rapid rise. Being on center stage of the reputable Perfect Game tournaments seems to get his juices going. Also, he sees the value of playing with really good players, and learning under the coaching he’s received within the organization as critical. And he recognizes how these opportunities have been fostered by being a Dirtbag as he stated, “Mainly, by reaching out to coaches and getting me where I need to be.”
Though still a young player he has seen growth occur since joining the Dirtbags. This has been most notable in his mental game. Connor stated that the ability to continue to compete vs. the toughest competition and overcome adversity is a welcomed asset that he foresees to serve him through his scholastic career and beyond. He knows this will be put to the test very soon as his high school team gets started February 18th. And while he notes the team is young he expects to win and personally sees the opportunity to grow as a leader to aid in that quest.
As the spring turns to summer and it becomes time to put on the Dirtbag uniform the expectations don’t change much. Fuhrman wants to win – actually win it ALL. More specifically, he wants to win the WWBA. But make no mistake he understands that he has a price to pay for all this winning he wants to do. He knows individually he must continue to grow as a player by putting in the work. Which is something he is already doing by working on his swing in the cage for multiple sessions per week and engaging in throwing sessions. All of this baseball preparation is taking place while playing with his high school basketball team as a multi-sport athlete.
It is impressive to see such a clear vision from a player still yet to play in his first high school game. But as Brent Haynes later added, “When you watch him at the plate you can tell he is going to be special with the amount of bat speed and power he already produces at such a young age.” That makes it easy to see the physical tools are simply available to a young player that has already figured out some of the toughest lessons in the game. And have no doubt that he will continue to pursue his own self-improvement.
Perhaps just like the fisherman always looking for that edge to catch a bigger fish next time out.