As a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, Joe Stetka knows talent when he sees it. After four years of coaching Kevin Hockaday on baseball team, Stetka says the senior has a lot of potential.
“I live and breathe with a stopwatch [and] talent of course is always something I look for,” he says. “K.J. is on [the] path to play pro ball. I have had other MLB scouts calling me weekly to follow him play at John Carroll this season.”
Kevin Junior, better known as “K.J.,” pitches while also playing outfield, shortstop and third base. He is leading a team that is ranked among the top 10 in the Baltimore metro by the Sun.
“It puts a little bit of pressure on the team early, but I feel we can handle it,” he says.
Hockaday has some extra pressure this year. He is six home runs shy of breaking Mark Teixeira's record of 25 in the MIAA "A" Conference. Teixeira went to Mount St. Joseph and now plays for the New York Yankees.
“If God put me in this position to move on and play professionally, then it will happen," Hockaday said. "I always give it 110 percent. I play the same way every time.”
A well-rounded Hockaday says his family motivates him to be a better person, which includes maintaining good grades, before becoming a better athlete. That talent and a 3.2 GPA earned him offers from many prestigious schools, but Maryland.
“[The coaches focus on] the development of the players into young men,” he said.
Stetka thinks Hockaday is on the right path.
“Players like K.J. don't come along that often and when they do you have to give them back the time that they are giving you,” Stetka says. “K.J. is going to make it in the game of life. Baseball teaches us all a lot of life lessons. K.J. can go as far as he wants in pro ball as long as he works at it.”