Q&A with Missouri State Commit SS John Privitera (Lee's Summit West, 2015)

Shon Plack
Prep Baseball Report-Missouri

SS John Privitera (Lee's Summit West, 2015) had a front row seat as scouts flocked to see high school teammates, Monte Harrison and Alex Lange last spring.  The Titans finished with a 27-4 record and a district championship. Now, Privitera is enjoying his own achievements and his verbal commitment to play for the Bears at Missouri State. 

Privitera showed his skills at the Ozark Identification Showcase on July 15.  The athletic 5-foot-8, 155-pound left-hand hitting middle infielder ran a 60 at 6.88 and a 4.34 home-to-first. Privitera has very quick feet and soft hands with a clean exchange with a position velo of 75 MPH. At the plate, he has an athletic setup with a short stride. He has fast bat speed with a strong lower half and an exit velo of 83 MPH.

We caught up with Privitera to talk about his choice.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Privitera: I thought it was going to be a long process.  I had a lot of factors to consider, and I wanted to make the right choice. It all went pretty fast once I really started communicating with coaches.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision? 

Privitera: Yes, I wanted to stay close enough that I did not have to take a plane to visit home.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Privitera: At a camp during my sophomore year.  We stayed in touch throughout my junior year and summer.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Privitera: My high school and summer coaches do a great job putting us up against the best teams around.  I feel like I got to see a number of really good players from both Missouri and Kansas over the past few years.  I think Bryce Montes de Oca was the hardest throwing pitcher we faced. I also got the chance to play and practice with Alex Lange and Monte Harrison who are great players.  

PBR: What has been the lowest point in your baseball career; what have you learned from it and how has it helped you grow as a player?  

Privitera: My lowest point was not an individual moment but a moment I shared with my team. Losing at districts and not making the state championship was very disappointing for us. That loss made me want to work even harder going into my senior year.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were an elite player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Privitera: After my freshman year I decided to focus on one sport.  Once I put all my focus into baseball it made a big difference in my performance and continues to help me improve as a player.  

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at? 

Privitera: I was looking for a program that had a competitive schedule, good reputation and an experienced coaching staff.

PBR: What is your best attribute as a baseball player and how does that transfer onto the field for your team?

Privitera: I feel like I am a player who plays the game hard and gives 100% no matter what the situation.

PBR: What part of your game needs the biggest improvement, why, and what will you do to improve it?

Privitera: I am continuing to work on my approach at the plate.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are? 

Privitera: Don’t be negatively influenced by those around you. Stay focused, work hard and believe in yourself.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Privitera: I like to spend a lot of time in the weight room during the offseason.  I also hit in the cages and take a lot of ground balls.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Privitera: I don’t really have a specific moment that sticks out to me. Although seeing all the MLB & college scouts line up game after game last season to watch our team play was pretty cool.  

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Privitera: The location of Missouri State and the facilities were a couple of things that I liked right away. The key factor for my commitment was Coach Guttin. I liked what I saw and heard about his program.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Privitera: My short list consisted of Missouri State and KU. MO State was where I really wanted to be.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you? 

Privitera: During my junior year summer things started coming together. There was not a particular game, it just progressed week by week.  

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Privitera: We have quite a few returning starters and some very good underclassmen. I am sure coach Meyer will have us ready for another competitive season.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Privitera: I play for the Kansas City Sports Club under Jamie Walker.  I am from Missouri and most of the players are from Kansas, so it’s pretty cool to spend the summer with a different group of guys. 

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