BY JIM MISUNAS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt shortstop Connor Kaiser, a third-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Pirates, has local ties. Kaiser was the 86th-pick, guaranteed a contract in excess of $570,000.
The Blue Valley West graduate is the son of Great Bend High School graduates Stan and Jana Kaiser.
Kaiser made national headlines Sunday by hitting a school record-tying three homers and tying an NCAA tournament record with 10 RBIs in the Commodores’ 19-6 regional-clinching win over Clemson.
Vanderbilt (34-26) must beat Mississippi State twice to qualify for the NCAA World Series at Omaha, Neb.
Kaiser leads Vandy with 14 multi-hit games and owns a .991 fielding percentage with two errors.
“Connor is a very mature, skilled defensive player that continues to grow with competition,” said Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin. “He’s very assertive in the strength, conditioning and offensive area of his game. He’s able to impact the game on both sides of the ball. He’s fortunate to play a lot of shortstop for us as a freshman which enabled him to grow very fast.”
Blue Valley West captured the 2013 Class 6A state baseball title and 6A state basketball runner-up. Blue Valley West placed third in the 2015 6A state baseball and basketball tournaments.
His father Stan Kaiser played baseball at Fort Hays State. His brother Kyle Kaiser played baseball at Johnson County and Neosho County.