Prep Baseball

Player of the Year: Palmyra's Wosman continues preparing for limitless future in baseball

Palmyra shortstop Nolan Wosman, a University of Arkansas signee and the 2019 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, was the area’s most feared hitter this spring, batting .515 while being walked 28 times in 27 games. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 9, 2019 12:01 am

PALMYRA, Mo.

Nolan Wosman had just enough time to imagine what his future might hold.

With a few minutes to kill before meeting a photographer for a portrait shoot, Wosman watched the televised start of the Major League Baseball amateur draft in which Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman was selected No. 1 overall by the Baltimore Orioles.

"It's one of those dreams every kid has," Wosman said. "You allow yourself the opportunity, hopefully at some point, to play for that. That's one of the reasons to go to college and play in college, to try to take that next step."

The Palmyra product is on that path.

Signed to play at the University of Arkansas and spending this summer playing for the Quincy Gems in the Prospect League, Wosman is doing more than honing his skills. He's giving scouts something to see.

It's all part of the process as the 2019 Herald-Whig Player of the Year goes from prep all-stater to a limitless future.

"I didn't realize this going into the summer, but learning from the older guys is such a big thing," said Wosman, a shortstop who is the only recent high school graduate on the Gems' roster. "I'm playing with a couple seniors and they've taught me some stuff that you don't know until you have a couple of years under your belt.

"It's been a real adjustment to have those guys as teammates and learn from them."

It's put Wosman a step ahead of the game in his professional pursuit.

"I haven't let it rule me where I'm skipping steps, but it's the main goal to reach in the end," Wosman said.

He's learned that path won't be easy.

Arguably the most feared hitter in the area this spring, Wosman not only posted a .515 batting average, but he drew an area-leading 28 walks in 27 games. He was walked at least once in the final six games and nine of the last 10.

He walked twice in four of those games.

"You felt respected, but it also made you want to get out there and play," Wosman said. "A lot of coaches didn't want to pitch to you or would just pitch around you. Then they'd throw to other hitters who I know can hit the ball just as hard as I can. So I'm like, I wish I could get the pitches he's getting.'"

When he got those pitches, he delivered all because he refused to let one at-bat roll over to the next and take him out of the game.

"Staying locked in was a big thing all season long," Wosman said.

That's because distractions were at every turn.

The Clarence Cannon Conference Player of the Year and all-state candidate committed to Arkansas as a high school freshman and carried with him the challenge of living up to that throughout his career.

"It comes with pressure," Wosman said. "You've got the parents that talk and the kids that talk and sometimes even the coaches that talk. It starts to get to you, but you have to have people in your life to talk to about it to calm you down.

"It comes with a little bit of pressure, but you just have to have people on your side."

He has plenty of support in that regard, from the Palmyra coaching staff to his teammates to a baseball-rich family.

Wosman's grandfather, Jim, was drafted in the eighth round of the 1967 draft by the Detroit Tigers and reached the Class AA level. His father, Brian, was a standout catcher at Quincy High School who played at Culver-Stockton College.

"I come from a pedigree of baseball players," Wosman said. "It helps to be able to get some advice and have those people on your side. It doesn't get any easier from here."

Maybe so, but any dream worth chasing is worth the work necessary to achieve it.