Andrew Stumph, senior catcher for the Texas State baseball team, has never had to be the Bobcats’ vocal leader.
Last year’s big three, Jeff McVaney, Tyler Sibley and Casey Kalenkosky, have graduated, and the 6-feet, 215-pound senior from Katy High School is expected to become the new voice of the Bobcats.
“He needs to be a leader back there,” said Coach. “He’s always been kind of a quiet person who has done his part, but now he needs to verbalize and vocalize his thoughts and feelings of what the team needs to do. He has a lot of thoughts going on (in) his mind because he is such an intelligent player. Now, he needs to let it out to the people around him so they can be better.”
Casey “Ory” Kalenkosky played baseball at Texas State for four years as both a catcher and first baseman before being drafted by the Atlanta Braves. He had a lot of interaction on the field with “Stumpy,” Andrew’s calling card. Kalenkosky said he thinks Stumph is quite the capable leader.
“With Andrew stepping into the leadership role not only as a catcher, but as a senior, he will be looked upon for leadership,” Kalenkosky said. “I believe he has that ability, and I’m excited to see how he and the team respond to the New Year.”
Stumph said that he is more than ready to take on that role.
“I love being behind the plate,” Stumph said. “I love working with the pitchers. I love being in control of the game and pretty much the voice for the team. I think it will be a fun experience.”
Stumph was fourth on the team last season with a .253 batting average, behind McVaney, Sibley and Kalenkosky. He started in 48 of the 49 games he played in and rattled off three home runs. He started 60 games in 2011 as a catcher.
“His value on the team is tremendous,” Harrington said. “I can’t really think of anyone who I would compare him to, and so to evaluate him I think I would look at how valuable he is to this team.”
Stumph began to develop that value at the age of four when he began playing baseball and eating ballpark nachos at Astros games.
“It helped a lot that my neighbor worked for the Astros,” Stumph said. “Occasionally he would give our family tickets to go watch some games, and so I got to watch the Astros back in their good days.”
He lettered for four years at Katy High School where he set the school record with 51 RBIs in his freshman year. Afterward, Stumph knew that playing at the next level was a strong possibility. Harrington and his staff, who have had many players drafted by Major League Baseball clubs, showed Stumph what Texas State was all about during his first visit. Stumph was instantly hooked.
“I came here (to Texas State) and fell in love with it,” Stumph said. “Watching the program build from where it’s been to where it is now has been fun. Every year the expectation gets higher and higher, and the recruits coming in get better and better. It’s been very fun to watch and be a part of.”
Talk is cheap, however, and the skills, in the end, do the talking.
“He’s the kind of guy that can be all-conference,” Harrington said. “He’s the kind of guy that can be All-American. He’s the kind of guy that, when playing well, can carry your team.”