Gavin Van Kempen has carved out an impressive career for himself. Being a dominant pitcher for both his school and travel teams, Van Kempen has continued to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Van Kempen started playing baseball as many ballplayers do, t-ball. Van Kempen tried getting into different sports, but none of them were in comparison to baseball.
Last year Van Kempen started playing travel ball for the 16u All-Stars Academy. Previously playing for U.S. Elite for a couple of seasons. For school ball, Van Kempen played for Columbia highschool in 7th and 8th grade, making the move to Maple Hill in 9th grade and never looking back.
Van Kempen has attained great success on the field. This past season he threw 12 innings, gave up 3 hits, had 14 strikeouts, 2 walks, didn’t give up a run, and had a WHIP (Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched) of 0.42. Dominant numbers in what was a great season for Kempen.
Van Kempen has also won some hardware. Being named a Perfect Game All-American and also winning a Perfect Game Tournament MVP. Gaining notable attention for his work on the field.
What makes Van Kempen so tough to hit sometimes, is his ability to sustain his velocity throughout the game. Sitting at around 90-92 for the majority of the game is undeniably impressive. A lot of pitchers tend to drop off in velocity as the game wears on, and this gives Van Kempen an advantage when he gets late into games.
One thing that Van Kempen could look to improve on is his consistency. Having arm injuries in the past, Van Kempen has been looking to find consistent mechanics that will allow him to succeed. Building off a successful season this past year, Van Kempen hopes to have found that consistency that has been eluding him.
Looking forward to this season, Van Kempen hopes to be ranked in the top 100 by Perfect Game. “Me and the guys at All-Stars have been working our tails off, so I think for me personally it’s definitely something I can reach.” Having the exceptional talent to go along with his incredible work ethic, being ranked in the top 100 by Perfect Game, is a goal that should not be too far out of Van Kempen’s reach.
Justin Verlander was a name brought up by Van Kempen when asked about a source of inspiration. “I always saw him as a guy that just kept going, especially now with his Tommy John surgery, he’s getting up in age but he’s still going, that motivates me a lot.” Having that source of inspiration can help and drive a player to keep going and to never give up on their dreams.
Looking forward beyond high school, Van Kempen is verbally committed to West Virginia University to play baseball. When asked about what made West Virginia stand out, Van Kempen responded with, “When I went to a winter camp out there, I didn’t know that it was a football weekend and I couldn’t find a parking spot or a hotel anywhere, that was a really cool feeling because the community has such a love for the university…and the coaching staff is just amazing.” Having a close-knit relationship with the community means a lot to many athletes and it was the driving force in his decision to attend West Virginia.
Van Kempen has all of the tools to succeed at the next level and beyond. Make sure to check the top 100 of Perfect Game this year and be on the lookout for his name. A truly dominant player.