Kokoska’s talents continue to grow


Coach Basciano congratulates Zack Kokoska in 2017 as he earns Gatorade Player of the Year.

The strong lefty prospect comes up to the plate. BOOM! HIs first career home run for the Colorado Rockies organization. Zach Kokoska, also known as ¨Koko¨ to his hometown team,  created his legacy at Latrobe. He played a major role on the state championship team for Latrobe in 2017. After his amazing career in high school, he was recruited to play college baseball at a powerhouse D1 Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University. Through his short time at playing baseball at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University he batted .267 in only 15 at-bats and tallied 4 runners batted in. A year later Koko went to Kansas State University due to coaching changes with the Virginia Tech baseball organization. He persevered through adversity and his dream came to life as he was drafted to the Colorado Rockies minor league system in the 10th round 290th overall pick.


Throughout his baseball career, Kokoska explained how his dad helped him to actualize his dreams. He stated, ¨He has always believed in me, got me in the right place where I needed to be successful-the thousand of reps he threw in batting practice when he was able to find time.¨ 


Due to the amounts of hard work Kokoska had put in it made him have a massive senior year in 2017 at Greater Latrobe School District.


Kokoska had an experience that not a lot of people get to have in their high school sports careers. He led the win for the state championship. Kokoska was well honored to be named Gatorade Player of the Year which goes to elite highschool student athletes in the state of Pennsylvania. Kokoska said, ¨It is something that you remember your whole life, it was an awesome experience!¨ 


From creating his baseball journey starting at West Point Little League up till high school, Koko described what is was like to play for a great organization like Latrobe baseball with Coach Bas. Kokoska emphasized the importance of on the essentials he learned from his coaching staff and his teammates at Latrobe:

  1. Enjoy the game
  2. Have fun with your friends
  3. Don´t put pressure on yourself, it’s just a game¨. 

For the young players in high school who want to pursue a baseball career, he advises, ¨You can crush the weight room as much as you want, but if you´re are not doing baseball-specific lifts, it´s not going to make you better.¨ He included how he uses Innate Fitness which focuses on baseball lifts like barbell back squats to help get him stronger.


During his high school years he played at places like Georgia and Florida for Area Code. Area code is a highly competitive organization with top prospects.  Kokoska also mentions how going to those specific places like ¨Perfect Game Tournaments¨ help you get noticed by D1 schools. From that tournament, D1 schools found the powerhouse Kokoska.

After graduating from Latrobe, he was recruited and got a scholarship from Virginia Tech where Kokoska attended his first year. He said, ¨I committed to Virginia Tech following my junior year to a coaching staff I liked and a month before I got on campus, a new coaching staff was brought in who told the new recruits we are not going to play for them, and we are going to bring in our recruits which won´t allow you to have a scholarship.¨ 


To come through adversity Kokoska was willing to transfer to a junior college in Florida in which he was ¨dead set¨ on. The coach he originally committed to from Virginia Tech was Ryan Connely, who still wanted Kokoska to play for him so they flew him out and offered him to Kansas State. 


Since he transferred he had a ¨ẅaiver pass¨ so he could play D1 baseball right away without ¨sitting out a year¨ as he said. 


He said, ¨I decided to go down that road, and it was a great decision for me. I loved the past three years there and it was a great experience. I did not want to be anywhere else!¨ 


Over the years of playing baseball his daily routine for game days is to get a good stretch by rolling out on a roller. Next, he works on his visualization by using a pitch recognition system to get his eyes prepared. A couple minutes before the game he decides to work on his breathing in order to help slow the game down.

Getting drafted out of his impressive junior year at Kansas State was a dream of his he  thought would come true. As the game gets harder in higher levels of baseball, he said, “People can come pretty relaxed since it´s an everyday grind, you play every single day, 140 day season in the minors, and I think the biggest thing I learned so far is you can´t take any at bats– or days– off.” 

“You know everybody is fighting for spots, jobs, and those at bats you take off or are off mentally it can be the deciding factor on weather you are going to get moved up or released,” he said.


At the pro level Kokoska works at just being consistent and bringing energy to the field everyday. Kokoska is currently batting a whopping .395 for average, 1 homerun, 1 triple , 1 double,  7 runners batted in,  and 8 stolen bases in just about 40 at bats. 

He is currently in an instructional league which is an invite only league that all the major league coaches go to to evaluate him and to be able to work with his skills. To this day Kokoska is living his dream of succeeding in professional baseball for the Rockies.