Toby Hanson is a catcher/first baseman for the University of Minnesota. He played his high school baseball at Delano where he graduated in 2014 and was named the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A Player of the year and was also a Mr. Baseball finalist. He was a 2nd team All-American and first-team all-metro player. According to Justin Musil of Elite Sports Advising, Hanson has the ‘it factor.
“Toby is a special player,” Musil said. “He has the ‘it’ factor that you want and all the tools you need to be a great college baseball player.” Musil noted that Hanson’s tools and compete level that rises to every occasion and that sets him up to go a long way after college in professional baseball. As Musil said, “He is a kid I would want on my team.”
Hanson played in 42 games last year for the Golden Gophers and started 32 of them. 29 of his starts came at first base. Hanson had an opportunity to discuss his transition from high school to college and the variables that challenge every student athlete.
ESA: What has your transition been like from high school to college from an academic and baseball standpoint?
TH: I adjusted fairly quickly from high school to college in both areas. It’s all about working hard each and every day. You have to give a maximum effort in order to maintain success at the next level.
ESA: What have been your keys to success since you have been to school?
TH: The biggest key to my success in school has been learning and adjusting. Both on the field and off. College is more difficult in both aspects and the faster you learn to adjust, the better off.
ESA: What are the demands of being a D1 baseball player?
TH: There’s always something you can be working on each day to become a better player. Whether it’s on the mental side of the game or physical. You also must be 100% committed to the sport and your team. Meaning show up to practice each day, don’t be late, work hard, be a good teammate, etc.
ESA: What things have you learned the most from as a baseball player?
TH: I’ve learned that there are more bad days than good days in baseball. You’re going to fail a lot in this sport, but what makes you a good player is how you handle yourself when you fail and how you react and how you bounce back. I also learned that consistency is key. Trying to have a good or quality at bat each time you step up to the plate, even if you make an out. Be productive!
ESA: What drives you to get better as a baseball player?
TH: To reach my lifelong goal of being a major league baseball player. As well as inspiring people around the community and even around the world.
ESA: Do you have a defining moment you remember on the field where you felt the emotions of “wow, this is incredible?”
TH: Playing in Nebraska last year in front of 6,000-7,000 people and hitting my first collegiate home run. The atmosphere and feeling is something I will never forget.
ESA: How did ELITE help get you to where you are at?
TH: Elite helped me connect with numerous college baseball coaches and allowed the opportunity for me to showcase my tools in front of them. Elite helped me weigh my options and make the best possible decision in choosing a school that fits me best athletically and academically. I am thankful that elite and myself worked together and they helped me achieve my lifelong goal of playing for the Minnesota Gophers.