Freshman Gabriel Coltman named one of the top baseball prospects in the class of 2025


Courtesy of Gabriel Coltman

Freshman Gabriel Coltman steps up to bat at the Arizona 2022 Southwest Showcase.

Did you know one of the most highly ranked freshman baseball players in the United States goes to Lincoln? In four straight showcases, freshman Gabriel Coltman has been named as one of three top prospects of all freshmen in the country. In his most recent showcase, 38 athletes participated.

Coltman has had a knack for baseball since he was seven. He says his interest and determination comes from his dad. 

“My dad encouraged me to play sports, and baseball just stuck with me,” Coltman said. He also tried soccer and basketball, but it was baseball he enjoyed the most.

“I just saw it as the sport I [knew I had to] play,” Coltman said about the reason behind his choice.

 When Coltman joined his first club team, The Yard Baseball Academy, he was 12 years old. This was the first year of the pandemic, yet he persisted. 

“Throughout the whole season, I started hitting a ton of home runs,” Coltman said. Improvements in other aspects of the sport culminated in his first two showcases, which took place in California and Florida.

Despite being his first, Coltman performed amongst the best. He attributes this accomplishment to his arm strength. 

“My best strength is my overall ability to hit the ball really well,” Coltman said. “I have a good arm, [and I] throw and hit pretty hard and am pretty consistent at that.” 

His exit velocity, or speed of the baseball, was 87 miles per hour, placing him in the top 0.94% percentile.

A few Major League Baseball (MLB) players have inspired Coltman. A Chicago Cubs fan, he says he’s modeled his game off of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. 

“I have learned from them that being a good person on and off the field makes you a better player,” Coltman said.

Though the pandemic has caused some challenges, Coltman has still been able to turn 2021 into his best year so far. 

“I feel like last year I improved a lot, had a lot of practice and started working out more,” Coltman said.

However, this doesn’t mean the year came without adversity. Coltman faced several setbacks, including tearing his ACL in the fall of 2020 during a scrimmage game.

“I was out in right field. I was running back and I didn’t see the warning track because I was looking up at the ball. I ran full speed into the fence and tore my ACL. I was out for around three months,” he said. After a speedy recovery, he was able to return to the field.

Lincoln baseball coach CJ Watson is looking forward to this upcoming season. 

“We like our freshman class this year and are excited to get them in the program to develop,” Watson said.

Coltman is looking forward to building camaraderie with this team. 

“There’s a really good energy surrounding the team and all the practices we do,” Coltman said.

Watson has also seen this during spring training. 

“Our leadership has been nothing short of amazing,” he said. “Our guys have worked extremely hard as a group to prepare themselves for the spring.”

Coltman is excited for this upcoming season with Lincoln. He believes that being an athlete, while challenging at times, is completely worth it.

“Doing sports is a good thing,” Coltman said. “Working out and keeping yourself moving is always helpful for your body.”