SDUSD Stories: Bright Future Ahead for Madison High Grad Kevin Abel

Posted: Friday, June 16th 2017

Kevin Abel pitching for Madison High. By Michele Friszell

When senior Kevin Abel graduated from Madison High School this past week, he left behind a legacy of athletic accomplishments as one of San Diego’s top baseball players of the decade – and he’s just getting started.

Abel, a right-handed pitcher on Madison’s baseball team since his freshman year, is taking his talents to a bigger stage. He will be attending Oregon State University on a three-year athletic scholarship, joining a baseball team that is ranked No. 1 in the country and a favorite to win this year’s College World Series.

He nearly took up another offer from an even bigger name: the San Diego Padres. The Padres selected the hometown star in the 35th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft, even though Abel had already committed to Oregon State. Respectfully, Abel chose to decline the Padres’ offer in order to pursue his academic and athletic opportunities in college.

“My family, we put a big precedent on education,” Abel told us. “My parents didn’t go to college, so this was very important to them. College was worth a lot to me.” 

Abel said he felt incredibly “honored” to be selected by a Major League organization, especially the hometown team, but he had already made a commitment to college and the three years of free education. “Oregon State has always been ‘plan A,’ ever since my sophomore year.”

In addition to joining Oregon State’s powerhouse baseball team, Abel will be making the most of his scholarship by getting a head start on college. He’ll be heading up to Corvallis this July, where he told us he plans to jump into his studies right away. “I’ll be able to be almost 2 full trimesters ahead by taking summer classes, and from my (high school) AP classes.” 

Looking ahead, Abel is excited about his prospects both on and off the field. He plans to major in either Business or Kinesiology, keeping an eye on potential career opportunities in the fields of sports management, sports medicine, or even being an agent.

Of course, he’ll also be busy on the mound, showing the PAC-12 conference his stuff. Abel’s fastball is readily clocked in the 90-92 mile-per-hour range, and his changeup is well-known throughout San Diego; local baseball fans remember it from his no-hitter against El Camino in the 2016 playoffs. He finished the 2017 year with a 9-1 record and a regular season ERA under 1.

Going forward, we’ll be eagerly watching Kevin Abel as he helps carry his new team to success, just as he did here at Madison. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors!

See more: Abel’s accomplishments at Madison High include being named the 2017 Baseball American pre-season National All-American, Madison’s 2017 Most Valuable Player, and being named to the 1st Team All-CIF in both of his last two seasons. SD Prep Insider called Abel the “best pitcher in San Diego County,” and caught up with him earlier this season on their “5 Questions” feature.


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