The 6-11 Hjelle, a senior pitcher, is ranked as the 28th-best prospect in the country by Prep Baseball Report.
How tough is it to find clothes when you’re 6-11? Shirts and stuff are not a problem. For pants, my mom does a lot of online shopping. Once in a while I can find a pair in a store, but it’s hard.
Talk about your summer so far? I’ve been playing [American] Legion ball, but from June 25 to July 8 I was traveling with an elite team out of Chicago, Top Tier. We played in national tournaments at colleges like Vanderbilt, Austin Peay and Lipscomb.
Why Top Tier? It was all about getting exposure outside of the Midwest. I wanted to get some exposure in the South and the East.
Your strengths as a pitcher? Being this tall helps. I’ve heard that every inch taller than 6-foot-4 can add 1 mile per hour to your fastball. And I’ve been told that I have a very smooth delivery for someone this tall.
How hard do you throw? I was officially timed at 89 mph at a showcase in Chicago. I’ve been clocked at 90 before. During games, I’m mostly in the 85 to 88 range.
What pitches are in your repertoire? Two fastballs — a two-seamer and a four-seamer — a circle changeup and a pitch that was originally introduced to me as a cutter but is now more of a slider.
Best baseball memory? Beating Stillwater in the section playoffs last year. We came back from 3-1 down to win in the bottom of the ninth inning.