San Marcos Senior Pitcher Cole Schoenwetter | Credit: Lily Chubb

From the time he began playing baseball San Marcos High pitcher Cole Schoenwetter could throw hard for his age. 

Arm talent is a useful trait for any young baseball player, but it does not guarantee that the player will progress into a sought-after pitching prospect. For Schoenwetter, years of hard work and development have transformed him into one of the top senior pitching prospects in the country, led to his commitment to UCSB baseball, and opened the door for him to be selected in the early rounds of the 2023 Major League Baseball draft.

San Marcos Senior Pitcher Cole Schoenwetter | Credit: Lily Chubb

“It was pretty clear that he could throw the ball harder than most of the other kids at his age level even when we were playing other teams,” said Cole’s father Ned Schoenwetter of his son’s development as a pitcher. “He kind of hit milestones — like throwing 70 miles per hour at 12 years old — before other kids did. I think we knew pretty early on that pitcher was going to be where he’d stick.”

The foundation of what is already an incredible baseball journey was at Goleta Valley South Little League where Schoenwetter was a member of All Star teams that had long runs into the summer, including a 10U team that won District 63, Section 1 and the SoCal Sub Regional before playing for the Southern California State Championship.

Schoenwetter also played travel ball with the Santa Barbara Surf to experience different levels of competition. 

“Those are some of our favorite memories: that they were really successful and went quite a ways in the little league all-star playoffs,” Ned Schoenwetter said. “Growing up, he had a lot of fun playing more baseball beyond little league, but we always wanted him to play little league because we wanted him to play with all of his friends.”

Many of Cole’s friends at Mountain View Elementary School (where Ned was principal at the time) have also gone on to become top high school baseball players, including Dos Pueblos star pitcher Ryan Speshyock, who is committed to continue his baseball career at Stanford; Kyle Spink of Dos Pueblos; and Cal Wipf, a Santa Barbara High player who is committed to play at Pepperdine.

When he was 11, Schoenwetter started working with Tom Myers, who is currently the area scout for the L.A. Dodgers. Myers, who runs the Santa Barbara Grizzlies Baseball youth summer program, served as a pitching coach for Schoenwetter. This personalized instruction with Myers has helped Schoenwetter hone his mechanics, as well as his mental approach to the game. 

“In baseball you have so many different influences and the coaching staff at San Marcos has been tremendous in his development,” Myers said. “We would do lessons at least once or twice a week. I ran him through a collegiate/professional throwing program.”

Schoenwetter’s work with Myers ramped up during the COVID-19 pandemic when traditional baseball was paused. They were fortunate to have the Goleta Valley South fields as a home destination and went to work.

“A lot of it with Cole was ironing out the mechanics, but also working with his mind,” Myers said. “We would be over at Goleta Valley, and I would have a chart, which I would give him at the end, it was like a grading system. We would talk about moving the fastball in and out, throwing a breaking ball, being able to throw it behind in the count and then the development of the change up, which is starting to come.”

Over the past year and half through his strength and conditioning work, Schoenwetter went from having a good arm to having a great arm. The added physicality combined with harnessing his command has lifted Schoenwetter’s game to another level. 

“This guy’s got speed and power. He’s got a chance to be pretty physical. There’s a chance that he throws triple digits at some point,” said Myers of Schoenwetter. “I’ve seen a lot of guys in the last 30 years on the Central Coast and Cole has the most dynamic arm.”

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In 2021, during his sophomore season, Schoenwetter committed to UCSB, which basically ended the recruiting process early. UCSB baseball coach Andrew Checketts is known to be one of the best pitching developers in the western United States and has put many of his pupils on the pathway to Major League success, including Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, and Dillon Tate of the Baltimore Orioles. Given the fact that UCSB is also an excellent academic institution for a family that greatly values education, it was a match made in heaven. 

“Nine years ago, I would go to games at [UCSB], and I think that’s where I always wanted to go,” said Schoenwetter on his signing day. “They were on me early. I knew I wanted to go there, and I made the commitment to Checketts. I was glad to be able to keep that promise.”

Following his sophomore season, Schoenwetter began taking advantage of opportunities to showcase his talent and traveled around the country the past two summers, beginning with the Trosky National Team for his age group.

This past summer he was selected to the Perfect Game Showcase and the Area Code Brewers. He was also given the opportunity to pitch in the Baseball Factory All-American Game. During one game for Trosky National in Atlanta, he pitched six innings and struck out 17 of 18 batters. Schoenwetter emerged as the top-ranked right-handed pitcher in California. 

San Marcos Senior Pitcher Cole Schoenwetter | Credit: Lily Chubb

“It’s been pretty surreal. It is an almost unimaginable situation to be in as a parent of a youth baseball player,” said Ned Schoenwetter of Cole’s rapid rise on the national scene. 

Playing in Major League Stadiums with and against the best players in the country set the stage for Schoenwetter to step into the No. 1 pitcher role at San Marcos as a senior, following in the footsteps of Chase Hoover, who was dominant last season as a senior before moving on to TCU.

“It’s great going to play in other places, but when you get to play here it is special,” said Schoenwetter of playing high school baseball for San Marcos. “It’s only two or three months of the year that I actually get to play here, so when I do I love it and there’s no place I’d rather be.”

This season at San Marcos, Schoenwetter is 5-1 with a 1.05 Earned Run Average. He has struck out 76 batters in 40 innings on the mound and led the Royals (17-5 overall, 11-1 Channel League at press time) to their third consecutive Channel League Championship that was clinched after a 7-1 victory over rival Santa Barbara last Friday.  

“It’s a little sad these are the rivalries that you live for,” said Schoenwetter of playing Santa Barbara for the final time. “It’s been fun while it lasted. We’ve had our good matches over the last three years and luckily, we were able to come out on top in the end.”


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