Four months ago, this is where Randon Hostert imagined he’d be.
A state championship. A scholarship to play on an NCAA Division I team. Maybe even get selected in the MLB draft.
The talented right-hander for the Bonneville Bees entered the 2019 season carrying a load of expectations on his shoulders after helping lead the Bees to the 5A state championship game last season and proving himself as arguably the top pitcher if not top overall player in the state in any classification. After signing with the University of Utah, the 6-foot-6 Hostert charged into his final high school season and didn’t disappoint.
His 90-plus mph fastball and improved control made him a force on the mound. He was equally impressive at the plate, hitting for average and power. He capped the season with a stellar one-hit shutout in the 4A state championship game, shutting down a powerful Idaho Falls lineup 4-0.
But the celebration wasn’t complete. Two weeks ago Hostert was selected in the 15th round of the Major League draft by the Texas Rangers. Now he’ll have to decide whether to sign and play professionally or head to Utah to start a college career. Hostert was in Texas this weekend meeting with Rangers organization.
“It ended up perfect,” Hostert said of his season.
For his accomplishments, Hostert is the Post Register’s All-Area Baseball Player of the Year for the second straight season.
“He’s a physical specimen,” Idaho Falls coach Trent Johnson said. “He throws really hard; he’s the most dominant guy no doubt on this side of the state.”
Idaho Falls and Bonneville battled for bragging rights all season, but Hostert proved the difference, beating the Tigers 13-2 in the district championship game and then coming up with a near-perfect performance against I.F. in the state title game.
“He has a next level arm,” Skyline coach Brett Taylor said. “In my opinion, 5A or 4A, the best arm in the state. He’s super athletic … and he can hit well and also can hit for power.”
Hostert finished 5-2 on the mound with a 2.18 earned run average, striking out 57 hitters in 35.1 innings. He also batted .467 with four homers and 39 RBIs.
Bonneville coach Ryan Alexander noted that Hostert got better as the season progressed.
“I think this year, we as a team, as well as Randon as an individual, had to battle the expectations of everyone else,” Alexander said.
With the pressure to succeed and scouts showing up to games, Hostert finally settled in and the rest of the team followed his cue.
“It took a minute for us to get comfortable in our own skin and to play up to our capability,’ Alexander said, adding Hostert was at his most comfortable down the stretch of the season.
“In the state championship game it was just the crescendo of what he was working to the entire year,” Alexander said. “He got better every outing. He got better every bullpen. He continued to process.”
This summer will be a life changer for Hostert, who will eventually have to decide between joining the Texas Rangers organization or trying to improve his status at Utah and the competitive Pac-12 Conference.
“I’ll have to figure that out for myself over the next few weeks,” Hostert said after being drafted.