MANHATTAN (KSNT) – On April 7, Junior Dylan Phillips hit a ball 402 feet to become K-State’s all-time home run leader.
“What he’s done for this program is really uncomparable,” head coach Pete Hughes said.
He has 43 career home runs heading into the Wildcats’ final home series.
“My freshman year, towards the end of the season, I got hot and hit like more than half my home runs that year,” Phillips said. “So kind of going into that offseason, it was kind of the thought process of ‘I can be a power hitter’ and kind of work towards being that kind of guy.”
Extra work in the weight room helped him turn his singles and doubles into home runs.
“He works on his craft every day as hard as he can,” infielder Nick Goodwin said. “To have a guy like him on our team is special.”
But Phillips doesn’t spend the other half of his time in the dugout. He’ll either be in the outfield, at first base or even on the mound.
“His entire career, he’s been so versatile for us,” Hughes said. “It gives me, as the head coach that writes the lineup, it just gives me so many options.”
Phillips has 15 strikeouts through 9.1 innings pitched this season, including four saves.
“Having options of where they can put me defensively, it just kind of helps me stay in the lineup and that’s always been my goal,” Phillips said.
He’s one of just two players in the Big 12 who have more than 10 homers and multiple saves. He’s also reliable defensively at first.
“We knew he was proficient at first base and needed some work in the outfield,” Hughes said. “We also knew that he had a strong background on the mound, and when you’re an athlete like he is, the adjustment from going on the field to the mound is an easier one.”
It’s no secret he has MLB talent.
“No matter if we’ve got an off day, he’s always in the indoor getting in his own work,” Goodwin said. “So yeah, he’ll get that shot.”
K-State has it’s final home series May 13-15 against Baylor, before traveling to Virginia Tech and West Virginia to end the season.