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Field Commanders: Is Kaiya Fabela the Best Catcher in the 2025 Grad Class?

Impact Gold Organization:

Name: Kaiya Fabela

Nickname: K-Fab

Hometown: Fort Worth/Keller, Texas

Grad Year: 2025​

Travel Team: Impact Gold National-Smith

High School: Keller High School, Texas

Positions:

Travel Ball: Catcher (Primary) and First base (Secondary)

High School: Catcher (Primary) and Third base (Secondary)

Height: 5’9"

Bat/Throw: R/R

Pop Times: 1.78

Coaches:

Travel Ball: Gary Smith (Former Sam Houston State Athlete)

High School: Christina Gwyn (Former Texas & Brigham Young Pitcher)

Hitting: Brooke Richards (Former Tarleton State Pitcher)

Catching/Speed & Agility: Mari McGuire (Former Texas A&M Catcher)

Overhand Velocity: 64

Exit Velocity off Tee: 75

Intended Study Major: Undecided Email: kaiyafabela07@gmail.com

Twitter: @ fabela_kaiya Instagram: kaiyafabela2025

Recruiting Profile: https://sportsrecruits.com/athlete/kaiya_fabela


Field Commanders is a recurring series in which we pop the flares on elite Catchers destined for greatness. The Field Commanders who relay orders from the Dugout Generals and positions the troops for battle, while calling airstrikes to protect home at all cost and firing lasers with pinpoint accuracy to keep the enemies from advancing. Of all positions, the Catcher has to think the most like the coaches and has to be both physically and mentally tough. Today, we are honored to spotlight Kaiya Fabela, who many consider may be the best Catcher prospect in the 2025 graduation class.


Who are you? I’m a pretty easy going person that loves reading, hiking, and softball. I am extremely motivated and I love working towards a goal and accomplishing it. I have a Blackbelt in Taekwondo and feel that a lot of who I am is built upon the foundation I learned while at the dojo.


How did your softball journey begin? I started playing sports at 4 years old. I would alternate between t-ball and soccer during the Fall and Spring seasons. I started playing softball at age 7 and moved up to select at 9 years old. We quickly learned that my select team needed a catcher. My dad, who was one of my coaches at the time, asked me to give a try, I did and I fell in love.



How does it feel knowing that you’re considered one of the nation’s top prospects for your grad year and what do you attribute to your amazing success and achievements? It is very humbling because I play with great players on my high school team and my travel ball team. These girls push me to be my very best every day. I work extremely hard and put a lot of time into getting better (whether for school or softball). I am my biggest competition and I strive to be better than I was yesterday. A huge part of my growth and success as a player is definitely attributed to all my coaches, teammates (past and present), and parents. They push me to become better and to get out of my comfort zone.

Impact Gold National-Smith


As a Catcher, you have to be both physically and mentally tough. You have to think like coaches and command the defense. How have you been so successful? One thing I love about catching is being able to see the field from a different perspective than any other player. Game time experience, learning from past games and working various scenarios in practice has been pivotal in my development behind the plate. Also, my catching coach, Mari McGuire, is great with working with me on various catching aspects beyond just catching mechanics. You really have to be a student of the game because there are so many different situations that can happen come game time.

Do you call games and if so, can you please explain the preparation and game time execution? I have called some games on my own, however I currently do not. I love learning from my coaches (especially my high school coach as she was a great college pitcher) as to their approach in calling pitches. I do anticipate what I would do in the situation and see if my calls would be the same as my coach.

Kaiya with Coach Mari Maguire and Coach Brooke Richards


“Kaiya is such a hard worker, shows up prepared and early always. She’s one of those players coaches love because she does the little things like Champions always do. She is constantly looking to improve. Explosive bat, great skill and glove work behind the plate. Keeps the ball in front, has great experience and game knowledge. Big arm, aggressive, love everything about this kid!”

Mari Maguire - Catching and Agility Coach


What are you thinking when you have speedy runners on-base and you know they are going to try to steal on you? Once a runner is on base, my mindset is that they are all fast and are looking to take that extra base. This helps keeps me ready. I like to throw some pick offs to first so that they know that I am watching them. I have noticed that when I do this, sometimes they are less likely to take a big lead, which helps if there is a ball in the dirt.


What is your greatest strengths as a softball player and why should coaches want you on their team? My work ethic is my greatest strength. I will not be outworked. I work very hard in the classroom and at softball. I am always challenging myself to get better regardless of the task at hand.


Not only are you an outstanding Catcher, you are also a feared hitter. What kind of hitter are you and what are your most recent offensive stats? I am a power hitter and love the offensive side of the game. I can also lay down a bunt when needed to move the runner or for a squeeze play. I feel it is important to be able to execute both to keep the defense on their toes.


Currently, my stats for Varsity are: Batting Average .412; Slugging .882; On-Base Percentage .500; Hits: 21; Doubles: 4; Triples: 1; Homeruns: 6; RBI’s: 23.


“This kid is fun to watch! She’s a player that you want on your side and not against you! When you think beast mode, you think of Kaiya! I have seen her run through walls for her team! Her power at the plate is out of this world. She is for sure a threat to any team because one swing and this kid can change a ball game!! She makes her presence known just how she carries herself in the box and behind the plate! She is a true born leader that works extremely hard week after week! This kid is 100% a team player and extremely humble!”

Brooke Richards - Hitting Coach



Describe your leadership style and what characteristics do you find in outstanding leaders? I try to lead by example, whether it is in practice or in a game. I think great leaders demonstrate great effort and try to build their teammates up with positive energy. There is no limit to how far kindness, encouragement, and positive actions can influence others.


You’re obviously very busy with so many activities and events in your life. How do you balance your life and manage your time so effectively? Balance is hard. My dad says that there is a price to be paid to be successful whether in the classroom or softball and that price is time and effort. School always comes first so this requires a lot of late nights and early mornings working on homework or studying. I’m constantly learning about time management and this skill will only help me for the rest of my athletic/academic career and life.


Describe your game day mental preparation and your thought process in the batters box. My preparation begins with all the work that I have put in that week in practice, in my hitting lessons, and hitting on my own. The more I am prepared, the more confident I am, which helps me at the plate. During the game, I try to get a feel for the pitcher, what she is throwing, and try get a sense of timing (especially when I am on deck). When I step in the box, I have the same little routine that I do every time. My thought process in the batters box is to (1) swing at strikes and (2) be on time.

Kaiya before

Kaiya after


What is your favorite sports memory and greatest achievement? I have a couple of favorite sports memory/greatest achievements: My greatest softball memory is traveling to Europe and playing in games against athletes from other countries. I will never forget how the chants sounded the same but in different languages. As far as achievement goes it would have to be when I hit 3 HRS in one game (back to back to back) during the Oklahoma City (OKC) Challenge.

How do you handle adversity and even failure? I try to be positive and if it is something I can learn from, I do my best to learn from it and move on. I have had games where I had “failed” or didn’t do as well as I had hoped and I have also had games where I did awesome and executed my game plan. Softball is like that. There are times you come out on top and times you come out on bottom. It is the way you get back up after the let down or the way to build upon your successes that help push you to the next level.


How would your teammates and friends describe you? I think my teammates would say I’m loyal and hardworking. If someone needs to warm up pitching, work on spins, or simply get their arm warm, I’m willing and ready to hit the bullpen with them.


“Kaiya is an absolute stud all the way around. She is an amazing catcher with a great arm. I feel like I rarely see any balls get past her when she is behind the plate. When she steps up to bat all the outfielders move back. She always makes solid contact with the ball. She always has a smile on her face, and she is always making sure that we do too! I’m so glad that I get the honor of calling her my teammate and friend.”

Landri Pick- Impact Gold teammate

Kaiya and Impact Gold teammate Landri Pick

If you could spend a day with any softball player, former or current, who would it be and why? Jocelyn Alo because she is such a great and disciplined hitter. She looks so calm and collected when she is in the batters box. I would love to learn from her and ask her questions about her hitting mentality.


What is your softball dream/goal? My ultimate goal/dream is to play college softball while earning a college degree. My parents have instilled in me the importance of getting an education and constantly working on bettering myself. I can’t think of a better way of doing that then being a student athlete.

Kaiya with Head Coach Gary Smith


“Kaiya is a force at the plate and behind the plate. She’s a home-run threat at the plate at any given time and runners don’t dare attempt to steal when she’s behind the plate. You’ll be watching this kid on TV one day."

Gary Smith - Impact Gold National-Smith Head Coach


Describe your perfect softball team. The perfect softball team is a team that is filled with great teammates that are loud in the dugout and on the field, constantly cheering for each other, and wanting each other to succeed. I am blessed that both my high school team and travel ball team are filled with amazing players that have these qualities.

Keller High School 2022 Varsity Softball Team


When deciding on what college team to play for what are the most important things you’re looking for? I want to play for a program that has a coaching staff that is positive and the girls on the team genuinely care for each other and want each other to succeed. I think when the time comes, I will be able to look at all the categories and make a decision based on what’s important for my future and based on my heart.


To be as successful as you are at the elite Tier 1 level requires putting in the extra work. Please tell us about all the extra work you put into your development and improvements such as strength and conditioning to private lessons. Outside of high school practice, I hit 5-6 days a week, in addition to my weekly hitting lessons with my hitting coach, Brooke Richards. (Sometimes my Dad and I will create game like scenarios to add pressure on my “at bats”. I love it when he tries to strike me out and I hit it right back at him!) I also work on my catching three times a week including my Monday nights with Mari Maguire (blocking, framing, picking, throwdowns, bunt coverage). During the season, I lift weights 3 times a week outside of school on my own time. I focus on key muscle groups that help strengthen my arm and power at the plate.


“This kid is fun to watch! She’s a player that you want on your side and not against you! When you think beast mode, you think of Kaiya! I have seen her run through walls for her team! Her power at the plate is out of this world. She is for sure a threat to any team because one swing and this kid can change a ball game!! She makes her presence known just how she carries herself in the box and behind the plate! She is a true born leader that works extremely hard week after week! This kid is 100% a team player and extremely humble!”

Brooke Richards - Hitting Coach


What gets you hyped or ready before a game? Music! I love listening to music. It’s never the exact same but has to have a great beat.


What is your favorite jersey number and why did you choose it? #7 because of Pudge Rodriguez!


What other hobbies do you have to balance out softball and your personal life? If I am not on the softball field, I am usually hanging out with my family. I also enjoying reading, riding bikes, hiking, and going to the movies.

What bit of advice or mentorship can you share with younger players or others who strive to be successful as you? Work hard and when you fall down, get back up and keep moving forward. Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough, instead use those words to fuel your passion and prove them wrong.


Who would you like to thank for your softball achievements and support? My parents (Joey and Kara Fabela) and my extended family and friends. One of the best parts about playing school ball is playing locally for my extended family to come to my games. I remember coming out of the dugout and getting into the on-deck circle at my first home game. As I turned my head, I was greeted with many of my family and friends cheering me on. My travel team is located 5 hours away from home so they don’t get to see me play all that often in-person. A huge thank you goes out to all of my past and current coaches, Brooke Richards, Mari McGuire, Gary Smith, Christina Gwyn, and Cassie Crabtree. Finally, my teammates from high school and travel ball teams that push me to be better and love me for who I am.



Kaiya's family


Additional Information About Kaiya:

Walk up Song: Crazy Train

Favorite Food: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Favorite Sports Celebrity: Jocelyn Alo

Favorite Movie: Pitch Perfect and My Best Friends Wedding

Favorite Sports Movie: A League of Their Own and Major League

Favorite TV Show: Law & Order SVU

Favorite Book: Any book by Torey Hayden

Favorite Travel Spot: Netherlands

Favorite Quote: “Play in the dirt because life is too short to have clean finger nails.”




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