While high school football and basketball recruiting has become big business, with sites like www.rivals.com and www.scout.com among the more visited sites on the Web, baseball recruiting info seemed to lag behind.
However, that has changed in recent years. One of the more respected Web sites in terms of prep baseball prospect information is www.perfectgame.org. The site has listed its top prospects for the Southeast region. And while no Columbia County players made the first or second team, several earned honorable mentions.
Here is a look at the Columbia County players who were featured:
Chad Farmer (Greenbrier); Appalachian State
Shawn McCain (Greenbrier); Western Carolina
Ben Morgan (Greenbrier); Georgia Southern
Blake Ross (Greenbrier); undecided
Congratulations to the above players on earning the regional mention.
However, I must scratch my head a bit at some of the glaring omissions. Sam Daniel (Greenbrier) has signed to play at USC Aiken, currently the No. 7-ranked team in the nation in Division II, yet he did not make the list.
Also, Lakeside is the defending region champ in 3-AAAA and has six seniors who have already signed college deals, and not one of them was mentioned.
In all, there were 201 players from the Peach State to earn a spot on the Southeast Region Top Prospects list. The region comprises Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Georgia easily had the most prospects of any state.
However, I find it hard to believe that there are 200 senior prospects in the state better than Jeffrey Stoner (Lakeside), Zach Hayden (Lakeside), Spencer Starnes (Lakeside), Ben Black (Lakeside), Clayton Miller (Lakeside) or Tevin Nelson (Evans).
Hayden's omission is the most puzzling, considering he is on the radar of several major league teams as a possible draft pick.
The list is evidence that while it is great to see the prep players get more coverage, a lot of these sites are popularity contests. Oftentimes it depends on what summer-league team or which summer event a player is involved in.
The group from Lakeside should not worry about the snub.
The Panthers are enjoying a terrific season so far. Second-year head coach T.J. Davis has the squad unbeaten at 12-0 and has outscored their opponents by 100 runs. The high-powered Panther offense is putting up 12 runs per game.
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