The person who could be manning the position for the next several seasons after
Mort leaves is Allen High (TX) standout, Alex Yarbrough
"I feel like I have a great glove," added the 6' 1", 180 pound
switch hitting Alex Yarbrough. "I make all of the routine plays, and I feel
like my range has gotten better and better as I have gotten older. My arm has
always been a strength of mine, but I as I have gotten older, my arm keeps getting
stronger and stronger."
Defense has never been a problem for Alex as evidence by him being named the 2008
Texas Defensive Player of the Year in District 8(5A) last season (side note, this
season is still in progress and the awards have not come out yet). In fact, Yarbrough
has only made 9 total errors in the past two years at Allen.
But what many were not expecting this season was the big jump in his offensive
production, as Alex raised his batting average from .350 as a junior to .457 (4
HR's, 6 triples, 15 doubles) as a senior.
"I make a lot of contact. I only struck out four times this year. I concentrate
on hitting a lot of line drives, and if you hit them good, they will rise and
get out of the park. I like to hit a lot of gap balls."
Another big attribute that could help the Rebels down the road with Jordan Henry
being a junior is Alex's speed. Yarbrough could push for the lead off hitting
spot with his 6.78 speed and ability to put the bat on the ball.
"I definitely like to put the ball in play, and I have always had real good
speed. I really started being more aggressive at the plate and not being so picky
and leaving it up to the umps. I am a much more aggressive swinger now which has
helped me out a lot."
Perfect Games ranked Alex as the #154 overall player in the country going into
his senior season. He took visits to Baylor, TCU, Arkansas, LSU, and Ole Miss
but left with the Rebels on his mind.
"I went over there for the Ole Miss/Arkansas series last year, and the atmosphere
at the game was just awesome. Nobody else compared to Ole Miss. What stood out
to me about Ole Miss was how passionate their fans are about baseball and seeing
how much they cared. I thought it would be neat to play in front of an atmosphere
like theirs. I also loved their campus, players, and their coaches were great.
They defenitley came after me the hardest. But again, their fans is what sold
Ole Miss for me."
Yarbrough watched the Ole Miss/Arkansas game from the old stadium, and he hears
that the new stadium is better than dreamed.
"I have a good friend who plays for Central Arkansas and they played there
this year. He told me that I was not going to believe it. I have seen pictures
on the internet, but I have not seen it in person yet. I just can't wait to get
over there in late July and get started."
What are his expectations as a freshman?
"I just want to get better as a baseball player. Of course, I hope I play
myself into some playing time, but my main focus is to just get better as a baseball
What is going on with the baseball draft?
"I am not expecting to go very high so we are concentrating on Ole Miss.
I will be at Ole Miss next year."
To get a complete look at the incoming baseball class, click
Kevin Mort has done a masterful job fielding the shortstop position this past
season but only has one year remaining. David Renfroe could be headed straight
to the pros, pending the upcoming baseball draft on June 8th.