Good News For Tide

There was good news for Alabama Baseball Coach Jim Wells this week, and it had nothing to do with him staying with the Crimson Tide. An interview with a major league director of scouting indicates a star Bama baseball signee is taking college over a pro baseball contract.

Del Howell, the outstanding left-handed pitcher from American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, made news earlier this year when he pitched back-to-back perfect games. He also had the winning hit as his team won the state championship.

He was signed by Alabama, but he was drafted by the New York Yankees, who have plenty of money to spend.

This week, our sister Scout site covering the Yankees, had an interview with Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer. He was highly complimentary of Howell, and also indicated Howell would be at Alabama rather than in the Yankees organization.

Oppenheimer said, "With Del Howell, we liked him a lot higher than where we got him. When he slipped out of the top four rounds, we made him our last pick on the first day and we figured we'd make a strong run at him.

"He's left-handed and a very good athlete. He throws 87-91 MPH right now and he has very good spin on his curveball. He has pretty decent stuff right now.

"He's heavily into The University of Alabama and we made a strong offer to him, quite an overpay for the round. I can't say how much, but it was substantial.

"But they've decided to go in a different direction. So as it stands right now, it doesn't look like we're going to sign him."

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