Baseball Tigers Add Early Commitment For 2007

Coach Tom Slater's Tigers have added tehir first commitment for the 2007 baseball signee class.

Millbrook, Ala.–-Coach Tommy Slater and the Auburn Tigers picked up their first baseball commitment for the Class of 2007 when Stanhope-Elmore High standout Joseph Sanders chose the Tigers.

A dominating junior for the Class 5A Mustangs, Sanders says there were plenty of reasons for deciding on Auburn, most of which centered around the coaching staff. He's also familiar with several of Auburn's signees for 2006, including current teammate Ryan Jenkins, Colby Rasmus, Evan Crawford, Cory Meacham and others.

"The main reason is because of Coach Slater and Coach (Chris) Finwood and what good people they are," Sanders tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "They are also real good coaches. They bring great energy and I like that. Plus the recruiting class that they have coming in this year, on top of what they're trying to get for next year, is a very good class. I know all of them."

A honorable mention All-State selection as a sophomore, Sanders is continuing his impressive play as a junior for the 27-4 Mustangs. A third baseman, Sanders is batting .487 with four home runs and 34 runs batted in.

As a sophomore he hit .496 with four home runs and as a freshman starter he hit .405 with five home runs. Those numbers show his penchant for offense and he says that is his strength as a player.

"My best asset is definitely my hitting," Sanders says.

In addition to his talents on the baseball diamond, Sanders is also a star football player for Stanhope-Elmore as a quarterback. The 6-1, 195-pounder was good enough as a junior to draw interest from some of the top programs in the country, but he says that he's made a decision to make baseball a full-time activity from now on.

"I recently just dropped football," Sanders says. "I'm not going to play next season. I had been hearing from Miami (Fla.), Illinois, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Alabama and others. I didn't have any offers, but they were in contact with me."

For now Sanders and his teammates will concentrate on closing a strong 2005 campaign when the playoffs begin next week across Alabama. For the Mustangs to finish the year on top they'll likely have to go through the nation's top-ranked team in Russell County High, where future teammate Rasmus along with brother Cory Rasmus and pitcher Kasey Kiker make up the state's strongest team. Sanders says he wouldn't have it any other way than to play them on the way to the title.

"We would have to play Russell County in the fourth round," Sanders says. "That's definitely what we're looking at."

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