MSU baseball commitment receives honor

Belmont (MS) HS 10th grader Luke Alexander, a Mississippi State commitment and one of the elite baseball players in the class of 2015, played in the 2012 Perfect Game Junior National Showcase (an invitation-only showcase) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 12-13, 2012. The event included approximately 140 of the top rising sophomores and juniors in the country.

  • Name: Luke Alexander
  • Classification: 2015
  • High School: Belmont (MS) High School
  • Position: Middle Infielder/Pitcher
  • HT: 6-foot, WT: 165
  • Schools Of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

  • How prestigious is the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase? Thirteen of the juniors who participated in the 2010 event were drafted in the first-round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.

    Alexander, who was just one of nine class of 2015 players who played in the 2012 event, is accustomed to playing against that caliber of player. As a 14-year-old, he played for the 14-U USA National Team during the summer of 2011. So, when he found out that he had been invited to the 2012 Perfect Game Junior National Showcase he jumped at the chance.

    "I didn't know anything about it when my dad told me that I was invited to it but I told him I would love to do it and play against the best kids in the country and see where I stood," said Alexander.

    And, according to his high school coach, Andy Deaton, who was at the event, he did well, while competing against players that were mostly a year ahead of him grade-wise.

    "I thought he did well and looked even better than some of the juniors at the event," said Deaton. "The event started off with the showcase part where they did their 60 times and the throws across the infield velocity. I thought he was right up there with the older kids, the juniors, that were there. The juniors that are already committed to Arkansas, UCLA; he might have (thrown) a mile or two less than them, but his throws were very accurate while they were throwing as hard as they could and their throws weren't very accurate."

    Deaton was also impressed with how well Alexander fielded during the two games that were played at the showcase.

    "He participated in two games the remainder of the time," said Deaton. "In the first game, he played a couple of innings (defensively) at shortstop. The second game he played short and second base and made a very exceptional play on a slow roller where he had to pick it up and throw all in one motion. He got the guy out at first base."

    He also did well hitting-wise, according to Deaton.

    "He had a good (batting practice)," said Deaton. "And he put the ball in play every at-bat. He had several at-bats in the first game and had a hit. Luke was seeing good velocities every at-bat because the pitchers he was facing were some of the best pitchers in the country."

    Alexander was also pleased with his hitting. Although many of the pitchers at the event were throwing in the high 80s and low 90s, that didn't faze the confident youngster.

    "I love seeing pitchers who throw 90-91," said Alexander. "I think I did well hitting the ball. I actually got hit in the hip bone with a 90 miles per hour fastball."

    Although one of the youngest players at the event, Alexander was pleased with his overall showing.

    "I thought I did well and compared well to the guys who will be juniors this year," said the 15-year-old.

    While the showcase was a special event to participate in, Alexander might have been even more excited about something he got to do away from the event.

    "We got to watch the Phillies and Twins take (batting practice)," said Alexander, who was invited to watch the pro teams by former Southern Miss baseball player and current Minnesota Twins infielder Brian Dozier. "It was great watching them hit. It was awesome seeing (Major Leaguers) Joe Mauer and Hunter Pence five feet away from you, taking batting practice. Hunter Pence actually came up to me and talked to me and my cousin. He told us to dream big and believe in yourself."

    Another special moment for the youngster was performing in front of numerous college coaches and Major League Baseball scouts.

    "It was cool seeing (all the college coaches) and (Major League Baseball scouts) in the stands," said Alexander, a Mississippi State commitment. "The (Seattle) Mariners actually talked to Coach Andy and told him they needed guys who could help the Mariners organization real quick. They needed guys who could get in their organization and go to the pros really quickly."

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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