Gene Wood is Swinging a Hot Bat

Jackson Prep junior shortstop Gene Wood is hitting .587 this season. And college coaches are taking notice of the talented member of the Mississippi class of 2015.

  • Name: Gene Wood
  • Classification: 2015
  • Position: Middle Infield
  • Ht: Wt: 6-foot-1, 165
  • Bats-Throws: R/R
  • High School: Jackson (MS) Prep
  • Summer Travel Team: Team Georgia
  • Schools of Interest: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Western Kentucky

  • I guess you might say that this year's baseball season has been a coming out party for Wood. After hitting .253 with 20 RBI, 6 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs last season, he is currently hitting .587 with 51 RBI, 13 doubles, 1 triple and 5 home runs.

    Possibly part of the reason he has improved so dramatically is because, in the past, he has played sports year-round, football, basketball and baseball. But Wood has given up basketball so that he can solely focus on his other two sports.

    Instead of playing his first baseball game March 5th like he did last season, this season he was able to participate in pre-season drills and play in his first game on February 17th. That allowed him to better utilize the talent that he was born with.

    "I have always had quick hands," said Wood. "And every time I have an at-bat I try to hit it hard somewhere."

    Those quick hands and getting a solid barrel on the ball have allowed him to hit average throwing pitchers as well as high-velocity pitchers.

    "The main thing I try to do is hit the ball where it is pitched," said Wood. "If it is a slower (throwing) pitcher, then I am going to pull it. When it is a high velocity pitcher, then I'm going to try to hit the ball where it is pitched. When you play in the summer and you see those high velocity (pitchers), then you have to hit it where it is pitched."

    As you would expect, with his offensive explosion this season, college coaches are starting to take notice of Wood.

    "Right now, Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Western Kentucky are looking at me," said Wood. "They can't call me right now (because I'm a junior) but I can call them. I can also send them an email and they can email me back. They'll stay in touch with me, asking me how I'm doing and how our team is doing. But the main thing they say is for me to stay in touch with them and come to their school when I can. They want me to meet their players, watch batting practice, things like that."

    Wood is doing his part by unofficially visiting all of the colleges recruiting him.

    "I have been to all of the schools, (Mississippi) State, Western Kentucky, Ole Miss and Southern (Miss)," said Wood. "I watched BP, the players and the coaches. That's really been it so far."

    Although he doesn't have any offers yet, that's just a matter of time for the talented youngster.

    "Western Kentucky told me that they are going to watch me play a couple of times," said Wood. "All of the schools have told me that. They want to see me when they can and see what I can do."

    Based on his offensive numbers, it's not his hitting that the coaches are most interested in seeing more of, it's his defense and arm. Wood understands that and is working to improve both.

    "One thing that I need to work on is my defense; that's the biggest thing for me," he said. "My arm has gotten stronger since last year. And this summer, I'll be playing second, short and third (with summer travel team Team Georgia). That way, hopefully, I can play anywhere when I get to college."

    Although his family has ties to Baylor and Ole Miss, that appears to not be a factor in his ultimate college choice decision.

    "I'm completely open right now," said Wood. "I've had family that have gone (to schools) all over the place. I don't have a favorite college and have never really had a favorite college growing up."

    While he isn't sure which college he will eventually choose, he does have a good idea what he's looking for in a school.

    "I am looking for a place where I can play, improve my talents and become the best that I can be," said Wood. "I (also) want to see how the players interact with each other. I want to see a team that will fight to the late pitch. That is big to me."

    Although it appears that college baseball is heavy on his mind, he hasn't completely ruled out college football.

    "I am receiving some interest in football but nothing really serious right now," said Wood, Jackson Prep's starting quarterback. "I guess you could say that (I'm leaning to baseball) right now due to the schools that are looking at me. Baseball is the first sport that's had schools come look at me and that are close to offering. But who knows, some school might come in and offer me in football and I might do that."

    Look for future updates on this very talented member of the class of 2015 on

    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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