Big-time Hitter Looking at Big-Time Schools

The first time I got a look at Carmen Angelini was at the East Coast Professional Showcase southeast tryout at Mississippi State a couple of weeks ago. The first thing you notice about him is his outstanding hitting ability.

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"I've always been a pretty good hitter," said Carmen, who hit .405 with 4 home runs and 50 RBI his junior season. "I think when I was 12 years old in little league I hit something like 12 or 13 home runs in 16 regular season games."

While he didn't hit any home runs at the southeast tryout, he did hit the ball really, really well. In fact, during the hitting drills, I gave the hitters a grade of 2, 3, 4 or 5. He wound up having the second highest grade of all the hitters at the tryout.

Obviously, I wasn't the only one who thought he hit the ball well because the next day he was selected to the 20-man southeast team by the Major League Baseball scouts who select the players for the showcase teams.

That selection alone should be enough confirmation that he is one of the top players in the southeast. A second confirmation is the number of recruiting letters that he is receiving and the schools sending the letters.

"I have been receiving letters from Rice, Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU, Miami, TCU and Notre Dame. Those are some of the top ones that I have been looking at," said Carmen, who has received letters from 15 to 20 schools.

He's unofficially visited three schools, so far.

"I have (unofficially) visited Rice and LSU. I also got to look at Arkansas at the Perfect Game National Showcase," said Carmen. "I didn't get to talk to the coaches in person at Arkansas, but I called them and talked to them on the phone."

And he's been impressed enough with what he's seen at a couple of those schools to put them at the top of his list.

"Right now, I would say my top two choices are Rice and Arkansas," said Carmen, a 4.0 student in the classroom. "I'm also interested in going to see Texas A&M."

He explained the positives of those three schools.

Rice - "Obviously, they have a great baseball program and always have had one. I would also like to continue my education at a real high level. They are one of the most prestigious schools in the nation as far as academics go."

Arkansas - "They are one of the big schools in the SEC. They have really nice facilities. That is probably the nicest college field that I have played on. I've known Coach Butler for a long time. He used to coach at McNeese in Lake Charles and he always talked to me when I was little. He's kept tabs on me."

Texas A&M - "I really don't know too much about them. But I know they've always had a good baseball program and have nice facilities as well. When I go to the Rangers Area Code tryout at Texas A&M, hopefully, I will get to look around and find out what they have."

Obviously those three schools are the clear favorites, but that doesn't mean the door is shut on any other school that is interested in him.

"I'm open to any other schools that show interest in me," said Carmen. "There's nothing set in stone that I'm going to those schools. I still have an open mind about that."

Will Rice or Arkansas land this youngster's signature or will another school win over this very talented young hitter? Keep it on to find out.

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

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