K-Man C.C. Watson

Cleburne County (AL) High School lefthanded pitcher C.C. Watson, a Mississippi State baseball signee, has preformed extremely well in the early stages of this year's baseball season.

And when I say extremely well, the emphasis is on extremely. In a 3-1 win over St. Clair County High School two Saturdays ago he matched a state of Alabama high school record with 21 strikeouts.

"I was hitting all my spots that night," said Watson who gave up two hits, including a first-inning leadoff home run, in the game. "I was throwing pretty good, but my offspeed was working good and they couldn't catch up with it."

Even Watson was surprised by his performance that night.

"I really didn't have a clue in the bullpen that I would feel that good," explained the lefty who has a 3-0 record while helping his team to an overall record of 6-2 . "I was tired because we had a game before that and I had played in the outfield."

To go along with his 3-0 record he has struck out an amazing 48 batters in 19 innings of work, while allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and 5 walks.

Watson explained where he believes his improved production has come from.

"I'm improved the most with my breaking ball and my offspeed," said Watson. "I could already throw my fastball pretty much anywhere I wanted. So, all during the offseason I was working on spotting my curveball and changeup."

As for his fastball, his velocity has also improved since I saw him pitch in the summer when he was consistently throwing in the 86 to 88 miles per hour range.

"Right now, (I'm topping out) around 90 to 93," said Watson. "Consistently, I'm around 89 to 90."

And Major League Baseball scouts have taken notice.

"The first game we played Russell County, who was nationally ranked, there were probably around 25 scouts at the game," said Watson.

While the number of scouts watching him has tailed off quite a bit, don't expect that to last much longer.

"They said they were going to come back and watch me some more when it isn't so cold," said Watson.

Projected to go anywhere from the 5th round to the 10th round in June's Major League Baseball Draft prior to the beginning of the season, Watson is leaving things open as far as where he will end up come next fall.

"It's open and really depends on where I get drafted," said the youngster. "But right now, as far as I know, I will go to Mississippi State because that is where I have always wanted to go."

Look for another update on C.C. Watson in the very near future.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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