Chris Stratton Off to a Great Start

Tupelo (MS) High School senior righthand pitcher Chris Stratton, a Mississippi State signee, has started off great so far this season.

"We are 3 and 2 right now and have played in four one-run decision games so far this season," said Stratton, who is considered one of the top four prospects in the state of Mississippi along with Taylorsville's Billy Hamilton (also an MSU signee who will play both baseball and football) as well as South Panola's David Renfroe (an Ole Miss signee) and Ethan Bright (another MSU signee). "My record is 2 and 0 with one no-decision. I've thrown 5, 7 and 6 innings."

Stratton's complete stats: 18.1 innings pitched, 4 runs (all earned), 6 hits, 10 walks and 22 strikeouts. His ERA is 1.53 and teams are hitting .105 against him. He has thrown 270 pitches, 164 for strikes.

Stratton talked about where he has made the most improvement as a pitcher since last season.

"I've gotten better command of my changeup since last year and I just have more confident in myself when I'm on the mound," said the slender 6-3, 175-pounder. "And having confidence in yourself goes a long way in making you a better pitcher."

He's also seen an increase in his fastball velocity, which was in the 86 to 88 miles per hour range last season.

"This year I'm consistently throwing my fastball 88 to 91, topping out at 93," noted Stratton.

And quite a few Major League Baseball scouts have had the chance to see him in action this year.

"There were a lot of scouts at the game when we played South Panola," said Stratton. "I think they were there to see (South Panola's) David Renfroe, Ethan Bright and myself. There have been some at other games, but that was the most scouts that I have seen so far this year."

Obviously, with such great projectibility due to his youth, height and weight, he's definitely a guy the scouts will continue to follow this season. So, where does he stand as far as going pro or going to college next season?

"The scouts really haven't said much to me right now (about where I will be drafted), so we'll have to wait and see how it goes," said Stratton. "But I really feel I need to gain some more weight and I believe a few years in college will help me do that. And I think I can become a better pitcher with a few years of college experience."

Look for more updates on Chris Stratton as the season progresses.


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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