Parkway High School's Carson Baranik

Sixteen-year-old righthanded pitcher Carson Baranik, who plays his high school ball for Parkway High School in Bossier City, LA and his summer travel ball with the Louisiana All Stars team, is ranked among the top 24 players in the class of 2011 by Perfect Game. And, as you would expect from someone with such a lofty ranking, has the attention of numerous college coaches throughout the nation.

So far, Carson, whose Louisiana All Stars team played in the Bama Bombers Tournament held on the campus of Mississippi State this past weekend, has received camp letters or questionnaires from between 15 to 20 colleges nationwide, including schools from the SEC, ACC, PAC-10, Big East, Conference USA, as well as other conferences.

Rated the 24th best player and 11th best pitcher in the class of 2011 by Perfect Game, the hard-throwing youngster consistently threw in the 88-90 miles per hour range with his fastball during his 5-inning outing against the Bama Bombers. He has been clocked as high as 92 in a Perfect Game Showcase.

Carson obviously considers himself a power pitcher but it's not just his power pitching that has caused him to be ranked so high among his peers.

"I'm mainly a power pitcher but my ball runs a little bit which helps me get a lot of ground balls," said Carson, whose 15 outs during his five-inning outing included four strikeouts, seven groundouts, two infield popups, one flyout and one caught stealing. "I try to mix my pitches and try to get a bunch of ground balls or, hopefully, strikeouts. I (also) think I have pretty good location most of the time."

College coaches have had a chance to view the youngster at various showcases, camps and tournaments this summer. In addition to playing in front of the Mississippi State coaches this past weekend, Carson said he's been to, "an LSU camp, a Northwestern camp. I went to (the invitation-only) Perfect Game's National Showcase in Minnesota. And just traveling around with (the Louisiana All-Stars) team we've gone to Atlanta twice (to the 18U and 17U WWBA National Championship)."

Being from Louisiana, you might think he would have grown up an avid LSU fan. But according to Carson, who is expected to be a very high draft pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, that's not the case.

"I've mainly grown up a fan of the SEC," he said. "I'm always been an SEC fan - LSU, Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida ... all the schools like that."

As for where he wants to go to college, he hasn't thought in detail about what he's looking for in a school other than location and what's best for he and his family.

"I want to go somewhere in the south because I want my family to be able to see me play," said the 6-2+, 195-pounder, who is an excellent student in the classroom. "Probably a big, nice school down south, SEC, ACC, just somewhere down south where it's not too cold. I just want to find the place that would be the best fit for me and my family."

Carson Baranik, who has been selected All-District his freshman and sophomore seasons, had a 4-2 record as a freshman and a 5-4 record as a sophomore on a team that finished 15-15 overall. His sophomore season earned run average was 2.37 and he recorded 80 strikeouts in 47 innings.

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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