Best baseball class ever at Ole Miss?

Whispers have already started that the '05/'06 class will be the highest ranked under the Bianco era.

The final results will not come in until September because Baseball America actually waits until they see who actually shows up for college.

What a bright idea?

Are you taking notes football and basketball?

Lets take an in-depth look at the incoming class:

*Ole Miss signed a total of 16 players. Five Louisville Slugger All-Americans are expected to report to camp in August. They are 3B Dan Black, 1B/LHP Andrew Clark, 2B Matt Holliman (brother of former Ole Miss great, Mark Holliman), C/3B/1B Tyler McMullen , and (OF/RHP) Matt Smith.

CF Justin Reed
was also named as a Louisville Slugger All-American but he has since signed a MLB contract with the Reds.

*To put this into perspective, the Rebels previous best class had three Louisville Slugger All-Americans in the Pettway/Head/and Holliman class. The five selections were second most in the country behind the Texas Longhorns, which placed six signees on the list.


Llets look at some individual accomplishments from the '05/'06 class.

Nathan Baker (LHP, Cordova, TN) - Nathan was named to the 2006 14-AAA All-District Team, All-Metro Team, and was a Gold Glove winner after striking out 95 and winning 5 games in limited action this season..

The 6' 3", LHP and Ole Miss signee is Cordova's all-time strikeout, innings, and games won.

As a junior, Nathan went 6-2 with a 2.32 ERA. He have up 22 hits and 79 K's for the season.



Scott Bittle
(RHP, N East CC, TX) - The 6' 1", 190 prospect from Texarkana was one of N' East College's most consistent starters in the 2005 season.

He started 10 ball games as a freshman and posted g a 6-4 record with a 4.22 ERA, 72 K's.

Scott was second on the team in innings pitched (58) and strike outs (72).

Scott was nominated for All Conference as well as for the Texas/New Mexico All Star Game.

Bittle sustained tendentious in his rotator cuff this Spring and took a medical redshirt.

He will have now have 3 years to play 3 at Ole Miss.

In high school, Scott posted a 6-2 record with 2 saves his senior year…. had 92 innings pitched with 78 strike outs….posted a 2.00 Earned Run Average….was named to the All-District team.




Dan Black (3B, Carmel, IN) - The 6' 4", 225 pound Ole Miss signee, Dan Black, has been named to the Louisville Slugger All-America baseball squad by Collegiate Baseball and was rated as Indiana's #2 overall prospect behind Andrew Clark.

Carmel head coach, Eric Lentz, said, “This is a tremendous honor for Dan and outstanding recognition for the Carmel baseball program.”

Black has earned a varsity letter each year since his freshman season and is currently batting .487 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 32 RBIs while playing catcher for Carmel.

Carmel is 25-3 overall and won the Metropolitan Scholastic Conference.

Sectional play begins on May 28th.

His previous baseball honors include All-Conference and All-Hamilton County.

The Indianapolis Star also named Dan to its 1st Team All-Metro squad as a junior.



Andrew Clark (1B/RHP, New Palestine, IN) - The 6' 2", 215 pounder was named Indiana's 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year was selected in the 18th round by the Brewers.

A preseason shoulder injury hurt his draft status as Clark had a career 28 - 0 record with a .069 ERA entering his senior campaign.

Clark is just as dangerous at the plate as he hit .424 with 10 HR's and 41 RBI's as a junior.

The 6-2, 205-pound 1B/OF batted .517 with 14 doubles and 12 home runs.

The Ole Miss signee was also named to the 1st Team AFLAC and Louisville Slugger All-American squads.




Jordan Henry
(CF, Vicksburg, MS) - The 6' 3", 180 pound Ole Miss signee was named the Offensive MVP for the Mississippi Public School's All-Star game between Class 5A/4A.

This is just another feather in the cap as Jordan was also named as to the 1st Team All-State squad, 1st Team All-Warren County Team, and he also made it to the championship match in the 5A Tennis State Tournament.

Jordan hit .539 on the season with 11 doubles.

Jordan is one of two OM signees at the Jr Olympic trials. Most of the '05/'06 signees were not eligible due to where your birth date fell during the calendar year. You had to be 17 or under before the trials took place.


Matt Holliman (2B, Germantown, TN) - The Louisville All-American selection batted ..396 for the year.

In his 101 at bats, Matt batted .396 and had 38 hits, 23 singles, 5 doubles, 5 Hr's, 23 RBI's, 33 runs scored, 30 walks, and 12 K's.

Holliman's 30 walks led the conference as Matt led the state of Tennessee in batting average the past two years.

Matt was one of five players named to the Best of Preps team by the Commercial Appeal.

Holliman made it to the Summer World Series in all five years played competitive ball and was the World Series MVP in the '04 and '05 seasons.

Holliman was also selected to the prestigious 2005 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Joplin (MO) last summer.



David Kindred (SS, Tuscaloosa, AL) - The 6' 0", 200 pound Ole Miss signee helped lead the Patriots to their third consecutive State championship with an 11-0 victory over over Shoals Christian.

He led American Christian in home runs with 20 and batted .467.

As a junior, David batted .470 with 12 Hr's and 34 RBI's.

Kindred is a three time All-State selection in the state of Alabama.


Tyler McMullen (RHP/Corner INF/C, Meridian, MS) - The 6' 2", 200 pound Southeast Lauderdale’s (RHP) Tyler McMullen — an Ole Miss signee — was a 1st Team All-State choice as a pitcher.

As a senior, Tyler hit .464 with 49 RBI's, 8 Hr's, and 18 doubles. On the mound, he went 7-3 with a 1.19 ERA and had 123 K's in 64 innings.

McMullen batted .403 with 14 Hr's and 48 RBI's as a junior.

Tyler was also selected to the 1st Team Louisville Slugger All-American squad and is currently at the Jr Olympic trials.



Jake Morgan (RHP, Canton, MS) - The 6' 0", 205 pounder touched in the mid 90's in several different games this season and simply dominated everybody in front of him.

Jake was named the starting pitcher in the MPSA-All Star game at Trustmark Park. He pitched one inning and struck out all three batters he faced.

Jake had an 8-3 record on the diamond this season with a .083 ERA, 110 K's in 57 innings pitched.

The Ole Miss signee was just as dangerous at the plate, as he batted .410 with 11 Hr's and 41 RBI's.

Jake was named the District 2-AA MVP.



Kevin Parker (LHP, Lafayette County, MS) - The 6' 3", 225 grinder was sent to the mound against traditionally rich, Petal, in the championship game to seal the deal and bring home Lafayette's first state title. He did not disappoint, as he simply shut down Petal and threw a 6 - 0 shut out.

Parker threw a state best, three no hitters, this season. He simply was dominate all year as he went 11-2 with 139 K's, 27 walks, and 1.85 ERA for the season..

Kevin was named to the 1st Team All-State squad for his play on the field.




Michael Robbins (RHP, Meridian CC, MS) - The 6' 0", 180 pound LHP was selected to the 1st Team MACJC All State squad after compiling a 7- 2 record and a 2.08 ERA.

Meridian won the 2006 MACJC State Champions for the third year in a row and advanced to the NJCAA sectionals.

The Washington Nationals drafted the Ole Miss signee, Michael Robbins, in the 28th round of the Mlb draft.

Robbins was named the DeSoto County Player of the Year his senior year at Southaven High School. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves organization in the 2005 draft.

Michael Robbins signed with the Rebels after a season at Meridian Community College where he helped lead the Eagles to the 2005 Mississippi Association of Junior College Athletics State Championship in 2005.

The left-handed pitcher from Southaven turned in seven wins for Meridian Community College on the year as he struck out 85 batters in 53.0 innings of work. He was also a part of helping the Eagles to a 42-11 record for the season.



Fuller Smith (OF, Hills CC, TX) - The 6' 1", 200 pound prospect from Vestevia Hills (AL) hit .403 with 5 Hr's, 28 doubles, 5 triples, and 39 RBI's as a sophomore.

Fuller was named 2nd Team All-Conference in Region 5 for his play on the field.

As a freshman, Fuller batted .315 with 4 Hr's and 42 RBI's.

Smith came down to Ole Miss and Alabama (both offered) but went with the Rebels over his home state school.

Fuller is currently enrolled in the first summer session at the University of Mississippi.





Matt Smith
(Corner OF/RHP, Dodge County, GA) - Ole Miss signee and Louisville Slugger All-American, Matt Smith, had a monster year for Dodge County.

The 6' 3", 195 pound Corner outfield/RHP prospect batted .521 with 48 RBI's, 10 doubles, 45 runs, 14 walks, 14 stolen bases, and was three shy from setting the Georgia single season record for Hr's (15)

Even more impressive is in 73 at bats, Matt only struck out 5 times.

Matt was named the Conference's Player of the Year and also made 1st Team All-Region and All-Middle Georgia.

Smith had a career batting average of .453 with 125 RBI's, 38 Hr's, 6 triples, 37 doubles, 38 stolen bases, in 318 at bats.

Matt started all four years for Dodge County and set the school record in hits, RBI's, and Hr's



Colby Wark (RHP, Scottsdale CC, AZ) - The 6' 2", 210 pound flame thrower was
drafted out of high school by the Chicago Cubs in the 36th round.

He passed on the draft and attended Lower Columbia College for the 2004/2005 season.

The Red Devils won the '05 NWCAA World Series and Colby was their opening day starter. Wark had some arm problems and sat out the rest of the season, but again, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 33rd round after his freshman season.

Colby decided to bypass the draft and transferred to Scottsdale Community
College.

Wark pitched in 13 games and carried a 1.67 ERA in 66.1 innings.

He struck out 70 batters and walked 29.

Wark was named to the Division 11 1st Team squad for his play on the mound.




James Wiley (LHP, Lovett, GA) - One of the key pieces to the Ole Miss class as the Rebels had to fight off FSU, Wake Forest, South Carolina, and Alabama for his services.

As a junior, Wiley was 11-1 with a 1.78 ERA, 125 K's in 82 innings.

Wiley was named the AJC Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Atlanta, GA Dugout All-Tournament Team, and the Atlanta Braves elected him to the 400 Club. He was also named Lovett's Player of the Year and broke the school record for strikeouts in a season.

This past year, Wiley battled a lower back strain all season but still managed a 7-3 record with a 1.02 ERA.

James was named to the Atlanta Journal All-Metro Team for his play on the field.

Wiley plays for what some consider to be the premier summer league showcase team in the East Cobb Yankees.

James was selected as one of the Top 100 prospects in the country by Baseball America.




Tidbits


As we all know, the MLB draft can always have a huge impact with your incoming class.

Luckily for the Rebels, it looks like there will be only one casualty in Justin Reed.

The only other semi-worries our sources have are Andrew Clark and Matt Holliman.

Andrew was drafted in the 18th round but is demanding Top 2 round money.

Like we saw with Scott Van Slyke last season, sometimes you can way more money than the average person does for the round you are selected in. But to think Andrew will get 2nd round money for an 18 round selection seems a little far fetched.

Matt Holliman is reportedly having some grade issues and could end up at Meridian CC when it is all said and done. We have not been able to confirm with our sources or the Holliman's if Matt will be at Ole Miss next season or not.


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