Although immediate replacements are maybe not in this particular group of players signed recently, there's always a chance one or more could come in and play that first season, which would be 2008. You have to believe shortstop Zack Cozart will be gone after this season, and second baseman Justin Henry could be as well. They are eligible for the draft in June. Those are two that quickly come to mind who might have to be replaced after the '07 campaign. C.J. Ketchum, wherever he winds up this spring – first base, catcher, DH – is another who will depart.
There's a chance that several outfielders could go early, like Jon-Jon Hancock or Logan Power or juco newcomer Fuller Smith. Several Rebel pitchers in '07 will also likely be gone, or at least have that chance, like Will Kline, Nick Hetland, Michael Robbins, and Craig Rodriguez.
But when you look at the '07 roster, there are a lot of freshmen and sophomores throughout the team, and that means we'll likely see many of them around here for two more seasons. Some are draft-eligible, like Power for example, since they redshirted their first year. But there's a lot of youth on this year's team.
Earlier this week the Rebels announced the final signings for the fall period; players who will arrive next fall and play in the spring of '08.
Garrett Duff, a right-handed pitcher from Richland College in Texas, helped the Thunderducks to a 28-28 record as he went 6-5 in the 2006 season. Duff struck out 40 and walked 26 with a 3.50 ERA in 69.1 innings of work. He also pitched four complete games in his eight starts on the season. His performance on the year earned him a spot in the Texas Junior College All-Star Game.
"Garrett is a talented pitcher who can start a game or come out of the bullpen and close," Bianco said. "He is a three pitch guy who can bring a lot to the pitching staff with his versatility."
Kyle Henson signed with the Rebels from San Jacinto College in Texas after helping his team to a 36-22 record. Henson hit .396 for the season with 33 RBI to go along with 10 doubles, two triples and two home runs. Henson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft.
"Kyle is a very strong armed, defensive catcher who is an advanced catch and throw type player," Bianco said. "On the offensive side of the ball, he is a very solid hitter with some power. He is a versatile athlete who can do a lot of things on the field on offense and defense."
Jeremy Travis, an outfielder from Northeast Texas Community College. He hit .349 last season with 30 RBI and five home runs as he earned All-Conference honors. The outfielder also turned in 12 doubles, three triples and stole 12 bases. He was walked 15 times on the season. Travis was selected to play in the Texas Junior College All-Star Game along with fellow signee Garrett Duff. He led his high school team with a .460 average as he tallied 28 RBI and three home runs in his senior season. Travis was named All-District for his efforts.
"Jeremy is a talented outfielder and a solid hitter," Bianco said. "Being selected to play in the All-Star game illustrates his ability as he was able to do several things at the plate and in the outfield for Northeast Texas."
Below are the other fall signees for UM baseball:
Tim Ferguson, Beaumont Westbrook, Beaumont Texas, 6-2, 180, SS
David Goforth, Neshoba Central, 6-0, 180, RHP
Michael Guerrero, Meridian CC (Nesbit; Southaven High), 6-0, 180, OF
Michael Park, MUS, Memphis, Tenn., 6-2, 190, RHP
Drew Pomeranz, Collierville, Tenn., 6-6, 190, LHP
Sean Stuyverson, Okaloosa-Walton CC (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6-0, 190, SS
Josh Thomason, Lafayette County (Oxford), 6-4, 200, RHP, 1B
Tyler Wells, Vicksburg, 5-8, 165, utility
Logan Williams, South Side Bee Branch High, Damascus, Ark., 6-1, 180, RHP/Inf.
Those are future Rebels. Here's what one former player is up to these days. Former UM pitcher Nathan Lyons (1999-2002) now lives in Nashville, Tenn., and has recently started a business called "Campus Traditions" which he hopes will grow into something special. It's a venture that should appeal to Rebel fans.
For starters, he is centering his efforts on Ole Miss. Online now are six black and white prints of several buildings around the circle – the Lyceum, Peabody, Fulton, Croft (formerly known as The Y), Ventress, and the Confederate statue. He has them available unframed or matted and framed.
You can check out these and (in the future) other offerings by Nathan at www.olemisstraditions.com. If you want them by Christmas, have your order to him by Dec. 19.
"I've always wanted to stay connected with Ole Miss," said Nathan, "and this venture allows me to do that."
It could be the start of something big for Nathan, the son of former UM baseball player Tommy Lyons and his wife Debbie. He's also the nephew of former Rebel QB Kenny Lyons and former MLB catcher Barry Lyons.
Rebel baseball completes signings for fall
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