The publication which tracks the sport of baseball across all collegiate divisions and professionally is the second to name Ole Miss class as one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. In September, Collegiate Baseball newspaper also included the Rebels among the top 25 nationally in recruiting.
It marks the sixth class under Bianco to have been ranked nationally by recruiting services.
Weve watched these kids over the last month and a half and certainly have no doubt that its a tremendous class, Bianco said. Coach Reinstetle did another tremendous job on the recruiting trail. We think these players will definitely make an impact this season.
I think Baseball America had a very accurate description when they called this class an exciting blend of high-upside high school players and instant-impact junior college transfers, Reinstetle said. We really feel like this class can provide a boost to our lineup and fill some needs as we continue to build towards Omaha and a championship for Ole Miss.
Ole Miss is currently in the middle of fall practices as the team prepares for the upcoming season, which will start on February 20, 2009, when the Rebels will travel to Mobile, Ala., to participate in a tournament at South Alabama.
The 2008 recruiting class is comprised of 12 fresh faces to the Rebel program, including seven freshmen and five junior college transfers, and continues that tradition of excellence under Bianco as the Rebels signed another balanced class. Arriving in the fall of 2008 are a bevy of hitters, pitchers and solid defensive players covering a range of positions on the field.
The 2008 recruiting class includes:
Kyle Barback (Fr., LHP Blue Springs HS; Blue Springs, Mo.) Posted a 17-3 career record on the mound with 156 strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA while helping Blue Springs HS to three conference titles, two district titles and a state championship.
Aaron Barrett (Jr., RHP Wabash Valley College/Evansville Central HS; Evansville, Ind.) Helped lead Wabash to the 2008 GRAC Championship and was drafted in the 20th round by Minnesota in the 2008 MLB Draft. Ranked 165th in the Baseball America Top 200 players.
Chris Corrigan (Jr., RHP San Jacinto JC/Humble HS; Humble, Texas) First team All-Conference and All-Region selection at San Jacinto was also selected to pitch in the East-West Junior College All-Star game.
Taylor Hashman (Jr., OF Manatee Community College/Naples HS; Naples, Fla.) Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and Florida Community College Athletic Association State Player of the Year was also selected as a First-Team All-American as he hit .419 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI as a sophomore.
Taylor Hightower (Fr., C Cartersville HS; Cartersville, Ga.) Three-time All-State selection earned AFLAC All-America, Rawlings All-America and All-America honors from Baseball America as a junior. Hit .420 with 10 home runs, 38 RBI and notched 10 pickoffs as a senior to lead Cartersville to the state championship. Drafted by Colorado in the 42nd round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Ranked 188th in the Baseball America Top 200 players.
Brett Huber (Fr., RHP Althoff Catholic HS; Belleville, Ill.) A two-time conference Pitcher of the Year selection as a sophomore and junior, Huber posted a 7-2 record as a junior and was selected to play in the Perfect Game National Showcase.
Kevin Mort (Jr., SS Rio Hondo College/South Hills HS; West Covina, Calif.) Three-time All-Conference selection in high school also garnered All-Conference honors twice at Rio Hondo college and was named to the 2008 All-Southern California Team as he hit .388 with 26 RBI.
David Phillips (Jr., OF Texarkana College/Nacogdoches HS; Nacogdoches, Texas) An All-District selection in high school, Phillips hit. 357 last year at Texarkana and helped his team to a conference title and back-to-back appearances in the Regional Tournament, including a Regional Finals appearance as a freshman. He was drafted in the 45th round by the Mets in the 2008 MLB Draft.
Matt Snyder (Fr., 1B Centreville HS; Centreville, Va.) First baseman pulled in the accolades as a senior, including: First Team All-District, All-Region and All-State honors as well as being named North Region Player of the Year. Also named a Louisville Slugger All-American.
Mike Snyder (Fr., 3B Centreville HS; Centreville, Va.) Third baseman pulled in All-District honors as a junior and a senior while also claiming All-Region honors as a senior when he batted .420 with seven home runs.
Kyle Thornton (Fr., RHP Tupelo HS; Tupelo, Miss.) Named a Dandy Dozen selection and a two-time All-Area selection while also garnering a spot on the Perfect Game/Rawlings Southeast Team during his high school career. Turned in a 15-4 career record with two saves and a 1.93 ERA.
Wright (Fr., RHP Memphis University School; Memphis, Tenn.)
Two-time All-State selection by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association
and a two-time All-Region selection by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association
posted a 9-2 record with a 1.48 ERA and recorded 99 strikeouts as a senior.