Working for an OF spot

It's a good bet Logan Power and Jordan Henry will be in the Rebel outfield this spring. JUCO newcomer Taylor Hashman joins a group vying for the third spot.

Hashman, a 6-0, 193-pounder from Naples, Fla. High School and Manatee CC, has proven since the fall he's in the mix.

He continues to do so. Saturday he had a home run and a couple of RBI. He's excited about the possibilities of being a part of a strong outfield.

"There are like six or seven guys for three positions," said Hashman, the 2008 Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and the Florida Community College Athletic Association Player of the Year. "We're all going out there playing, and there's no tension among us. We know that whatever happens, happens. We want to win. That's what everybody wants. We trust our coaching staff and know they are going to put who is best suited for the position out there."

Hashman is one who is well-suited, with speed for the positions and a glove to match. The JUCO first-team All-American batted .419 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI as a sophomore last season. As a senior in high school, he was named first-team All-State after batting .544 with seven home runs and 39 RBI.

Hashman, who bats and throws right-handed, said the older Rebels have been there for the young players, showing them the ropes and answering any questions they might have.

"I've learned a lot about the tradition here at Ole Miss," he said. "Logan (Power) has been here a while, and they (veterans) come out here every day and work hard and play baseball. We see that from them every day."

Hashman said he believes his game is such that he can make a valuable contribution to the program.

"I feel it's pretty consistent all around," he said. "Out in the field I get some pretty good jumps on the ball. I feel I make the plays I should make, and then I'll make a couple of diving catches here and there. That's the way everybody is out there.

"Hitting-wise I feel I'm real consistent," he continued. "I'm not going to hit a home run every single time, but I'll hit some home runs. I go up there to hit the ball. I'm not going up there to keep the bat on my shoulder."

Hashman said he doesn't feel any more pressure being a JUCO transfer, since those type players are expected to come in and contribute from the get-go.

"During the whole recruiting process, they told me they don't recruit JUCO players to come in and sit the bench," he said. "It's not like there's pressure, because I've known that all along. I just need to go out and play, and the rest will take care of itself."

Hashman said his freshman season at Manatee was not good, and that he had to refocus for his sophomore season. It was almost a make or break situation, he felt.

"I pretty much told myself that if I don't do anything (last season), then my baseball career could be over," he said, mentioning he had signed with the University of South Florida out of high school, but a coaching change there made Hashman decide to go to junior college.

"My goal my whole life was to play D-I baseball," he said. "I worked hard last year and everything fell into place. Coach Rob (Reinstetle) called me, and I had heard of Ole Miss but didn't know much about it. I went on the website and checked it out and was like ‘Wow. Looks pretty good.' So I visited and right when I saw this field, I was like 'This is where I want to be.' Then they showed me the plans. I was like ‘Wow' again. (The facility) was already unbelievable, but now it's insane."

Taylor Hashman hopes to be able to view all the insanity from an outfield position soon.

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