Shortstop signee will arrive in late July
The person who could be manning the position for the next several seasons after Mort leaves is Allen High (TX) standout, Alex Yarbrough.
"I feel like I have a great glove," added the 6' 1", 180 pound switch hitting Alex Yarbrough. "I make all of the routine plays, and I feel like my range has gotten better and better as I have gotten older. My arm has always been a strength of mine, but I as I have gotten older, my arm keeps getting stronger and stronger."
Defense has never been a problem for Alex as evidence by him being named the 2008 Texas Defensive Player of the Year in District 8(5A) last season (side note, this season is still in progress and the awards have not come out yet). In fact, Yarbrough has only made 9 total errors in the past two years at Allen.
But what many were not expecting this season was the big jump in his offensive production, as Alex raised his batting average from .350 as a junior to .457 (4 HR's, 6 triples, 15 doubles) as a senior.
"I make a lot of contact. I only struck out four times this year. I concentrate on hitting a lot of line drives, and if you hit them good, they will rise and get out of the park. I like to hit a lot of gap balls."
Another big attribute that could help the Rebels down the road with Jordan Henry being a junior is Alex's speed. Yarbrough could push for the lead off hitting spot with his 6.78 speed and ability to put the bat on the ball.
"I definitely like to put the ball in play, and I have always had real good speed. I really started being more aggressive at the plate and not being so picky and leaving it up to the umps. I am a much more aggressive swinger now which has helped me out a lot."
Perfect Games ranked Alex as the #154 overall player in the country going into his senior season. He took visits to Baylor, TCU, Arkansas, LSU, and Ole Miss but left with the Rebels on his mind.
"I went over there for the Ole Miss/Arkansas series last year, and the atmosphere at the game was just awesome. Nobody else compared to Ole Miss. What stood out to me about Ole Miss was how passionate their fans are about baseball and seeing how much they cared. I thought it would be neat to play in front of an atmosphere like theirs. I also loved their campus, players, and their coaches were great. They defenitley came after me the hardest. But again, their fans is what sold Ole Miss for me."
Yarbrough watched the Ole Miss/Arkansas game from the old stadium, and he hears that the new stadium is better than dreamed.
"I have a good friend who plays for Central Arkansas and they played there this year. He told me that I was not going to believe it. I have seen pictures on the internet, but I have not seen it in person yet. I just can't wait to get over there in late July and get started."
What are his expectations as a freshman?
"I just want to get better as a baseball player. Of course, I hope I play myself into some playing time, but my main focus is to just get better as a baseball player."
What is going on with the baseball draft?
"I am not expecting to go very high so we are concentrating on Ole Miss. I will be at Ole Miss next year."
To get a complete look at the incoming baseball class, click here.
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