Baseball signee nearing decision

Houston Stratford pitcher Barret Loux was drafted in the 24th round by Detroit, which was a big thrill for the recent high school grad. But will that be good enough to lure him away from Aggieland? Aggie Websider's David Sandhop talks to Loux about the biggest decision he's had to make so far.

For Major League Baseball clubs and their drafted prospects, it's coming down to crunch time as the August 15 deadline for signing draftees approaches. For college coaches, that deadline can't get here soon enough so they can finalize their rosters for the upcoming season.

In the case of Coach Rob Childress and his Texas Aggie baseball squad, the difference in some key players signing pro or playing at Texas A&M could be the difference in competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, or competing for a spot in Omaha and a shot at the national championship.

And while many Aggie fans focus on high profile players such as veterans Blake Stouffer, David Newmann, and incoming blue chipper Will Middlebrooks, A&M has several other talented signees that were drafted and are flirting with a pro baseball career, such as Houston Stratford pitcher Barret Loux.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound hurler made a name for himself this past season, registering a miniscule 0.37 ERA and over 70 strikeouts his senior season in a very tough Houston area baseball district.

Loux also pitches for the elite Houston Heat Select, a summer league team who boasts current major leaguers Homer Bailey, Scott Kazmir, and Josh Barfield along with recent A&M pitcher Kyle Nicholson as recent alumni .

Loux's repertoire includes a fastball that hits 93 mph, a curveball, slider, and a changeup, and he's comfortable throwing all four pitches although he admits that his fastball is his bread-and butter.

"I can throw all four pitches well and I'm confident going to any pitch," Loux said. "But I do have great control of my fastball and I can locate it pretty good."

Many pitchers at his age and level of competition can throw several pitches effectively, so what makes Loux such a dominating pitcher at the high school level?

"I just love to compete and I pitch to win. Whatever it takes to get the batter out I'll do it," Loux said. "I hit my spots, I throw strikes, and I go after hitters."

That's music to the ears of Coach Childress, who has been very public about his desire to recruit pitchers who will challenge hitters and throw strikes. It was this philosophy and his desire to win that attracted the Houston native to Texas A&M.

"When you immediately meet him, you can tell he has a passion for baseball and he wants to win badly," Loux said. "In talking to him and watching him manage his team, it just felt right for me. I wanted to play for him."

Loux closely followed last year's Aggie team that went from last place in the conference in 2006 to Big 12 Tournament Champions and NCAA Super Regional qualifiers. He wasn't surprised with the program's quick turnaround.

"Success is all about talent, good coaching, and a desire to win," Loux said. "I knew Coach Childress was bringing in good players, and he's a very competitive coach. He brings an intensity and style of play that breeds winning. That's why I wanted to play for him."

But the Detroit Tigers have other plans for the talented pitcher, drafting Loux in the 24th round of last month's MLB Amateur Draft. It was a thrill that he soon won't forget, but Loux feels his future for now is at Texas A&M.

"At the time, it was pretty cool to hear your name and knowing that a Major League team drafted me," Loux said. "The Detroit scouting team is supposed to fly down to evaluate me this week and offer me, but I'm going to A&M. It would take something crazy to happen for me to go pro. My plan is to move up to College Station on August 20."

Loux will be living at the Callaway Villas with incoming freshman catcher Andrew Neptune of Athens and first baseman/pitcher Nick Fleece of Fort Worth.

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