While Aggie baseball fans were on pins and needles Wednesday waiting to hear if highly-rated high school prospects Will Middlebrooks and Drake Britton would either sign with the Boston Red Sox or attend Texas A&M, there is one talented incoming freshman that has no doubt where he wants to be in two weeks.
Aaron Daab, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound lefthander from Katy, may not have had major league teams throwing six or seven figures at him this week, but the Houston area product has the accolades and the high school resume' of one of the most successful pitchers in the talent-laden state of Texas.
Daab was named to the Louisville Slugger High School all-American team as selected by Collegiate Baseball, a team made up of 32 first and second round draft picks. In addition, Daab was also named to several first team all-state teams including the Texas High School Coaches Association team, and participated in several elite all-star games.
He earned those honors for good reason. Daab led the Katy Tigers to the state title game in 2006, and in 2007 the Tigers were the nation's number one team according to Baseball America in mid-May before they stumbled in the region quarterfinals against Langham Creek losing 1-0 and 6-0.
Daab's career and season statistics indicate his dominance at the high school level. He won 10 games in each of his junior and senior seasons. His 2007 season ERA was a microscopic 0.61.
However, despite these numbers at the highest level of high school competition in the country, the lefthander was not heavily pursued by the pros mainly because he's not the power pitcher they crave.
"I throw an 84-87 mph fastball," Daab told Aggie Websider in a recent interview. "I also throw a curve, knuckle-curve, and a cutter."
While Daab may not wow the scouts with an overwhelming fastball, his control and change of pace suits A&M head coach Rob Childress just fine.
"I think my strength as a pitcher is my confidence in all my pitches and throwing strikes," Daab said. "Coach Childress likes that I have good control and will throw strikes."
The Katy native was indeed pleased when Childress finally called to offer him the opportunity to come play for Texas A&M as he grew up a big Aggie fan.
"My dad went to A&M (Class of '81) and he's been taking me to Aggie football and baseball games since I was four years old," Daab said. "I was being recruited by 7-8 schools and I was a little worried whether A&M would offer me, but Coach Childress was the first to call on July 1 when coaches could contact me again."
Needless to say, that one call was all that Coach Childress needed to sell the standout lefty.
"I couldn't believe it. I've wanted to go to A&M ever since I was little," Daab said. "When Coach Childress offered, I didn't have to think twice. That was it."
And while the tall southpaw may have had Aggie roots, he was also sold on the program and Coach Childress.
"He's a competitor and a winner," Daab said. "He expects hard work. He has high expectations not only for us as players, but himself and the program."
Daab will be making the move to College Station later this month where he will be rooming with The Woodlands outfielder David Allman.
"I'm looking forward to moving in. We'll be at the Callaway House and it's pretty awesome," Daab said. "I'll be studying industrial distribution. My dad is a petroleum engineer and I know some people who are successful in industrial distribution."
Daab says that the coaching staff is looking for him to come in and have a successful fall and earn playing time on the mound.
"They said they need me to come in ready to prove myself and contribute right away," Daab said. "I came out of summer ball feeling healthy with no arm problems, so I'm ready to go."
The Aggies have some openings in the pitching rotation in 2008, with weekend aces Kyle Nicholson graduating and David Newmann signing a pro contract this week with Tampa Bay. Rest assured, Daab will certainly be a candidate vying for one of those open spots.
Pitcher excited to play for Childress, A&M
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