The Historically Black College and University (HBCU) “small school” baseball season is underway and the “large schools” will soon be starting. With this, Black College Nines (BCN) continues to accesses the talent this baseball season.
Here are ten names you may not know, but could be HBCU top baseball players in the making for the 2018 season.
Miles Sowell – North Carolina A&T University
Sowell came out of nowhere last season while putting up some big offensive numbers. Ranked second in the conference in triples (5), fifth in both runs scored (41) and batting average (.356), while finishing eighth in both total bases (87) and hits (62). He led the Aggies in slugging percentage (.483), was second in hits (62) and finished third in RBI (29). Sowell was recently named a Black College Nines HBCU Baseball Pre-Season All-Elite.
Hunter Babineaux – Texas College
Transferred to Texas College from the University of Layafayette Louisiana (ULL) in 2017. One of the best defensive first basemen in the country. Leader on and off the field. Put up some good numbers with men in scoring position. Has really developed into a consistent all-around hitter for the Steers. He batted .277 in 54 games, had 46 hits to go along with 10 doubles and 34 runs batted in. Can feast on Red River Athletic Conference pitching.
Cameron Phelts – Texas College
One of HBCU baseball’s top leadoff hitters. With so many outfielders in HBCU baseball, Phelts fell just short of serious consideration for the BCN Pre-Season All-Elites team. The talk out of Texas was that Division I baseball programs attempted to get Phelts to transfer. Here’s why. .367 batting average, 33 runs, 58 hits, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run and 21 runs batted in from the leadoff spot. Stole 24 bases in 29 attempts. Major League scouts are high on Phelts.
Chris O’Neal – Lane College
O’Neal has really developed into a consistent all-around hitter for Lane. As a freshmen in 2017, he batted .343 in 38 games, had 35 hits to go along with 7 doubles and 34 runs batted in during the team’s turn around season. O’Neal was Lane’s big run producer for head coach John Bates. For O’Neal, 2018 should not be any different.
Carlos Lopez – Alcorn State University
Lopez has been the top workhorse on the Braves pitching staff. During the team’s 2017 season, Lopez was tough on opposing hitters sporting a 3.33 ERA. He was at times the most overpowering pitcher in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). In 16 appearances with 5 games started and 54.0 innings pitched, Lopez had 43 strikeouts. He has the tools to develop into a top weekend starter this season.
Sean McGrath – Delaware State University
Right handed pitching sophomore, McGrath appeared in 13 games with 12 starts for the Hornets last year. He went 5-3 with 59 strikeouts and had a 3.41 earned run average in 63.1 innings pitched. A proven effective starter, McGrath feasted on MEAC opponents last season. He could be among the top pitchers in the conference during the 2018 season.
Landon Biggs – Winston Salem State University
A lefty, Biggs appeared in 14 games with 39.2 innings pitched and four wins. He allowed 21 earned runs while giving up 40 hits and a 4.76 earned run average last season. Biggs can come into a ball game in any situation and get outs. A proven effective starter or in relief out of the bullpen.
Darien Brown – Tuskegee University
A congenital birth defeat has not stopped Brown’s competitive nature. The right handed pitcher throws hard, but mixes his pitches well. In 13 appearances and 19 innings pitched Brown recorded 12 strikeouts last season, Could blossom into a top notch save man in 2018 for Tuskegee.
Jacob Snyder – Southern University
The Jaguars sophomore pitcher has maintained a level of consistency. Snyder, as a freshmen last season, went 2-1 in four games as a starter and four in relief with a 2.25 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched. He allowed just seven earned runs with 17 strikeouts. Snyder could blossom into a bonafide weekend ace and should be a key piece to Southern’s success in 2018.
Gustavo Rios – Alabama State University
Rios was among the best hitters in the SWAC Conference last season. In 2017, Rios hit .332 in 54 games and 202 at bats with 68 hits, 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 50 runs batted in. One of HBCU baseball’s power producers who hits to all fields and is a player to watch in 2018.