ANNA — The hits keep coming for Anna’s still-new Sport Complex. On Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27, the venue’s baseball facility played host to some top-flight Select baseball, featuring this time the No. 1 high school freshman prospect in the nation: 15-year-old Blaze Jordan out of Southhaven, Mississippi.
Jordan and his team, the Southeast U.S.-based Dulin’s Dodgers Prime, scrimmaged throughout the weekend with Dulin’s Dodgers Texas Prime, a squad featuring Anna’s own highly-recruited freshman Rawley Hector. A pro scout evaluation was held on Saturday.
Jordan, a sophomore this fall at Southhaven’s Desoto Central High School, has already verbally committed to Mississippi State University. Widely regarded as the Class of 2021’s No. 1 prospect, Jordan was the 2017 14U Player for the Year. At age 11, he hit a nearly 400-foot home run at a showcase event at then-Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and he’s given some balls 500-foot rides since then. The right-handed hitter plays first base and also pitches.
Anna Coyotes head baseball coach Joey Hector, Rawley’s dad, noted that Jordan’s team included at least five Division I commits — three to Mississippi State, one to Tennessee and one to Vanderbilt. Throw in Rawley, who’s committed to Texas A&M, and the field was literally brimming with young talent. “And everybody else out there,” Hector said, “they’re all college baseball players too. They’re just not committed yet.”
At Anna, Blaze went 7-for-10 at the plate with a nearly 400-foot home run and a couple of walks. He struck out once. Rawley slapped a similar homer over the left field wall, going 6-for-9 with two walks. He also pitched five-innings of two-hit ball, striking out nine.
“I gained so much respect for him,” Rawley said of interacting with Jordan. “I’ve seen him handle his business, on and off the field. He doesn’t let anything get too big to him. Obviously, he swings the bat very well. He’s a good ball player. Being able to play the corners and being able to throw the ball upper 80s and low 90s, it shows how much hard work he’s put in and how level-headed he is throughout the process.”
“He’s a phenomenal kid,” Hector said of Jordan. “The thing that struck me the most … is you would never know he’s Blaze Jordan. Just by the way he acts, you’d never know he’s somebody that’s that high a level of player. He’s like a normal kid. He doesn’t ‘big-dog’ it. He doesn’t showboat. You can tell his parents have done an excellent job raising that kid. … There’s no doubt he will go very early in the draft when his time comes.
“He’s the best hitter I’ve ever seen — the swing, the approach, the knowledge of the strike zone. Some people go, ‘He’s a home run derby hitter.’ No, he’s a really good hitter.”
Hector added, “It’s crazy. When players are good the other players know they’re good, so they treat each other with a level of respect that’s kind of hard to understand. There’s no jealousy. When you’re all good, you’re just good. They brought in 14 or 15 kids and every one of them is going to college to play baseball. And we had our 10,12 or 15 kids that will all have the opportunity to play college baseball. … The kids get it. And the parents got it. It was really just a good atmosphere.”
Rawley said the visiting team was impressed with Anna’s facility. “They were all over it. They kind of pulled me to the side after we played our scrimmages and they were like, ‘You guys are lucky out here.’ I felt really fortunate about that.”
“It’s cool to me because it’s in Anna,” Hector said. “We can showcase the facility a little bit. Some people took advantage of it, came out and watched. … From a dad standpoint, it was good to see my kid go out there and compete at that level with those players, and see how they interact with each other.”