Long ago the coaching staff at Northwest Mississippi Community College took note of his abilities at the plate and on Thursday the Rangers landed their third baseman of the future when the WVHS senior signed his National Letter of Intent in the high school gym.
“He’s just a really talented player. We’ve had a lot of success with Water Valley guys with several on our team now and several in the past,” NWCC coach Mark Carson said. “He’s just a very unique individual. He’s a really good player, No. 1. And No. 2, he’s a really good person and student and just everything we look for.
“He has the ability baseball-wise, but he’s also such a hard worker and good kid. You roll all that up into one and that’s what you got.”
With the Blue Devils, King has proved to be a versatile player that has played both first and third and has also pitched.
While King might pitch in the future, the Rangers are mostly interested in King as a position player.
“We like him on the corners for sure with his power. He’s a power guy that’s going to hit some home runs and a lot of doubles,” Carson said. “We project him as a third baseman, possibly move him over to first, but we like him at third and that’s probably where he’ll end up. He’s versatile enough where he could play on every corner and so I think that helps everybody.”
On the next level, Carson said it’s King’s bat that will carry him.
“And he’s a big kid right now and is going to get even bigger and stronger with his frame and so as he adds a little more muscle and strength I think those numbers might even get a little better,” he said. “We like those corner guys to be able to drive in runs and be some RBI guys and I think that’s what he’ll be.”
As a junior, King stood out amongst a group of talented Blue Devils by hitting .459 with eight home runs and a whopping .919 slugging percentage. He also led the team in RBIs (39) and doubles (10).
As a sophomore, King hit .286 with two home runs and 25 RBIs.
“He’s a guy with a bright future, even beyond Northwest, as a hitter,” said second-year Blue Devils coach Kary Bridges. “He’s a very good hitter and swings the bat well.”
The more the merrier
When considering where to play in college, King said the long list of Blue Devils that have played in Senatobia helped with his decision.
“A bunch of my buddies like Walt (McCullough), Drew (Pratt) and Josh (Johnson) go up there, so I figured that would be the best fit for me,” he said.
While it’s apparent King’s bat is what will carry him, he admitted he’d like to continue to improve in the field to become a complete college player.
“I just have to work on getting the ball across there a little quicker and get quicker with my feet,” he said. (February 10, 2012, Page 8A)