Six Bob Jones Baseball Players Sign College Scholarships
MADISON- The early signing period for high school athletes presented what is the largest signings in the history of the Bob Jones baseball program. Six student-athletes signed college scholarships with five of those players earning places among NCAA Div. 1 schools and four of six staying within the confines of the State of Alabama.
The Bob Jones Patriots finished state runner-up in Class 7A last season falling to McGill-Toolen in the championship series in three games. Five of the players who recently signed were named to the Class 7A All-State teams including four on the First Team selections.
Regarded as the top player in Alabama, Dylan Ray signed with the University of Alabama after also receiving offers from Mississippi State, West Virginia and Auburn. He grew up as a fan of the Crimson Tide and said he couldn’t play at any other school.
In the 2019 season, where he played outfield, third base and pitcher, Ray batted .403, with a .649 slugging percentage, nine homers and 64 RBIs. As a pitcher, he was 5-1 on the mound with 60 strikeouts and posted a 3.19 ERA in 37 innings of work. He was chosen as a First-Team All-State selection as an outfielder.
This past summer Ray participated in the Major League Baseball Prospect Developmental League among just 80 players chosen from across the United States. He’s expected to be a high draft choice in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft as he plays his senior season at Bob Jones.
Ray, 6-foot-3, 205-pound slugger and strong-armed pitcher is the son of Tom and Lajeanna Ray.
Selected on the All-State First-Team as a utility player, Caden Rose verbally committed to sign with Alabama at least two years ago and stuck with his decision signing with the Crimson Tide as an infielder.
The all-round athlete who just completed his senior year of football as the Patriots starter at quarterback and son of head coach Kevin Rose and mother Heather Rose, the multi-talented athlete played in 41 games last baseball season batting .444, with a .793 slugging percentage, seven homers and 31 RBIs along with 20 doubles. As a pitcher, Rose was 3-0 on the season with a 0.893 ERA while he posted four saves in relief appearances. He was injured about two thirds way through the 2019 season and was unable to play in the State Finals against McGill-Toolen. He was treated for mononucleosis during the season and also suffered a hand injury.
Cam Hill was a First-Team All All-State selection as an infielder, but was also a main weapon for the Patriots as a starting pitcher where he was 7-1 on the season with a 2.958 ERA with 55 strikeouts over 47 innings. At the plate, Hill batted .383 with nine homers, 16 doubles and 40 RBIs.
The flame-throwing Hill signed with Auburn University.
Over his three seasons with the Patriots, the 6-2, 195 lefty has batted .357, with 17 dingers, 72 RBIs and scored 110 runs. On the mound, he’s tossed 137 innings in 35 games with a 2.243 ERA. He’s posted a 15-6 record with 132 strikeouts to his credit.
The fourth Patriot to be chosen among the First-Team All-State team, Mitchell Daly was selected as an infielder for his spectacular play at shortstop and second base. He signed with the Texas Longhorns after also receiving offers from Duke and Clemson.
“I was born just outside Austin and always felt I had the Longhorns in my roots and I fell in love with the university,” said Daly, 6-1, 280. “I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Daly moved seven times in his young life as his parents, Ed and Cathy Daly were a military family. The young Daly has lived in two foreign countries and came to Madison five years ago as his father is a member of the U.S. Army. He plans on studying business as he’ll carry a 3.8 grade point average into his senior year of education at Bob Jones.
Last season he batted .321 with eight homers, 18 doubles with 33 RBIs. He struck out just 31 times in 197 plate appearances.
“I try to square up on the ball consistently at the plate and feel I’m a good all-round hitter,” said Daly, who batted third in the lineup for the Patriots last season. He said he wanted to thank his family for all of their support through the years and for always placing him a priority in their lives. He added about his most memorable experience so far as a Patriot, “It has to be last year making it all the way to the State Finals and we’re already talking about making a return visit in our senior season.”
“Our signings is something all of us have been talking about since we went to Discovery Middle School together,” added Daly.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be the new home for Nick Brown after he signed with the Panthers, a Div. 1 school that plays in the Horizon Conference.
When asked why a school so far from home, he said actually it’s not that far from home for him. He added, “I have several family members who live there and the school has good academics as well as a super baseball program. It was just a good fit for me.”
Pitching in just 28 innings last season with a 6.00 ERA and a 1-2 record, Brown had five additional offers come his way including those from UAB, Kennesaw State, UNA, UAH and Southern Mississippi. He carries a 4.3 grade point average and will look into studying business or some type of engineering.
Away from his studies, Brown plays piano as he’s taken lessons on the ivory keys for several years. He can play an assortment of music, but mainly focuses on classical music. He also enjoys fishing and ultimate Frisbee.
On the pitcher’s mound, the 6-2, 200-pound right handed thrower can overpower hitters with a fastball that has been clocked at 93 miles per hour, but admits his bread and butter are his off-speeds pitches.
He’s the son of Craig and Elizabeth Brown and added, “It was exciting to be able to sign a scholarship alongside a lot of the guys I grew up with.”
At 6-foot, 185 pounds, Sam Maynard has used a side-armed delivery to near perfection in 45 innings of action last season for the Patriots. He finished the 2019 campaign with three wins and three saves with a 1.711 ERA, 41 strikeouts and just 23 hits.
“I live off the slider and fastball as I decided to drop down in my pitching style after working with our pitching coach,” said Maynard, son of Bill and Margaret Maynard.
He signed with Southern Union Community College located in Wadley, Ala. just miles from nearby Auburn. “My entire family are Auburn fans, so being close to the university is a plus in my decision to sign with Southern Union,” said Maynard. “The school was my first offer, but I did talk with others about the possibility of signing a scholarship.”
Nicknamed “Sidewinder Maynard,” the one time two-sport athlete gave up playing basketball after his eighth grade year to concentrate on his talents on the baseball diamond. He currently carries a 4.2 grade point average and has plans on studying actuarial science as he confidently said, “I’m really good at math.”