I visited with a high school friend and former Denham Springs football teammate this week, Ben McDonald.
Actually, Ben may be better known for an All-American baseball career at LSU where he became a part of the gold-medal winning 1988 Olympic team and the No. 1 draft pick in 1989.
These days – in addition to watching a ninth-grade son embark on his baseball journey – McDonald is an analyst with the SEC Network.
Here’s what he had to see on a couple of Ole Miss players, pitcher Brady Bramlett and third baseman Colby Bortles.
You can hear the complete Ben McDonald interview on The Ole Miss Beat with the Rebel Sports Radio app. It should post later today.
“He throws as many fastballs as anybody does. I’m amazed when I watch him, because he probably throws 70 to 80 percent fastballs. It’s an above average fastball with some extra life at the end. He really challenges hitters. He goes right at you. He knows what he does best and what that best pitch is, and that’s that fastball. He’s able to spot it on both sides of the plate really, really well. He’s always been able to strike out guys. He doesn’t really walk a lot of guys. He’s a true ace, and he sets the tone.
“Such a big guy. Obviously he’s got to play corner, be a first baseman or third baseman. The part of him hitting was never in doubt. I think he’s going to continue to get better as a hitter. My question was could he play third base in pro ball? Although he’s done well over there, he’s done better than I thought he would do, I’m still not sold that he can be a big league third baseman. He may be if the hands and the foot work continue to get better. He would be a great target over at first base to be as big and as wide as he is with the reach and athleticism. He will make a great first baseman as well. I think because of the size and potential you’ve got to think he’s going to go in the top five, six, maybe seven rounds of that draft. We just have to wait and see. The bottom line is he’s going to get an opportunity to play at the next level for sure.”