COVINGTON, GA -- The future is bright for rising junior and Alcovy Baseball player Chandler Hicks who recently received an invitation to compete with the Student Athlete Community Service Network (SACSN) National team.
Hicks, who after de-committing from Alabama State last summer – his only collegiate offer at the time, is continuing to carve his path to make it to the major leagues. The talented catcher will have several opportunities to advance his game to the next level, and his invitation to the SACSN in August is the latest example of that.
The non-profit team is only years out from its original conception, but has over 69 SACSN alumni who have been drafted into the MLB since 2014 – 19 were drafted in the 2019 MLB draft. Volunteerism and community are a couple of the pillars the team stands by, noting on their website that their goal is to “Bring together the most dynamic group of players, compete at the highest level, stand out with college coaches & MLB scouts, and give back to the community.”
Hicks sees earning a spot on the team, as a chance to achieve both his and the goals of the organization.
“Being selected is a real big honor,” Hicks said. “There are kids from all across the country that play at Power 5 schools, not only Power 5 schools, but [Division 1] in general, and choose to forgo going to college for draft opportunities. And it gives me a platform to showcase my abilities on a huge stage in front of the major decision makers of the MLB.”
The 17-year-old draft prospect still has a ways to go in terms of being ready to play at the professional level, which is why this upcoming season will have a level of scrutiny.
After a breakout year in his sophomore year for Alcovy, the attention on Hicks ratcheted up and along came the attention from scouts.
His development on the field over the next year will determine the direction he’s headed, Hicks says. That’s why he feels it’s essential for him to soak up as much knowledge as he can during the four-game tournament in New York.
“You're surrounded by players that are just good and also better than you, Hicks said. “So not only will I be trying to take in information from scouts, but also players that might have advantages in a different area of the game. Whether it be hitting, fielding, running -- any tips anybody has -- I'm willing to take in and just make the most of this opportunity I have coming up next month.”
This past week, Hicks spent time with his Triton Rays Scout Team WWBA 16U team in Emerson, Georgia at a tournament at Lakepoint Sports Complex from July 5-12.
At the tournament pro scouts and college, scouts were in attendance, according to Hicks. For the 6-foot-2 catcher, his goal was to get noticed by the college scouts, a necessary feat with his graduation year of 2021 coming up quickly. He accomplished what he set out to do.
Before a recent game, Hicks received a text from his mom that she was notified of his invite to the “premier event for the 2021 draft for the [New York] Mets.”
Hicks says that for the future his focus is at the moment is to attend a prep school and get the proper training to prepare for the 2021 draft. However, if the chance to go to college and play at that level presents itself, Hicks won’t balk at the possibility to obtain a degree and play baseball.
This next month for Hicks will be defined by how much information he can soak up, and whether or not he can continue to be a student of the game.
“I'm really just looking to grow as a person and as a player,” Hicks said. “When you go to these events ----- the most likely [thing] -- everybody's going to be from a different background. So you can't help but have your ears open and listen to what people have to say and learn from what other people can tell you.”