LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Chandler Hicks is getting noticed.
That much shouldn’t be a secret. But just in case anyone had any lingering doubts about how highly regarded Alcovy’s rising junior is, let his most recent showcase dispel those doubts.
Hicks competed in the Georgia Underclass Top 100 Showcase Tuesday afternoon at Georgia Gwinnett College, but he didn’t go looking for this showcase. They came looking for him.
“It was a little combination of an invite and tryout,” Hicks said. “Most kids there had to go through trials to get to the final 100, but I got an e-mail saying a pro scout identified me as being an automatic top 100 finalist without the tryout.”
Hicks called it a “great event with tons of scouts.” Three pro scouts to be exact, along with a host of college coaches eyeing next level talent. In live-game action, Hicks played center and right field and also got in two innings worth of work behind the plate as a catcher.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound righty also impressed at the plate, batting 3-for-3 with some of that work coming against Grayson rising senior standout and Kennesaw State commit Bradley Blalock who’s ranked in the top 105 right-handed hurlers in the country for the class of 2019. But everybody Hicks faced helped give him confidence that his improvement as a player is tracking in the right direction.
“I put up some good numbers against some high quality pitching,” Hicks said. “Even the other two pitchers besides Blalock were pretty good right-handed pitchers with a power fastball and great off-speed pitches. Everyone there was talented. That really pushed me to perform even better.”
Beyond just his performance, Hicks says one of the highlights of the showcase was seeing new Alcovy baseball coach Jimmy Hughes in attendance.
Hughes was hired back in mid-May to replace former coach Ashley Senn, and upon arrival has injected some major energy into a program that’s gone multiple seasons without a winning record or postseason berth.
Hicks said he has enjoyed connecting with and learning from Hughes even in the short time they’ve been united.
“Coach Hughes’ support is amazing,” Hicks said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s always a blessing if you can have a good relationship with your coach, and I’m lucky to have that. I talk to him usually three to four times a week. With Alcovy trying to turn the program around, I know he’s expecting some things out of me as well as the rest of the team. I’m willing to give it all I’ve got for these next two years.”
One thing Hicks says he’s unwilling to do, however, is use all the attention he’s getting to waffle on his college commitment to Alabama State. Hicks has been pledged to the Hornets’ program since early in his sophomore season, and that’s not something he says he plans to change.
“I didn’t make any contact with any college scouts out there today,” Hicks said. “Briefly after my commitment to Alabama State, I’ve slowly seen pro scouts start to take notice. So I’m comfortable with my college commitment, and my next step will be hearing my name called on (MLB) Draft night one day.”