Top five: Baseball all-area candidates

Sports editor Zack Carpenter details a handful of area baseball players who could find themselves on all-area teams at season’s end:

Dylan Baker

Fisher

The three-year starting catcher has nowhere to go but up. Baker is hitting .300 this season with four stolen bases, but his greatest asset is his leadership behind the plate. Head coach Milt Kelly raved about Baker’s offseason improvement in being able to better handle the Bunnies’ pitching staff.

Adam Crites

Rantoul

If the junior can improve on a stellar 2017 campaign in which he mowed down talented hitters in the now-defunct Okaw Valley Conference, he will be a shoo-in for some sort of all-area recognition. Crites is not a power pitcher, but his command is typically terrific, and the Eagles’ chances of grabbing a win go up exponentially with him on the bump. Crites has struggled a bit this season, with a 1-2 record with a 5.25 ERA.

John Frerichs

Rantoul

Frerichs hasn’t produced many runs at the plate himself (three RBI), but he has a team-leading eight runs scored and is second on the team with a .435 batting average. He will serve a huge role with his bat but also will need to lock down the shortstop position for Jon Donovan, and he will be called on to pitch.

Luke Jones

Rantoul

The odds are good that Jones turns out to be the Eagles’ best power bat throughout the season. In a loss against Urbana last Saturday, Rantoul’s backstop smacked a solo home run and a two-RBI double, and during the summer he showcased some gap power for Rantoul’s Senior Legion team. Right now, Jones has a .474/.522/.842 slash line with a team-best 12 RBI with five runs scored.

Dawson Purvis

Fisher

The senior is hitting .308 in the early part of the season, but his prowess on the mound has also been impressive. He sports a 2.33 earned run average across 15 innings, with 25 strikeouts to his name, and he has allowed just 11 hits.

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Baseball, Sports

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