FSS alums making early impact on college baseball season

February 26, 2024

With a new season of college baseball finally underway after what felt like a forever-type of wait, the next wave of alums of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series are starting to make their impact felt at the next level.

It’s time to take an early look at what some of the more prominent players to come through the FSS of late have done in their freshman campaigns thus far…

Georgia infielder Tre Phelps — a standout at the 2022 Main Event and veteran of the Future Stars Series who appeared at the Caribbean Classic, Underclass Combine and numerous other events — has already started to show some of his immense potential, collecting his first collegiate hit with the Bulldogs on Sunday.

Did we mention it went over the fence? The six-foot-two, 204-pound infielder reached base four times — including getting hit by a pitch to drive in the winning run — but went yard against Northern Kentucky with a solo shot as part of Georgia’s dramatic 12-11 win.

Not to be outdone, Louisville freshman catcher Zion Rose also went deep for the first time in his NCAA career, smashing a two-run shot to left field on Sunday as part of a three-game series sweep against St. Bonaventure. Rose has been particularly impressive to start out his season, picking up where he left off at the Main Event and Caribbean Classic; he’s already racked up five RBI in his first three college contests, and has at least one hit in each.

On a loaded Texas Tech team, both Landon Stripling and Mac Heuer have already found ways to stand out. In just his third collegiate game, Stripling delivered a stunning two-homer, five-hit performance against Texas Southern, showing the potential that got him invited to the 2022 Main Event. Heuer, who also impressed scouts at that event with a heavy fastball that comes from a big, sturdy frame, seems as though he’ll work his way into a significant role with the Raiders and their pitching staff. He’s already made two appearances, and has yet to issue a walk while striking out four over 5 1/3 frames.

Luke McNeillie is one for one at Florida, earning the win in his first ever NCAA appearance with the Gators. The two-time Main Event alum needed just 34 pitches to get through 2 2/3 innings on Saturday against Columbia, striking out one without allowing a run. The six-foot-three righty, who was followed in relief by another FSS alum, Brandon Neely, in that game, should eventually find his way into the starting rotation as he continues to develop.

There’s certainly something to be said for faces in new places as well. After being used sparingly at Texas last year, power righty Pierce George transferred to Arkansas for his sophomore season, and has already been touching triple digits once again with his imposing 6-foot-6, 240-pound presence. He’s already put together two scoreless outings, spinning one inning each against Alabama State and Valpo on Wednesday and Sunday, respectively.

Mike Ashmore
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