Future Stars Series Fast Five Alumni Update: College Spotlight (3/7)

You certainly don’t have to scroll too far on the NCAA’s D1 statistical leaderboards to find Future Stars Series alums.

Click on the pitching side of things, and there’s North Carolina sophomore starter Max Carlson, off to a hot start with 13.2 scoreless innings in his first three outings this season.

A standout at the 2018 International Week event who allowed just two batters to reach base during his appearance at Camelback Ranch, Carlson has started his second season off strong with the Tarheels as well; he’s racked up a whopping 15 strikeouts thus far, while maintaining a WHIP under one.

Drew Gilbert, who starred on the same National Team at that 2018 International Week event as Carlson, is currently tied for 12th among all qualifying D1 hitters with a .500 batting average in his first ten games this season with The University of Tennessee.  Gilbert has an active nine-game hitting streak, and incredibly has at least one RBI in eight of those nine games, including two games with four.

Gilbert’s Tennessee teammate Blake Burke is also making waves.  A National Combine standout who dazzled with significant power — Burke accepted an invite to International Week in 2020 but was ultimately unable to attend — the true freshman has made a big impact as of late.  He earned his first NCAA start on February 27 against Iona, and connected for his second career collegiate homer against Oklahoma on Sunday, adding to his total of 5 RBI in just 12 at-bats thus far this year.


Malachi Lott, who attended the inaugural Pre-Draft Combine in Lake Charles last year, is off to a strong start at the University of Houston.  The freshman outfielder lit up the box score this past weekend in a series against Incarnate Word, scoring four runs, reaching base in all three games, collecting extra-base in hits in two of them, and stealing three bases along the way.  He also made his debut on the mound; the southpaw spun two scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out two.

Kenya Huggins, Jr. is perhaps a bit overshadowed in the mainstream media at Chipola with all the attention on fellow Future Stars Series alum Cam Collier, but he’s performed well there this season, with a focus on the mound instead of as a two-way player, which is how we first saw him at the National Combine and then International Week in 2020.

Huggins leads the team with 28.0 innings pitched, striking out a whopping 38 batters over that stretch compared to just eight walks, while pitching to a 2.57 ERA.

As for Collier, that attention remains justified.  He’s hitting .349 with five homers and 19 RBI in his first 26 games this season after reclassifying from the 2023 Draft class to a 2022, and remains a likely top-ten pick this summer.

Mike Ashmore

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