High School Sports

Mississippi State lands another South Mississippi baseball star

George County's Logan Tanner goes to bat against West Harrison during the Battle at the Beach baseball tournament on Friday, March 17, 2017, at Biloxi High. Tanner committed to Mississippi State on Monday.
George County's Logan Tanner goes to bat against West Harrison during the Battle at the Beach baseball tournament on Friday, March 17, 2017, at Biloxi High. Tanner committed to Mississippi State on Monday. amccoy@sunherald.com file

Starkville is going to be seeing plenty more of Logan Tanner.

Ever since he was 8, the young George County Rebel has been going to Mississippi State for ballgames. Monday, the GCHS junior secured his spot on the Bulldogs’ baseball team when he verbally committed to coach Andy Cannizaro.

“Mississippi State has always been my dream school,” Tanner said shortly after committing. “I’ve always wanted to play there.”

Tanner said he picked MSU over offers from Kent State and South Alabama, plus interest from Ole Miss, Clemson and North Carolina.

Tanner didn’t have the MSU offer long. He stood out at a recent Perfect Game underclassman showcase, which he said caught the Bulldogs’ attention. After returning home from the Fort Myers, Florida, event last Monday, Tanner turned right around and made the familiar three-hour drive from Lucedale to Starkville the next day.

“I came home and went straight to Mississippi State,” Tanner said. “When I was there I just felt right at home.

“This feels good. Now I don’t have to worry about (recruiting). I can just play.”

GCHS coach Brandon Davis has long pointed at Tanner as the next great Rebel recruit, and it’s easy to see why when you look at both his blend of projection and production.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound catcher hit .305 as a sophomore with three homers, six doubles, 21 RBIs and a .816 OPS.

On the mound he was 4-3 with a 1.22 ERA and 51 strikeouts against 15 walks in 40 innings. He touts a four-seam fastball that he can ramp up to 94 miles per hour along with a two-seam fastball, curveball, changeup and a slider that he points to as his out-pitch.

Tanner said he’ll have a chance to both catch and pitch in Starkville.

Big-time upside

Perfect Game gives Tanner a 9.5 grade out of a possible 10 points, meaning he’s somewhere between a “potential very high draft pick” and a “potential top 10 round” selection.

Here’s the site’s evaluation from the 2017 PG Underclass All-American Games: “Thick and strong athletic build. Gets low behind the plate and has good agility and flexibility, very good arm strength, made some plus game throws to get runners, 1.95 best drill pop time, accuracy stands out. Right handed hitter, hits from a wide base with a simple leg lift trigger, not much shift to contact, has strength in his swing and gets the barrel into the zone well, has untapped power there with more lower half use. Also pitched, very slow paced delivery with a high 3/4’s arm slot, closed at landing. Fastball topped out at 90 mph, flashed good spin and depth on his curveball when he was out front on it. Well rounded athlete who has the tools to keep improving in all areas. Good student.”

More commitments

Tanner was the second Class of 2019 commitment for the Bulldogs on Monday as Tanner’s Team Georgia Baseball Academy teammate Davis Rokose also pledged to MSU.

Tanner’s also the second GCHS standout to commit to in as many days. Trevor McDonald announced his commitment to South Alabama on Sunday.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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