Prosper High School baseball fans have a lot to be excited about this week. Players from this season’s team as well as former players have made big news recently.
Former Eagle stars Steele Walker and Tyler Webb have each been selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which was held on June 4-6.
Walker, a junior outfielder at Oklahoman, was drafted in the second round by the Chicago White Sox with the 46th overall pick. The slot bonus for that pick is $1,556,100. He was a member of the 2015 state championship team and then went to OU.
Walker, who was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to the top collegiate player, had 13 home runs and 53 RBI while batting a team-high .352 this season for the Sooners. He also led OU with a .441 on-base percentage and .606 slugging percentage and was first-team all-Big 12 for the second straight season and a second-team All-American by Baseball America.
Prosper head coach Rick Carpenter was extremely proud to see a player from one of his teams get drafted in such an early round.
“It was awesome. I really didn’t know he was projected so high but predicting the major league draft is impossible. He had a great year,” Carpenter said.
Webb, a senior outfielder at Memphis, was drafted in the 40th round (1,204th overall) by the Minnesota Twins as a shortstop. He followed his senior season at Prosper by attending Galveston College, where he was an NJCAA third-team All-American selection, for two seasons and then transferring to the University of Memphis for two seasons with the Tigers.
In 2018, Webb posted a .271 batting average along with hitting one home run and driving in 27 runs for Memphis.
“I’m real happy for him,” Carpenter said. “One of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached. A lot of stories out there about people getting drafted really late and becoming Hall of Famers.”
2018 seniors selected to All-Star teams
Prosper pitchers Braden Carmichael and Conner Jackson have each been selected to participate in high school All-Star Games this month following their senior seasons.
Jackson pitched in the North Texas High School All-Star Game on June 11. Jackson had a spectacular season for the Eagles which included a win in Game 1 in Prosper’s final playoff series against Forney.
“Conner Jackson, as a sophomore, came in and maybe just threw an inning,” Carpenter said. “As a junior he battled an injury, but he came in this year and just pitched great.”
Carpenter said that Carmichael wasn’t supposed to be a top pitcher for the Eagles originally but attributed his “incredible work ethic and determination” to his success. Carmichael will be pitching in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game later this week on Saturday, June 16, at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Former Eagle Hunter Jr. selected for professional All-Star Game
Prosper alum Torii Hunter Jr. has been selected to play in the 2018 Midwest League All-Star Game.
Hunter Jr. is an outfielder for the Burlington Bees, a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, and is the son of former All-Star centerfield Torii Hunter. He was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Notre Dame after MLB Draft as he had been picked in the 36th round of the 2013 draft by the Detroit Tigers following his senior year at Prosper.
Carpenter takes a lot of pride in seeing a player from his program achieve his dreams and have success at the professional level.
“He’s a great kid that just works hard. He didn’t get to play baseball his senior year here due to an injury in football,” Carpenter said. “That was tough to lose an incredible player like that. His dad’s a big name but he puts no pressure on him, and he’s been real big in his development.”
Through 46 games this season, Hunter Jr. is hitting .274 with eight doubles, a home run, 12 RBI a .362 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases. The 2018 Midwest All-Star Game will be played on June 19 in Lansing, Michigan.