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- Clarke Schmidt out for the year with elbow injury
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- 2017 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 3.0
- MLB Draft Mailbag: Rising draft prospects
- Ricardo De La Torre receives advice from pro players
- Bubba Thompson focused on team’s success
- Andrew Papantonis perseveres through injuries
Cole Brannen: ‘I’m 110 percent going pro’
- Updated: February 14, 2017
Georgia senior prep outfielder Cole Brannen isn’t worried about the future because he knows exactly what he wants to do. A Georgia Southern commit, Brannen has no plans of playing college baseball, instead he fully intends on turning pro once he hears his named called in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.
“I’m 110 percent going pro,” said Brannen, who MLB.com ranks as the 24th-best prospect in this year’s draft class. “I made up my mind. I’ve known for a long time that’s what I want to do. I want to play ball.”
Brannen said from an early age he’s only wanted to play professionally and with the draft less than four months away, he plans on chasing his dream.
“I’ve wanted to play professional baseball since I was 3 years old,” he said. “That’s always been my goal. I’ve worked hard. I’ve put in a lot of time and a lot of effort.
“God’s given me a lot of things that I can do that a lot of people can’t do. I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for him. I’m very thankful and blessed for all the things I’ve gotten to accomplish.”
A five-tool talent, Brannen is an athletic outfielder with promising potential. His best trait is his above-average speed, which he utilizes on the bases and in the field. He’s also solid defensively and possesses more power from the left side of the plate than the typical speedster.
Brannen displayed his skills on the showcase circuit last summer, allowing hundreds of scouts to evaluate him in preparation for this spring. He participated in numerous events, including the East Coast Pro Showcase, Under Armour All-America Game and Perfect Game All-American Classic.
“It was an absolute blast,” said Brannen about playing on the showcase tour last summer. “If I could go back to this past summer and do it all over again, I’d do it. I had a ball. I met a lot of new people and made a lot of relationships with guys I’ll be friends with for a long time.”
During the off-season, Brannen worked on his speed, flexibility and core strength with hopes of building off his junior year when he hit .450 with seven home runs, 33 RBIs and 13 steals.
A member of his school’s varsity baseball team since eighth grade, Brannen is eager for his fifth season on varsity. One reason for his enthusiasm is that he has the opportunity to play one final season with his twin brothers, who are currently sophomores.
Even though Brannen is ready for pro ball, he’s trying not to look too far ahead.
“You have to take one thing at a time,” he said. “You can’t put the cart before the horse. My job right now is to go out my high school season, compete to the best of my ability and win a state championship. That’s my goal and that’s what we’re going to do. Once that’s handled then we will move ahead to the next task at hand.”
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