By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Jimmy Wright has been drawing the attention of college coaches from all across the region for the past couple of years.
And with good reason.
Power-hitting, left-handed catchers aren’t easy to find.
That’s the main reason why the Madison Central senior was being recruited by Louisville, Western Kentucky, East Tennessee State, Ohio State, Miami (Ohio) and Butler among other schools.
Ultimately, Wright decided he wanted to play for Morehead State.
“I loved the campus. It was really nice,” Wright said. “I loved the coaches. I figured if it was good enough for Trey (Gross), I must be good enough for me.”
Wright verbally committed to Morehead State last week and next year he is set to join Gross, his former Central teammate, on the Eagles’ roster.
The senior catcher really wasn’t heavily recruited by Morehead until recently.. But, the coaching staff saw him play multiple times this past summer and even brought him to campus to play with a local team.
“They didn’t really have an interest in me for all that long, but then the saw me and they wanted to watch me catch again,” Wright said.
Wright has been the Indians’ starting catcher for the past two seasons.
Last year he was one of the team’s biggest offensive threats. He hit .358 with six home runs and 35 RBIs. He also had a .511 on-base percent, a .511 slugging percentage and was hit by pitch 16 times.
He helped the Indians win 29 games, capture another district title and advance to the second round of the 11th Region Tournament.
Following the season, Wright was selected to play in the Kentucky Junior East-West All-Star Game.
Wright is already the second Central player in the Class of 2013 to sign with a Division I school.
Earlier this year, senior first-baseman Ben Fisher verbally committed to EKU.
“Me and Ben are already joking about how we going to have a little rivalry going,” Wright said.
When Wright and Fisher officially sign, they will become the 27th and 28th Central players to receive college baseball scholarships since 2001.
“We send a few players to college every year,” Wright said. “Coach (Steve) Roof is a good coach and he teaches us to play the game the right way. College coaches (across the state) know that.”
Morehead State only has two catchers on its current roster — and one is a senior.
So, Wright should have a chance to earn some playing time next season as a freshman.
“They think there is a good opportunity for me to start,” Wright said.
The left-hander is certainly eager to play at John “Sonny” Allen Field in Morehead. The facility’s right-field fence is less than 300 yards from home plate.
“That was a big selling point,” Wright said. “There’s a lot of easy home runs in that park.”