Nov. 13, 2013
Early Signing Day Central
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball program opened the fall signing period here Wednesday by adding junior college first baseman Taylor Walker (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), along with high school catcher Blake Anderson (Meridian, Miss.) and shortstop Daniel Keating (Gulfport, Miss.). All three players will join the program for the 2015 season.
Walker, at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., tallied a .290 batting average with 10 home runs and 48 runs batted in for Jackson State Community College last spring. He fanned just 14 times in 176 at bats for his team, which finished the year 28-22.
"Walker is coming off a 10 home run season as a freshman at Jackson State CC," said Southern Miss assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Chad Caillet. "Taylor will bring a physical offensive presence that will be an immediate impact to our Golden Eagle lineup."
Anderson, at 6-foot-4, 195 lbs., is an all-district and all-state performer for West Lauderdale High School for coach Jerry Boatner. He batted .430 for the district champion Knights with seven doubles, two triples and five home runs to go along with 26 RBI as well as earning his team's Defensive Player of the Year.
His summer baseball travels took him to the Junior Sunbelt Classic in McAllister, Okla., as well as the Tournament of Stars in Omaha, Neb., as well as the Area Code Games and Perfect Game All-American teams. He was named an Under Armour top player. In addition, he spent the 2012 summer playing for the No. 1 rated travel team in the country, the East Cobb Astros, in which he helped that club win three national tournaments.
"Blake has plus arm strength with tremendous catching and blocking skills in which he displayed at the summer Area Code Games in California," said Caillet. "He will be another extremely skilled catcher in our program. His ceiling is unlimited."
Keating, at 6-foot-2, 195-lbs., earned all-district honors last spring at Gulfport High School for coach Jamie McMahon. The Admiral batted .333 in 29 games, with six doubles, a triple and six homers to go along with 30 RBI. He added 15-of-17 stolen base opportunities.
In addition, he is a member of the school's football team.
"Daniel is a four-tool player with tremendous upside," said Caillet. "His speed, strength and power will be fun to watch in a Golden Eagle uniform."
The Golden Eagles open their 2014 campaign Feb. 14, at home against Stony Brook.