Offseason position battle: Morehead St. shortstop

College Baseball

Drew Lee; Morehead St. photo

In the next offseason position battle post we’ll look at the vacant Morehead State University shortstop position:

The departed: Senior shortstop Drew Lee left Morehead with one of the most prolific careers in Eagles’ history after being selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 12th round of the 2010 MLB draft. Lee batted .412 with 17 home runs, 66 RBI, 60 runs scored and 156 total bases in 2011. The 2010 All-American batted over .400 for two straight seasons for Morehead and finished his collegiate career with several school records, including the career hits and RBI records. The Mount Sterling native was named an Appalachian League all-star during his first professional season in 2010.

Returning candidates: Lee started 47 of Morehead St.’s 50 games at shortstop in 2010 with the other three starts going to rising sophomore Austin Haney. Haney was just 2-22 (.091) in 15 games for the Eagles last season but is the only shortstop listed on Morehead St.’s 2011 roster. Rising senior utility man Casey Branham recorded one start at second base in 2010, but could conceivably move over to shortstop if head coach Jay Sorg is confident in his defense. Branham slugged two home runs in game three of the Eagles’ fall blood bowl series.

Newcomers to watch: Freshman infielder Bud Morton batted .395 with a .487 on-base percentage as a junior at West Jessamine High School while primarily playing shortstop. Morton excelled during the fall blood bowl series, highlighted by a three-hit game in game three. Morton stole 36 bases as a senior in high school.

Wildcard: Rising senior Travis Redmon had a strong summer for the Lexington Hustlers after making 46 starts at second base for Morehead St. in 2010. Head coach Jay Sorg could conceivably move Redmon to shortstop if he feels the standout of the Haney, Branham, Morton trio would be better suited defensively at second base.

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