Warren Central’s Greene becomes county’s first SEC signee since 2007
Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2017
In two varsity baseball seasons, Warren Central pitcher Aaron Greene has been a little up and down. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but also battled injuries that have limited his time on the mound.
In terms of potential, the former clearly outweighed the latter.
Greene signed his letter of intent to play at Ole Miss on Wednesday, becoming the first Warren County baseball player in a decade to sign with a Southeastern Conference school straight out of high school. The last player to do so was Porter’s Chapel Academy’s Michael Busby, who signed with Mississippi State in 2007.
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“Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to play in the SEC. I always watched it on ESPN and TV. So it’s really cool that I might be able to do that,” Greene said.
Greene is a 6-foot-5 right-hander whose fastball tops out at 94 mph. He has had some shoulder injuries that limited him to just 12 high school games the past two seasons, but Warren Central coach Conner Douglas said his other attributes were more than enough for Ole Miss to chase after him.
Greene committed to the Rebels about a year ago and then signed on the first day high school players were able to do so.
“His velocity and his size, and the upside that he has, and the fact that he can pitch and not just throw hard. He pounds the strike zone,” Douglas said. “And he’s a good kid, with good grades, and a hard worker. He’s a well-rounded player. Not only does he top out at 94, he throws three pitches for strikes. At the high school level, it’s hard to find a polished power arm, which he is.”
Douglas added that Greene has rededicated himself this offseason to get even better.
“He’s got tremendous upside. He’s hit the weight room this offseason and gained probably seven or eight pounds just since August,” Douglas said. “I think that’s where he was lacking, was in strength. I can see his velocity getting better and better each year, and not stopping at 94.”
Greene wasn’t the only Warren Central player to sign a scholarship offer sheet on Wednesday. His teammates D.J. Lewis and Landan Stewart both signed with Southwest Mississippi Community College.
Lewis and Stewart are both outfielders. The center fielder Lewis hit .330 with six doubles, 27 RBIs and 30 runs scored last season. Stewart, the Vikings’ right fielder, hit .294 with five doubles, 21 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
“They told me they’re losing a couple of outfielders next year and I had a chance to play right away. He told me they needed some speed and a centerfielder, so that was a big boost to my decision,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty special and I’m really happy.”
Stewart was also excited about the chance to continue his baseball career.
“I just like the coaches and they liked me. They stress a lot about school, too, which is important to me. I like the field, I like the facilities, and feel like it’s the right spot for me,” Stewart said. “I’ve been working hard to just play for the next few years, and it paid off. I’m real excited to get it going.”
Lewis and Stewart weren’t a package deal, but Douglas said he was happy to send two of his players to the same place.
“I’m tickled pink for them. They’ve been in our lineup for the last four years. Landan’s been around since he was a ninth-grader and been in our lineup every game. They’ve filled out our lineup for three years now and they’re the kind of guys you want to build your team around,” Douglas said. “When the coach called, I told him, ‘You’ve got two of your three outfielders for the next two years.’ They play well together, they communicate well during the game, and there’s just a brotherhood and a family that they’ve developed. They’ll carry on to the next level.”