FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Fairhope baseball players Keaton Fuller and Beau Priester signed Nov. 14. Both pitchers, lefthanded Priester is headed to Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City and righthanded Fuller is booked for Troy University
FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Fairhope baseball players Keaton Fuller and Beau Priester signed Nov. 14. Both pitchers, lefthanded Priester is headed to Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City and righthanded Fuller is booked for Troy University.
Fuller, the son of Pirates head coach Stu Fuller said growing up watching his older brother (Peyton) play for their dad and later at Troy (2013-15) made signing with the Trojans a good fit.
“The coaching staff always made me feel welcome,” Keaton said. “I am so blessed to have this opportunity. And, I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff.”
Fuller earned a 9-3 career record and had four saves for the Pirates on the mound with a career ERA of 2.17 in 74 and-a-third innings over four varsity seasons.
Troy head coach Mark Smartt said he was on their recruitment radar early.
“Keaton emerged three years ago on our radar in our recruiting process,” Smartt said. “What stood out is his ability to throw strikes at a high rate with an above average fast ball. He has a great feel for all three pitches and his competitiveness is something that translates well to what we are looking for on the mound. Keaton is a winner that will impact our roster early in his career.”
Troy pitching coach Matt Hancock added that the staff is excited about adding Keaton.
“He is a very competitive and intelligent kid who has made a lot of strides throughout his career,” Hancock said. “His athletic frame projects well and we feel his best days are still ahead of him on the mound.”
Troy recruiting coordinator Shane Gierke said that Keaton, "Grew up at Riddle Pace Field. And it's pretty cool that he will wear our jersey as he starts his college career."
Coach Fuller added how proud he is of his son saying, “Between the amount of work he has put in coupled with summers with Excel Baseball, Keaton is most deserving.”
PRIESTER SIGNS WITH CENTRAL ALABAMA TROJANS
Priester joined the Pirates in 2018 and by the premature ending of the 2020 season had compiled a 5-3 record over 73 innings in 25 appearances.
“Beau deserves this opportunity to play at the next level,” Coach Fuller said. “He has worked so hard to improve his skill set. He has had a great fall and we look for big things from him this spring.”
Priester said he chose the Central Alabama Trojans for their coaching staff and pitching program under head coach Larry Thomas.
“I wanted to go there to improve my skills before going to a major level school for baseball. I am really happy with my decision to go to Central and excited for what is to come.”
The 6-foot, 3-inch lefty had multiple full-ride offers including from: United States Military Academy at West Point (D1), Springhill College (D2), Berry College (D3) as well as other JuCo programs and on-going interest from D1 through NAIA levels.
Thomas said that when he first noticed Priester he saw a lot of potential right away.
“He reminded me a Tommy Glavine style pitcher - and knowing he was going to grow and get stronger and better - I thought he could be a good fit and a great asset for us.”
A former MLB lefty himself, Thomas (drafted by the White Sox in 1991) said junior college would offer Priester more innings of work right off the bat.
“I did see a lot of myself in him in the way he controls the game and thought I could be a guide, a tutor. And, of course he will see a lot more playing time in real game action than he might in the first two years of a four-year program.”
Priester said working with his pitching coach, (Will Rankin) has also helped him focus on location, movement and mechanics for arm health. His velocity is also increasing with continued fall workouts hitting 88 MPR on the gun. He added that by choosing a JuCo program, it allows him to keep developing and also immediately play in a highly competitive environment.
Learn more about the CACC and Troy Trojans online. Visit CACC.edu or TroyTrojans.com.