In-state 2018 LHP commits to A&M

The surname is known to the faithful and where he comes from is likewise familiar. Jonathan Childress, a sophomore lefthander from Forney, Texas (HS) announced via Twitter Saturday night his commitment to Texas A&M, providing Rob Childress and his coaching staff a high-ceiling-southpaw to their 2018 recruiting class.

“I just loved the coaching staff, the fan base and the campus is beautiful,” Childress told D1Baseball the morning after his commitment. “What stood out is that I really felt at home from the moment I got there.”

Though no relation to his future head coach, there was an established tie between the lefty and A&M. Childress is the second player to commit to the Southeastern Conference program from Forney High School on the heels of righty and classmate Mason Englert. The bond between two 6-foot-4 pitchers, also summer teammates for the North Texas Banditos, have helped create a strong foundation for the Aggie 2018 recruiting class.

“It obviously did a little,” Childress said of whether or not Englert’s prior commitment help influence his. “He’s been my best friend since 7th grade.”

While Englert’s commitment may have helped Texas A&M’s chances in recruiting Childress, the lefty standout is recruit worthy of a full-on recruitment in his own right.

With fastball velocity presently in the mid-80s, Childress pairs it with an advanced feel. From a long and lanky frame, Childress attacks down in the zone and can flash a sharp curveball. With the mix of stuff, pitchability and physical presence, Childress received a high honor this summer.

Advancing through the team trials, Childress was one of 20 players to suit up for USA Baseball’s 15U National Team, the gold medal winners in the COPABE “AA” Pan American Championships. Appearing in two games, Childress made one start and saved another contest, totaling 3.2 innings for the tournament victors, conceding three runs while striking out three and walking four.

Speaking to his projection, 15U National Team assistant coach Mike Strickland, says as Childress matures and his understanding of pitching continues to develop, he’ll be tough to hit, working from a tough arm slot.

With three seasons of high school and summer ball left before he steps foot on the College Station campus, there is still plenty of time for Childress to firm the finer points of pitching. In the meanwhile the Aggies have planted another flag in Forney, almost three hours due north, creating a pipeline of promise.

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