Nathan Shelton is a 6-foot-2, left-handed pitcher that has recorded a fastball as high as 91 miles per hour according to Perfect Game, and done it all before his senior year of high school. He’s a valuable prospect.
One school valued him more than most: Alabama.
“They recruited me the hardest, they wanted me more than anybody else,” Shelton said.
Louisiana-Lafayette and Samford also courted Shelton, but he thought it was obvious UA wanted him most. The Tuscaloosa product (American Christian Academy) committed to UA last week.
“He’s a kid that doesn’t come along very often,” ACA baseball coach Del Howell said. “He’s a left-handed kid who throws hard, has offspeed stuff and has the mind-set to be a pitcher. Nothing affects him. He wants the ball every day. He’s a bulldog out there.
“You tell him to work on this, he works on it. He doesn’t tell you he understands it and goes to work on something else.”
Shelton said the most influential part of UA’s pitch to him was the prospect of future success, a pitch made easier after a 16-1 start to the 2020 season that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He just wants to go somewhere where he’s going to win,” Howell said.
Shelton’s teammate at ACA, Hunter Sute, committed to UA in June. Both are members of the 2021 class.
Including Shelton and two commitments from junior college — pitcher Hunter Ruth on Friday and hitter Will Patota on Monday — makes nine pledges to UA baseball since June 1, members of the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 classes.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson