By (Cody Estremera)

Coming into the season there were a lot of new faces on the Alabama baseball team. There was a new coaching staff, nine freshman and four transfers. When the team took the field against Presbyterian for the first game of the year, two new players were in the starting lineup: Hunter Alexander and Kyle Kaufman. Since that time Alexander has been an everyday starter and a middle of the order hitter for the Crimson Tide.

Offensively Alexander has been one of the more consistent batters in the Alabama lineup. He is batting .286 on the season, which is seventh on the team, and has 17 RBI, which is tied for second. He has recorded five multi-RBI games, which leads the team and has eight multi-hit games, which is ranked fourth on the team.

He has also shown his power with a .429 slugging percentage, which is third among starters, and a pair of home runs, with one going out of the stadium and landing in a parking lot across the street from left field.

“I’ve been really pleased with Hunter,” head coach Greg Goff said. “We moved him to the outfield, and he was taking fly balls on his own last Monday. He’s just a team player, high character guy, high energy guy. For us to keep having a chance to win series and win games he’s definitely a guy that has to produce for us in the middle of the order.”

When Alexander comes up to bat there is something different from every other batter in the Alabama lineup: he doesn’t wear batting gloves.

“Every once in awhile, you get those hard nose guys, or those guys who think they’re hard nosed,” Goff said. “You don’t see it very often. Kids as soon as they turn six years old, their parents put batting gloves on them. All the way up they are using batting gloves, and I respect it and I like it. I like those tough guys.”

Alexander is one of those tough guys. He played varsity football in three of his four years in high school. He attended Clay High School in Florida, which is ranked as one of the best states for high school football by 247Sports Composite rankings.

Through the first 21 games, Alexander was the starting first baseman, but Goff wanted to get both Tanner DeVinny and Kaufman in the order at the same time. Since then, DeVinny has been the starting designated hitter, Kaufman the starting catcher, Cody Henry moved from the designated hitter to first base, moving Alexander to right field.

“I’m still trying to get used to it,” Alexander said. “I haven’t played outfield since I was in high school. So playing these past four games, I’m still trying to get used to it. I had a bad read in the game yesterday [game three against South Carolina], and that cost us a double. I’m just trying to get used to seeing the ball off the bat, and all that comes with practice.”

Alexander made his way to Tuscaloosa from St. John’s River Community College. There he earned second team All-Conference honors, his freshman year and honorable mention All-Conference honors his sophomore season. Before he attended St. John’s River, he attended the University of Florida.

From there he was recruited by former head coach Mitch Gaspard to come to the Capstone.

“I’ve been an Alabama fan since I was a little kid, and my parents are both from Alabama,” Alexander said. “When I transferred from the University of Florida to my junior college, I knew I wanted to go back to the SEC, and I wanted to come here. It was a no-brainer when they offered me.”

Alexander and the rest of the Crimson Tide take on No. 20 Arkansas on Friday. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Arkansas leads the SEC and is ranked No. 8 in the country in home runs with 36.

“They have a tremendous offense,” Goff said. “[Arkansas has] guys that can hit it out of the park. We need to limit these walks we’ve had. We have to pitch, play defense and have more timely hitting than we’ve had.”

…read more

Source:: The Crimson White Sports