By the time the 2013 high school baseball season rolls around, Farragut could have, at least, six Division I signees.
The Admirals are halfway there.
Outfielder Anthony El Chibani became the third Farragut senior committed to a Division I program, picking Tennessee Tech on Tuesday night.
Outfielder Cameron “Jammer” Strickland is a Tennessee commitment. Second baseman Nick Senzel committed July 5 to Georgia.
Pitchers Kyle Serrano — son of Tennessee baseball coachDave Serrano — and Eric Freeman and first baseman David Logan are also Division I prospects.
“Growing up, we’ve always talked about playing Division I baseball,” El Chibani said Wednesday. “It’s really an awesome thing to be able to do this all together.
“Hopefully, we can finish out strong — this might be the last time a lot of us play together — and win a state championship.”
Chibani also was being evaluated by Tennessee and East Tennessee State. But early playing time and a connection with the campus and coaches at Tennessee Tech outweighed the risk of waiting for a Tennessee or ETSU offer.
“I’m really glad about it and excited about it, too,” said El Chibani of his commitment. “There was really a homey feeling. It wasn’t, like, overwhelming or anything like that when I went there. The coaches are really cool. They have some young coaches. I can relate to them.
“I just felt really comfortable there, and they told me I had a chance to start my freshman year.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound El Chibani batted .330 with 14 RBIs and 22 stolen bases as a sophomore in 2011. He made the spectacular catch in left field that made the final out and preserved Farragut’s combined no-hitter in the 2011 Class AAA championship game.
“Anthony is an extremely athletic left-handed hitting outfielder with a big body — and a ton of potential,” said Farragut coach Matt Buckner.
El Chibani missed his junior season for disciplinary reasons but has since been reinstated to the team. Missing the season was humbling and a learning experience, he said.
“It was really tough,” said El Chibani. “I just kept working hard. I went to all the games and supported the guys. I went to (the) state (tournament) and stayed there and just kept supporting them. I didn’t want to act like it was about me. It was about the team. I love those guys. They’re all my best friends.
“I learned a lot from it. I’m glad it happened.”
Losing a season of baseball, El Chibani said, actually strengthened his devotion to the game.
“Honestly, getting suspended and not being able to play this year, I don’t think I would be as committed as I am now,” he said. “It helped me work a lot on my swing and get better. That’s something I’ve always tried to do is work harder than everyone else.”