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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kimball signs to play for Arkansas State

Sunday, June 25, 2006

(Photo)
New Madrid County Central's Jordan Kimball
NEW MADRID -- For the last three years, New Madrid County Central's Jordan Kimball has been known as one of the top pitchers in the area.

But it's his middle infield defense and lively arm that caught the attention of Arkansas State University coaches.

Kimball, a 2006 graduate, will continue his playing baseball playing at ASU next season.

"They recruited me pretty heavy," said Kimball. "When I went for my visit I really liked the campus, the field and the coaches. Being close to home was a big factor. I didn't want to go too far and I wanted to go somewhere where I think I could play."

Kimball, a wiry 6-foot, 160-pounder says he expects to play shortstop or even second base. But he said he might do some middle relief pitching if the team needs him.

NMCC assistant coach Joseph McClarty thinks Kimball can step in and play immediately for the Indians.

"He's a very, very talented young man," said McClarty. "He's got a lot of God-

given ability, but he's taken that ability and worked really hard to turn himself into a great all-around baseball player. He's got a cannon for an arm, we all know that. But he's worked hard to keep that arm strong.

"He really knows the game. He knows situations, he knows what to do with the baseball when it's hit to him. He's a team leader. He helps out the other guys and he's a great guy to have in practice."

Kimball batted .347 with 21 runs scored, two doubles and three triples this past season for NMCC's 9-9 team.

On the mound, Kimball went 1-1 with a 1.91 earned run average in 25 2/3 innings while striking out 36.

Kimball said he was clocked at 87 miles per hour on his fastball when he was a sophomore, but he hasn't been clocked since.

But he doesn't expect to pitch much in college. He's more worried about other areas of his game.

"There's a lot I should work on, my hitting especially," said Kimball. "I need to be quicker fielding the ball and getting it to first. I don't look for power, I just try to shoot the gaps. I think I've got pretty good range in the field. If I pitch, I just have to hit my spots at the next level."

In addition to improving his hitting, McClarty also said he thinks Kimball has the ability to play some outfield for the Indians.

"He still needs to improve on his hitting I believe," said McClarty. "He could get stronger in the hitting area and also I'd like to see him maybe play a little outfield. To me he'd be a hell of a centerfielder. He can play up the middle or anywhere in the outfield. I believe Jordan will fit in well with his work ethic and his ability to play baseball."

As for his post-college career, Kimball just hopes to latch on with some professional team.

"I just want to have a good college career and try to play at the next level -- any kind of pro ball," he said.