This story originally appeared in the April issue of ESPNHS Magazine.
It’s not easy being a high school baseball phenom from Massachusetts.
As BB&N's Rhett Wiseman can attest, he has to face obstacles that players from other parts of the country don’t have to deal with.
“It’s really tough being from New England because we only play 17 to 20 games per season,” says Wiseman. “That’s only 60 at-bats. Compared to out west and down south where they get over 200 at-bats per year, it’s a disadvantage for Northeast guys.”
Wiseman makes up for it by playing as much as he can during the offseason. And that approach has paid off for the senior outfielder, as he’s developed an elite all-around game that’s already drawing attention from MLB teams. He is rated the No. 41 player in the Class of 2012 by ESPN.
“Rhett is a complete player,” says BB&N coach Rick Foresteire. “His bat is what the scouts love. He can really hit, and he’s got pop.”
Last season, his smooth left-handed swing produced a .447 average and 11 home runs. Wiseman also has elite speed, which may be his most impressive skill. He stole 29 bases as a junior, and his legs help him cover an enormous amount of ground on defense. The center fielder drew raves for his glovework at last summer’s Area Code Games, one of the many events Wiseman attended while trying to log as many innings as the good-weather players from Cali and Florida.
“The Area Code Games were great, and the Aflac All-American Game was amazing,” says Wiseman. “It was good experience, and it gave people a chance to see me against top talent. We’ve had 26 major league teams over to the house, and I’ve spoken to every team. This offseason has been a whirlwind, but it’s really exciting and it’s been really fun.”
A potential first-round pick in June’s MLB draft, Wiseman has signed to play at Vanderbilt next year.
Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).