Even at 6-foot-6 and 185 pounds, there is still untapped potential in the hard-throwing right arm of Belleville East graduate Alex Siddle.
The main beneficiary could be Southeast Missouri State, the Division I school where Siddle has chosen to continue his education and baseball career. He also had interest from Division II St. Joseph's in Indiana and several other schools.
"I wanted to go Division I and I was talking to St. Joe's and they offered me, too," Siddle said. "I had a lot of offers from junior colleges as well."
When the SEMO coaching staff told Siddle he would have a chance to compete for a weekend starting rotation spot as a freshman, Siddle was hooked.
"That kind of caught me right there," he said. "I sat on it a little bit, I played some pros and cons with going to SEMO. I had a lot of pros, so that proved to be the right place for me."
Another East graduate, shortstop Austin Bartle, signed with St. Joseph's and was likely hoping his Lancer teammate might join him there.
Siddle is one 25 metro-east seniors chosen to play at the PNC Bank High School Showcase baseball all-star game Monday at Busch Stadium.
He is going as a first baseman thanks to a strong hitting season, but his pitching numbers were also solid.
Siddle was second behind East outfielder Marty Brunk in hitting this spring, carrying a .343 average. Siddle led the Lancers in doubles (10), home runs (three) and RBIs (28).
As a pitcher, Siddle was 6-4 with a 1.93 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.
Siddle said SEMO has left the door open to playing a position, but pitching is the top priority for now.
"If I can play both that would be awesome, but I'll do pitching for sure," Siddle said. "It's going to be hard to put down a bat."
He hit .390 as a junior with eight doubles, one homer and 15 RBIs. His junior pitching statistics included a 5-3 record and 68 strikeouts in 55 innings.
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at email@example.com or 239-2454.