Ole Miss baseball lands in-state pitching commit

Published 11:16 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

Madison Central senior Jacob Payne has pledged his allegiance to the Ole Miss Rebels.

The rising senior and right-handed pitcher is one of the most coveted pitching prospects in the state. Monday night, Payne took to Twitter to announce his commitment to Ole Miss and head coach Mike Bianco.

“I’m excited to announce that I have decided to further my baseball career at Ole Miss,” Payne said, alongside a photo of him posing with Mike Bianco. “I’m thankful for my family, friends and coaches that have helped me along the way.”

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A junior last year at Madison Central High School, Payne went 4-1 as a starter, posting a 1.55 ERA against Mississippi 6A bats. He has a fantastic pitching frame, standing at 6-foot-5 as a 17-year-old, and has a fastball that touches 91 miles per hour.

Payne’s three-pitch mix of a fastball that creeps into the 90s alongside a solid change-up and a mid-80s curveball, projects him as a quality starter in the Ole Miss rotation by the end of his Rebel tenure. He hits as well at Madison Central, but with an average of just .272 last year, it seems like Payne will just throw for the Rebels to start.

Prior to his commitment, the Rebels had the No. 17 recruiting class for the high school class of 2020, according to Perfect Game. The ranks have not updated since his commitment, but the Rebels could jump a few spots. They had the No. 2 recruiting classic 2019, just second to reigning national champion Vanderbilt.