"Both Ben and C.C. have a chance to be dual-position players at Mississippi State," said first-year MSU head coach John Cohen. "They are part of a talented class of pitchers coming out of the Alabama high school ranks this year. And the addition of Wesley Thigpen, a highly-skilled catcher from MCC, strengthens us behind the plate."
MSU has now announced nine baseball signees in the first three days of the week-long November signing period for baseball, which runs through Nov. 19.
Ben Bracewell, RHP, 6-0, 180, R-R, Chelsea, Ala. (Briarwood Christian School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starting pitcher and middle infielder at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham … Coached by Lee Hall … Also a three-year letterman for the BCS Lions football team … named to Briarwood Christian's A-B Honor Roll … Notched a 5-3 record with two saves and an 0.86 earned run average en route to honorable mention Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State honors as a junior … Struck out 96 in 65-1/3 innings … At the plate registered a .421 batting average with a team-best 48 hits and 21 stolen bases … Honorable mention Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger High School All-American … Birmingham-News All-Metro team selection … Also tabbed 2008 Shelby County Reporter Player of the Year and Birmingham-News Pitcher of the Year for Shelby County … Named to the AHSAA North/South All-Star and the Alabama East/West All-Star teams … As a sophomore in 2007 hit .370 with 29 stolen bases and a 6-3 pitching mark with a staff-leading 1.61 ERA … Will enter his senior campaign in 2009 with a school-record 1.56 career earned run average and 180 strikeouts.
PERSONAL: Born Benjamin Albert Bracewell on September 19, 1990 in Birmingham, Ala. … Son of Christine and Al Bracewell of Chelsea, Ala.
COHEN ON BRACEWELL: "Ben is another dual-position guy as a shortstop and a right-handed pitcher. He's an athletic pitcher with a very good arm and a feel for a very good curve ball."
Wesley Thigpen, C, 6-0, 195, R-R, Luling, La. (Hahnville High School/Meridian CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: An All-MACJC selection as a freshman catcher and corner infielder at Meridian (Miss.) Community College in 2008 … Coached by Chris Rose … Hit .370 with 17 extra-base hits, including six home runs … Serves as team captain for 2008-09 … Caught all 55 games and threw out 85 percent of the opponents attempting stolen bases … Among six MCC players to six with NCAA Division I programs … Phi Theta Kappa honor society member at MCC.
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year starter as a catcher and first baseman at Hahnville HS in Boutte, La. … Hit .417 and drove in 47 runs with 23 extra-base hits and eight stolen bases in nine attempts as a senior … An honorable mention Class 5A all-state selection by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association … Also earned all-district, all-parish and coaches all-state honors … Hit .380 with 38 RBI as a junior in 2006, earning all-state, all-district and all-parish accolades … Member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society … Played summer league baseball for coach Chris Wescott with Bill Hood Baseball in 2007 and 2008.
PERSONAL: Born Wesley Joseph. Thigpen on June 20, 1989 in Kenner, La. … Son of Sarah and Billy Thigpen of Luling, La.
COHEN ON THIGPEN: "Wesley has a chance to be a dominant defensive catcher. His ability to receive and throw the baseball and his leadership skills make him a very important part of this recruiting class."
C.C. Watson, LHP, 6-0, 190, L-L, Heflin, Ala. (Cleburne County High School)
HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year starter as a pitcher and outfielder at Cleburne (Ala.) County HS … Coached by Vaughn Lee … Accorded first-team Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State honors as a junior … Southpaw who compiled a 7-1 record with a 1.98 earned run average in 2008 … Registered 97 strikeouts and walked 16 in 43 innings … Also hit .365 with 24 RBI, 19 extra-base hits and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts … All-conference selection, team MVP and Anniston Star's Area Player of the Year … Earned North squad MVP honors at the 2008 North/South All-Star Game played in Huntsville, Ala. … Also earned all-conference, all-state and team MVP honors as a sophomore… Hit .419 with 13 stolen bases and compiled an 8-3 pitching mark with three saves, 108 strikeouts and a 2.20 ERA in 2007 … During his four-year prep career at has compiled a 21-5 record with seven saves and 306 strikeouts … Four-year member and past team captain of the Tigers' football team … Honor student at Cleburne County HS … Played summer league baseball in 2008 for the Excel Blue Wave, where he was coached by Josh Beshears and former MSU infielder Steve Gendron.
PERSONAL: Born Charles Clellon Watson on September 18, 1990 in Anniston, Ala.. … Son of Lisa and Robert Watson of Heflin, Ala.
COHEN ON WATSON: "C.C. has got a chance to be a two-way guy for us. He's got an explosive type of arm and a second pitch that will enable him to compete on the mound at a high level in our league."