Seth Constable got advice three years ago that may allow him to make a quicker impact than many of South Carolina’s other baseball signees.
The Forsyth Country Day (N.C.) standout played shortstop as a freshman, but first-year coach Andy Partin convinced him prior to his sophomore campaign that he would have a better chance to play collegiately if he moved to the outfield.
At first it was a tough transition, but now he’s gotten comfortable with the view from center field and couldn’t imagine playing elsewhere. It’s the same transition that several USC signees – talented prep shortstop to college outfielder – will likely have to make once they begin practicing next fall with the Gamecocks.
“It’s all worked out for me,” Constable said. “I’m just an outfielder now. I like the outfield a lot more. I feel like my speed [is a bigger benefit] out there, too.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder was drawn to the Gamecocks by fellow USC signee and travel club teammate Mikal Hill. The duo played in a travel league at USC’s Carolina Stadium in the summer after their sophomore year and a USC offer soon materialized for Constable.
Hill, a standout shortstop at Mallard Creek (N.C.), had long been committed to USC and had been slowly convincing Constable that he would be a good fit in Columbia, too. Constable committed to the Gamecocks over North Carolina and Coastal Carolina before ever playing a game as a junior in 2010.
“I lived in Myrtle Beach for seven years,” Constable said. “I grew up there and really like the state. I’m so excited. I’m coming down for summer school, and I’m ready to get started.”
Impact Baseball rates Constable as the No. 1 outfield and No. 9 overall prospect in the state of North Carolina. PG Crosschecker ranks him as the 285th-best prospect nationally.
Constable is hoping to earn early playing time in either center field – assuming that Jackie Bradley Jr. leaves via the MLB Draft – or one of the corner outfield spots.
That may depend on his ability to transition from a high school to a college-level hitter. He doesn’t boast a ton of power, but he’s always on base, where his speed allows him to flourish. He started on Forsyth Country Day’s football team at tailback.
“I focus on trying to hit gap to gap,” said Constable, a leadoff hitter. “I try not to hit that many fly balls, because I’m not really a power guy. I’m a speed guy, trying to put the ball in play and force them to make a play.”