#3 - Thomas Dillard
Here is a first: A player on the Senior Dandy Dozen that has yet to play one out or one second for Oxford.
Thomas Dillard is a transfer from Briarcrest, Tenn. which is near Cordova, a suburb of Memphis along I-40. He is ranked as the 15th best prospect according to Perfect Game and, yes, he is another Ole Miss commit for their Baseball program. He plays Catcher, which is a perfect fit for the departing Jack McClure to enter into the lineup and defensively. Dillard may also see limited time on the mound this year as well.
Dillard is a switch-hitter, which means he can bat from either side of the plate effectively. Normally a batter would be more advantageous to bat left-handed against a right-handed pitcher and bat right against a left-handed pitcher. (but the batter doesn't always have to go and bat that way) The reason for that is that on breaking pitches, the ball usually falls away to the pitcher's left if right-handed, and right if left-handed, so the batter doesn't have to reach for a pitch if the batter thinks the pitch will be in the strike zone. Also, the batter can see the ball just a little bit longer coming from the pitcher.
Dillard, like Jason Barber, can hit home runs a lot more often than many other players for the Chargers, which makes Dillard one of the most dangerous hitters to pitch to in high school. Although no stats were posted on Briarcrest's Maxpreps page (they don't even have a roster listed), just by searching his name on Twitter, he hit several home runs (including a multi-HR game), had a high average, and even posted a walk-off hit for the Saints last year that went 25-13 on the season. His build backs up his hitting. Someone at one of his games last year clocked his bat speed at 107 MPH.
Dillard has proven to be an elite baseball player. He made the "Stripes" team with Barber when they went to tryout for the USA Baseball team. Dillard made an alternate selection after tryouts that were held in North Carolina. Next week, he will fly out to Long Beach, Cali. to play in the "Area Code" games. Odds are that MLB scouts will be attending that week-long tournament that starts Tuesday. There shouldn't be a doubt that he will make the Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen when it comes out in January-February.
Although Oxford loses McClure, there are still plenty of dangerous hitters that will be around Dillard. Barber and Ben Bianco are likely to be behind him in the lineup who both have power and can barrel up balls.