Prep Baseball Report

Fagnant Continues Family Tradition In The Sport Of Baseball

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Fagnant Continues Family Tradition In The Sport Of Baseball

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James Fagnant SS / RHP / East Granby , CT / 2024

James Fagnant EAST GRANBY, Ct. - So how long has James Fagnant wanted to play college baseball?

“Since I was born,” the 17-year-old from East Granby said. “I always knew baseball was what I wanted to do. Both my older brothers played college baseball, my dad played pro baseball and my mom played Division I softball. It runs in the family. We just love the game and I knew I would follow in their footsteps.”

A commitment to Richmond does just that for the 12th-rated 2024 shortstop in New England.

“I’m so proud of myself and they’re all so proud of me,” Fagnant related. “It was stressful late junior summer, I thought I was doing all the right things and nothing was happening. But they helped me persevere and now I’m happy to be the next in the family to play college sports.”

Initially, Fagnant was checking out colleges closer to home.

“I wanted a good academic school and we were looking at schools in the northeast, but my recruitment wasn’t working well,” Fagnant reflected. “My dad, who’s a Red Sox scout in the northeast region, knows most colleges and he mentioned Richmond. He said I should send them an email and go to a camp there. I ended up loving the place.”

The East Granby High School senior went to a camp in the winter of his sophomore year which began a long recruiting process with the university located eight hours from home.

“I did well but they weren’t ready to offer me yet,” the 18th-ranked senior in Connecticut noted. “I stayed in communication, (hitting) coach (Collin) Radack specifically, and sophomore summer went to the Future Games where they saw me again. Then I went to the Underclass Games that year, so I was on their radar.

“But junior summer they were falling down my list, I hadn’t heard from them. Then their coach retired and I heard from the new coach. That summer I did some big tournaments like the PBR Nationals, Area Code Games and East Coast Pro and got an offer from coach (Mik) Aoki,” Fagnant continued, in reference to the head coach at Richmond. “I was ready to commit but I wanted to go on a visit. I went a week later and the campus is gorgeous. I love the place. Two weeks later I committed.”

The fifth-rated 2024 shortstop in Connecticut, admittedly, thought he would have more interest at the time.

“It was surprising for me, I had no offers until last summer,” Fagnant said. “Richmond was the first offer, then I got an offer from Brown. But I just knew in my heart when I got to Richmond I knew it was where I wanted to be.”

It brought an end to a recruiting process that had a lot of assistance.

“PBR was definitely a huge help, especially the Future Games with Team Connecticut,” Fagnant noted. “Trevor Brown (PBR Connecticut Director of Scouting) is a blessing to have in the area. I’ve done a lot of cool baseball things but that was the coolest I’ve done. I show up and 300 college coaches are there. Playing in that environment not only was special, but it prepared me for bigger moments ahead in life.

“During the winter I was invited to the PBR Procase and played in front of scouts with the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees. I did well and that helped me get invited to the Area Code Games and East Coast Pro. I’m not sure where I’d be without PBR.”

Improvement also proved beneficial for the 50th-ranked senior in New England.

“I’ve never been the most physically imposing,” explained the 5-8 175-pounder. “One of the facets that held me back was my speed and explosiveness. I’ve worked at that and my strength and base running helped me this summer. My 60 time is better and my instincts on the bases are better. That’s an area of my game that’s really improved.”

It has Fagnant excited about what he can bring at the next level to the Atlantic 10 Conference program.
“I’m very confident my bat will play there immediately,” pointed out the left-handed hitter, who will be looked at position-wise at second base or corner outfield by Richmond. “Defensively I’ll bring a solid player, but I know I can contribute offensively right away.”

The salutatorian in his class with a 4.5 GPA, Fagnant is leaning toward business as a college major while looking forward to what is to come.

“One of the simple things I like about it is that Virginia definitely has better weather than Connecticut,” Fagnant concluded. “I’m also looking forward to making friends with the guys and traveling across the country. Seeing my brothers (Christian, a 2019 draft pick of the Orioles who instead went on to play at Massachusetts-Amherst, and Matthew who plays at Marywood University in Pennsylvania) go through that and my dad, I look forward to all of that.”

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