Prep Baseball Report

STORY: 2019 3B/1B Anderson Acinger (Plano HS)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Texas Writer

PLANO, TX - There were talks with Division I schools and the intent for the future still involves Division I college baseball. But junior college is the immediate plan.

Anderson Acinger recently made it official with a commitment to North Central Texas Junior College.

“The junior college route is a really good option for me,” the junior at Plano Senior said. “I can develop mentally and physically. It’s going to be great.”

The decision came after participating in a camp at the JUCO in Gainesville.

“Coach (Phil) Berndsen contacted me on twitter and invited me to a camp,” Acinger explained. “Before that I was talking with Arkansas and Texas Tech, but it just felt like home there. After that, he came and watched one of our games and offered.”

Much of the interest in the 6-0 195-pound right-handed hitter comes at the plate.

“They really liked my power and my ability to hit,” Acinger said. “They said they knew I would develop on defense because they said I had soft hands. They feel they can put me anywhere and my bat will produce.”

First and third base are the most likely positions, but Acinger can also catch.

“I’m their go-to guy,” Acinger said. “They have two freshmen there now that will graduate (when Acinger arrives on campus) and they have nobody in the 2018 class recruited at first or third.”

The thought is that will open the door for the 102nd-ranked junior in the state, something also done on the recruiting trail by Prep Baseball Report.

“PBR really helped me, especially coach Toby (Bicknell, PBR Texas scouting director),” Acinger said. “He really spread the word about me. Then in the summer at Tomball they made a great video of me.”

Long-time hitting coach Glen Paramore is another Acinger credits.

“He’s worked with me since I was 12, every single week for six years,” Acinger said. “He’s been a huge part of my success. He’s 74 and looks like he has the arm of a 30-year-old. He’s been a big mentor in my life.”

It has helped Acinger obtain something sought since he was young.

“College baseball has been a dream of mine since I was about four,” Acinger noted. “I’ve always wanted to be a pro athlete and this is a step on the road. I’ve always been confident and want to show everyone I’m the best on the field. My parents were committed to helping and I knew if I kept working and grinding it could happen.”

The hard work has brought about improvement for Acinger.

“I’ve really gotten quicker and my arm strength has picked up,” Acinger explained. “I’m also a lot more relaxed at the plate and just letting the ball travel.

“But I need to improve my lateral quickness, that will help me at third base. I also need to continue to improve my arm strength which will be vital at third.”

A 3.6 student with plans to major in business or dermatology, Acinger enjoyed a recruiting process that included former Arkansas assistant coach Tony Vitello, now head coach at Tennessee, witness two home runs in the same game.

“It went like I thought,” Acinger said about his recruitment. “I knew it would be tough getting my name out there so I tried to go to plenty of college camps.”

Showcases are still part of a future Acinger looks forward to with senior year in high school not far away.

“I’m going to a PBR showcase in June in Prestonwood and a junior combine in San Marcos,” said Acinger, who will play for Academy Select Hayes 17U team this summer. “I can’t wait for the summer tournaments, it’s going to be fun.”

It is just the start of what Acinger hopes is a bright future.

“I know a lot of people want to go D-I, and so do I,” Acinger said. “But I want to get my reps in and that will happen the junior college route. It’s a good opportunity for me to show what’ I’ve got. I’ll also be draft eligible freshman, sophomore and senior years, I don’t have to wait three years.”

There is still more out there that Acinger hopes to accomplish.

“The next couple years I want to get good grades and improve on my game,” Acinger said. “I plan to work 110 percent more than everyone else and show coaches at the D-I level I can move up. After that I want to get drafted, it’s always been a dream of mine to play MLB. My dad says the cream rises to the top. I think it’s gonna be a fun ride.”

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