Baseball: Notre Dame’s Danny Hyde pops up on recruiting watch lists

Story Image Notre Dame's Danny Hyde (7) pitches against Carmel May 2, 2012 at in Niles. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media

Updated: July 11, 2012 2:42PM

Notre Dame senior Danny Hyde ran cross country during his junior year and, by the end of the season, had dropped 25 pounds.

Hyde decided not to run cross country this fall, largely because of the effect it had on his body last year, but also because he’s focused entirely on baseball.

Hyde plays baseball, on average, six days a week this summer, splitting his time between the Dons summer team and the Illinois Indians travel club. The incoming senior has also participated in a number of showcase events this summer, including one run by an influential source of exposure for high school baseball players in the Midwest.

Following his appearance at at Prep Baseball Report event, the Dons outfielder was ranked Illinois’ 31st best player for the Class of 2013 on July 6.

“I didn’t think I would get anything out of it, but I was really happy when I found out,” said Hyde.

The majority of the players at the PBR Top Prospect Showcase — where players hit around 10 pitches in the batting cages, ran a 60-yard sprint and showed off their arms by throwing from right field to third base — had participated in at least one previous PBR event. Although it was his first, Hyde knew what scouts were looking for because he had participated in other showcases.

“The first couple I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Hyde, a Chicago resident who primarily plays the outfield. “But then I got a couple under my belt and it was kind of like cruise control from there. You don’t get as nervous and you’re more relaxed.”

Hyde possesses physical tools that set him apart. He stands 6-foot-4 and boasts athleticism that makes sure he stands out on the baseball field.

“He has all of the things you can’t teach,” said Notre Dame coach Nelson Gord. “You can take a good baseball player, a fundamental kid, but there’s only so far you can stretch that. He’s still pretty thin, but he has a little bit of muscle to him. As he matures, his body is going to fill out in all the right places and that’s going to transfer to more of a pro-style feel.”

Aftet playing well in front of the at least 90 college scouts, Hyde hopes to see interest increase from recruiters as the summer continues.

Hyde knows earning a top-35 ranking by Prep Baseball Report has the potential to be a fantastic marketing tool.

“Oh, yeah, I’ll definitely be putting that in the emails that I send out,” said Hyde. “I can notify colleges and let them know that and hopefully that will help me out.”

With his focus now on baseball, Hyde is working out to build up strength. Now that he’s not running cross country, Hyde figures to be better maintain his strength and muscle mass throughout the year.

“Hitting is the biggest thing (I’m focusing on), along with strength,” Hyde said. “At first I started real slow, but right now I’m pretty happy with the way I’m hitting. I’ve been pulling it all together.”

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