The UMHB baseball team is already well positioned with nearly every starting position player set to return in 2024. But on Friday, the Crusaders added another strong bat to the mix, picking up a commitment from Jayden Chatman, a transfer from Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas.
One of the first things noticed when looking at what Chatman brings to the table is his size paired with exceptional athleticism. He stands at 6-foot, 5-inches, weighs 210 lbs and runs with remarkable speed, having stolen 18 bases for FPC this past spring. And the power behind his swing adds value to any lineup as he posted a .420 slugging percentage in 2023.
A sophomore at FPC who primarily played first base for the Plainsmen, Chatman played in 42 games this past season, hitting .260 with 22 runs batted in and five homers. He demonstrated a good eye at the plate, drawing 27 walks, and his speed should fit well into a UMHB lineup that led the American Southwest Conference in stolen bases this past season, with 106.
Not to mention, Chatman is also sure-handed in the field, having posted a fielding percentage of .966 in 2023 with 157 putouts.
Chatman is the second junior college transfer to commit to UMHB this week. On Tuesday, the Cru secured a commitment from Angelina College infielder Weston Dean. Dean saw action in 22 games this spring for the Roadrunners, hitting .345 in 55 at-bats.
He tallied 14 RBIs and hit his lone home run of the season in a 19-18 win over Bossier Parish Community College on March 22. Dean closed his junior college career with a 6-for-8 performance in a doubleheader sweep of Northeast Texas Community College on April 26.
A infielder whose versatile skill set allows him to play second base, shortstop, or third base, Dean posted a .946 fielding percentage with 28 putouts in 2023.
Both Chatman and Dean come to Belton with two years of remaining college eligibility.