MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BVM) — Grayson Saunier grew up as a three–sport athlete playing baseball, basketball and football. But nothing stood out like all of the small intricacies in America’s favorite pastime.
“I just liked the feeling of wearing the uniform,” Saunier said. “I liked the sound of the ball hitting the mitt and the bat hitting the ball. All of the sights and sounds of baseball. That’s how I fell in love with it.”
Saunier was tall, but pretty thin growing up, so he was not sure how long he’d get to play. But that changed in a year’s span when his fastball velocity shot up from the 78-80 mph range to 91 mph.
“Until I made that jump throwing-wise, baseball was more of just a fun thing for me,” Saunier said. “After that, I was like, ‘Okay, maybe I can go pretty far with this.’”
With his fastball gaining some heat, along with his slider that he locates to a tee, Saunier skyrocketed up prospect rankings.
Now a senior at Collierville High School in Memphis, Tennessee, Saunier is the consensus top player in the state for the Class of 2022.
Once Saunier was done filling out into his 6-foot-4 frame, colleges across the country ramped up their pursuit of the righthander out of the Volunteer State.
“It was really cool getting to call schools and having coaches talk to you,” Saunier said. “I got to learn a lot about different colleges, different programs and what they’re all about.”
Ultimately, Saunier fell in love with the coaching staff, campus and the overall pedigree of the baseball program in Oxford.
“The end goal is MLB, so I wanted to go somewhere that had a history of producing pitchers that have been drafted,” Saunier said. “Ole Miss has produced a good deal of pitchers over the past 20 years, 10 years, that have gotten drafted. And some big names.”
While Saunier was impressing the Rebels’ coaching staff, he was also drawing the attention of big–league scouts. According to MLB Pipeline, he is the No. 144 prospect in this summer’s upcoming draft.
Saunier will likely have a decision to make between going to Oxford or starting his minor league journey.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Saunier said. “It’s my senior year and I just graduated. I’ve just been trying to stay present in life right now, enjoy the moment, and enjoy my last year of high school baseball. I think the best thing to do is let everything take care of itself.”
With Saunier looking to leave the Dragons program with a bang, he was sidelined a month prior to the start of his senior season with a lat strain.
Thankfully he was able to return in early April, giving him enough time to build his arm back up for Collierville’s ongoing run at a state title.
Whenever the Dragons’ postseason comes to an end, Saunier can focus on his next goal: making it to the show.
“MLB is the main goal whether it is this year or a couple of years down the road,” Saunier said. “I just want to keep getting better at baseball and see where God takes me.”