Braden Booth of Bob Jones is regarded as one of the top players in Alabama and the nation and will soon exit the program upon graduation and move to the next chapter in his pursuit of playing Major League Baseball. Photo- Rachel Pearl

Braden Booth’s Final Chapter Of Prep Baseball

MADISON- As the 2024 high school baseball season winds down for the No. 1 ranked Bob Jones Patriots, so is the career of senior Braden Booth. The multi-talented Mississippi State signee will soon leave the confines of the artificial turf field of the Patriots with memories of providing one of the most storied years in the program’s history.

Booth’s exit will complete a trek that began at Palmer Park at age four. The All-Star youth player also suited up and played both football and hockey, but finally gave up the use of his football helmet and his hockey stick to make way for his total concentration and efforts in what has been a marvelous decade and a half of baseball.

“I feel like I’m just another player at Bob Jones with hopes of playing at the next level,” said Booth of his leaving a legacy of excellence.

Bob Jones baseball program Jared Smith, in his ninth season at the helm of the Patriots, has seen more than his share of stupendous baseball talent come through the program with many of the players receiving star-studded style-treatment for their tremendous baseball talents. As for Booth, Smith is quick to point out, “Braden is certainly among the top five players in our long list of good players since I’ve been here. In my opinion, he should be named Pitcher of the Year in Alabama and be named Mr. Baseball, neither of those awards have we won here at Bob Jones. He’s the hardest working player we have and has grown as a leader on the team and is a great example for others to follow for years to come.”

Booth’s statistics don’t lie. He’s nearly a one-man wrecking crew pitching and playing shortstop. Heading into the current post-season playoffs versus the Sparkman Senators, Booth is 10-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 93 strikeouts over 60 innings. At the plate, he’s batting .411 with 39 RBIs and six homers. His numbers are even more impressive when it comes to four years with the Patriots. He recently set school records for most career wins, 24, and innings pitcher with 200. Since arriving on the varsity squad as a freshman, Booth has a 2.20 ERA and 250 strikeouts with an overall record of 24-5 and one save.

“We use a new headset to communicate with the catcher and earlier this season I didn’t even have to get with the catcher and help call pitches as Braden tossed two no-hitters,” said Smith. “He knows what he’s doing on the mound and I know he always has a good shot to win the game either on the mound or at the plate.”

Bob Jones is currently ranked No. 1 in Alabama among Class 7A schools and No. 23 on the national scene. When asked what he may be missing at Bob Jones, Booth said, “a state championship.” The Patriots (34-6) have a good shot of doing so after finishing among the Elite 8 a season ago.

“It was always my dream as a young boy playing recreational and travel baseball to play for Bob Jones and play well, but I didn’t realize it could really happen until my freshman year when the University of Alabama first reached out to me,” said Booth. “It was then I knew I could play well. I even had other travel teams ask me to join them as I played for both the East Coast Sox and the Viper Baseball Academy. I’m not sure if I will play summer baseball this year as my first semester at Mississippi State begins July 8.”

As a classroom student, Booth carries a 3.7 grade point average and has chosen to study business management in college, which could help him tremendously should he make his ultimate dream come true by taking his spot among Major League Baseball.

Throughout his youth years of baseball, he was always the hardest thrower amongst the teams and leagues he played in. “I soon grew into my body and used weights to be stronger in all body parts,” added Booth, where is personal best speed has been clocked at 94 miles per hour while he averages 90-92 miles per hour. Booth has an array of pitches to choose from when he steps to the mound. He has a slider, curve, splitter and change up. “My go to pitch is my slider.”

Throughout the 2024 season, Booth has been nursing a lower back injury he contributes to fatigue. As a pitcher and infielder, he has played in each of the games the Patriots have suited up for. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he is an intimidating fixture in the red, white and blue Patriot uniform as he’s athletic enough to play shortstop and possessing his astonishing strong arm certainly gives him some leeway with any mistakes he may make in the infield. At the plate, he has few areas of concern as for his four years he has batted .362, with 16 homers and 106 RBIs. He has power and a keen eye. Booth added, “Each time I go to the plate my approach is go out to do damage. Hit the ball as hard as I can.”

Once the season is complete, Booth will leave the confines of Bob Jones with a legacy he hopes will inspire others to work hard, play hard and finish what you started. For Booth, he wants to finish a state champion to complete his legacy and to help earn Bob Jones the coveted spot among the state’s best programs. “This has been the next chapter in my life’s book to get me to the next level,” added Booth.

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