Local class of '98, Freeman, Shoppach head for big leagues
by Dave McNabb
Thu, Mar 30, 2006, 12:57 AM
Dallas Christian center fielder Choo Freeman and former Baylor catcher Kelly Shoppach of Brewer are both expected to start their baseball season next week with their big league clubs. Freeman has had an outstanding spring for the Colorado Rockies and is expected to be the fourth outfielder when the season begins. Freeman, who decided not to take a football scholarship at Texas A&M, has made The Show before. He's had a major league homer at Yankee Stadium.
Shoppach's strong arm and defense were the key in him making Cleveland's roster as the No. 2 catcher over Einar Diaz. A standout at Baylor as well, Shoppach made his first big league start last season with the Red Sox against the Yankees.
Of course, the pair have been grouped before. While writing for the Dallas Morning News, I selected both these player to the 1998 All-Area team. Shoppach had seven homers for Brewer as a catcher and pitcher. Freeman was the first area player (36th overall) taken in the major league draft that June after hitting .557 and leading Dallas Christian to the TAPPS state title.
Other area players that have gone to AAA but could get quick callups:
Wes Bankston, Plano East, 1B, Tampa Bay Durham
Brandon Fahey, Duncanville, SS, Baltimore Ottawa
Daniel Ortmeier, Lewisville, LF, San Francisco Fresno