Prep Signing: Colton Laws
CHINA GROVE — Carson baseball coach Chris Cauble knows what the odds are, but he honestly expects to sit back on his couch one day and watch Colton Laws pitch on television in big-league games.
Laws, the brother of East Rowan’s Cody Laws who was part of Rowan’s 2009 American Legion World Series team, has that kind of frame and that kind of talent.
“You can’t teach 6-foot-8,” Cauble said. “And you can’t teach the kind of arm he has. That’s just God-given ability that he’s got, and we’ve known how special he was since he was a freshman.”
Laws is a senior, and yes, the towering right-hander has grown some more to 6-8.
East Carolina affirmed that he is a special talent by making him an early signer. He’ll be exclusively a pitcher for the Pirates, although he’s swung the bat pretty well for Carson as a sure-handed first baseman when he wasn’t on the mound.
“East Carolina made a great offer,” Laws said. “They beat all the other offers and made it a pretty easy decision for me.”
Laws’ signing early with a Division I school has been a sure thing since the night of May 17, 2012. That’s when Carson went to Northwest Cabarrus for a second-round 3A playoff game and Laws, who was a sophomore then, shut out a powerful lineup that included Corey Seager, who would become a first-round draft pick a few weeks later. Every pitch Laws threw was important that night. Carson won 1-0, as Laws calmly worked out of jams and stranded 10 Trojans.
“There were a ton of major league scouts there, and they could see that Seager already carried himself like he was an MLB player,” Cauble said. “Colton also carried himself like an MLB player that night, and scouts remember things like that. Anytime a scout asks about Colton, they bring up that night.”
Laws was 4-0 as a sophomore. He was 4-2 as a junior, a season in which he was shut down late in the year.
“Just some soreness,” Laws said. “It’s not like I had to have surgery or anything.”
Cauble’s theory is that Laws hurt himself overthrowing last season, trying to light up the radar gun.
“I know UNC Greensboro was at Carson to see him for the Mount Pleasant game, they’d already made him an offer, and he overthrew,” Cauble said. “He just forgot what he was doing, and he got hit pretty hard.”
That’s why Cauble is excited about Laws signing early. When he pitches this spring, there won’t be any pressure. He won’t have to worry about which scouts from which schools are in the bleachers. He can just pitch.
Among the hundreds at the 2012 Northwest Cabarrus game were representatives of the South Charlotte Panthers, the area’s elite showcase travel team. That led to Laws being a Panther the last two summers, and Don Hutchins and his crew have given Laws a great deal of exposure.
He’s had an opportunity to play in games in which everyone is a college prospect. He’s gotten to work with great catchers against great lineups, and he’s played in a lot of college stadiums.
The most important game Laws pitched for the Panthers turned out to be the final one he pitched last summer. The venue was East Carolina. He threw fluidly and the radar gun consistently said “90,” which is sort of the magic number for right-handed pitchers.
“East Carolina had followed me all summer, and then that game sort of did it for me,” Laws said.
Laws had received quite a few offers before East Carolina made one, but theirs was the biggest and best, so he’s glad he waited a little while instead of jumping on the first one.
Laws will start his senior basketball season in about two weeks. He’s always all-conference and all-county, an inside-out player who should easily reach 1,000 career points as a senior.
“He could’ve been a really good receiver for the football team, and he’s been a very good first baseman for us,” Cauble said. “He’s got a lot of athletic ability, and with the frame he has, it won’t shock me if those 90s he’s throwing becomes 100 in a few years. He got the perfect, easy motion for it. He’s going to be throwing with greater velocity in a few years.”
Obviously, Carson is excited about this spring.
Besides a healthy Laws, Cauble’s staff will include county pitcher of the year Dillon Atwell and county player of the year John Daugherty.
“We want to win another conference championship, and we want to make a run to state,” Cauble said.
Laws will be a big part of whatever occurs, and he should be a big part of ECU baseball (South’s Eric Tyler catches for the Pirates) in years to come.
“Baseball is your life in college, it’s year-round,” Laws said. “I’m going to enjoy my senior year, but I’ll be excited about college when it comes.”