My name is Nolan Alexander and I am a senior at Carolina Forest High School signed to play baseball at Lander University next season. I have been playing baseball ever since I could walk. Growing up I played up two age groups and eventually that caught up to me. I wasn’t succeeding like I had hoped I would, so I asked my parents to let me quit around age twelve. I was so fed up with the sport and I had lost my love for baseball. Since it was during the season, my parents forced me to finish the year and then I could hang up my cleats for good…on one condition, I must play as hard as possible for the rest of the summer. Eventually I found out that if you work as hard as you can and put it all out on the field, you will be successful. Ultimately, I did not end up quitting, instead I found my love for the game again and began to put in the work to become the best player I could be. I am beyond grateful that my parents forced me to play just a little while longer, because I am now fulfilling dreams that I once had as a young kid.
DP-Please list any high school statistics of importance, awards won:
2022 All-Region 6 AAAAA, 2022 All-State AAAAA, Perfect Game- April 14, 2022, PBR Player of the Week, 2022 DP First Team AAAAA, 2022-2023 DP Gold Glove Award, 2023 Palmetto Games Tony Osterman Award, 2024 Pro Day participant, 2021-2023 Palmetto Games participant, 2022 South Atlantic Border Battle invitee; GPA 4.85, 2023 DP All-Academic Team, National Honors Society
DP-You have signed with Lander, what factors led to that decision? What other schools did you select them over?
The biggest reason I chose Lander was because of head coach Jason Burke. I know you are not supposed to pick a school based on just one person, but Coach Burke recruited me differently than any other coach had. I really felt that Coach Burke not only liked me as a baseball player, but he cared about me as a person. Coach Burke has already made a huge impact on my life, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to play for him. A few of the schools I chose Lander over are North Greenville, Newberry and Francis Marion.
DP-What is your greatest high school thrill so far?
The greatest moment I have had in high school would have to be celebrating with my teammates after throwing a perfect game. Not because I had thrown well that night, but because it brought everyone together – it took everyone for it to happen.
DP-What has travel ball done for your baseball career?
Travel ball early on allowed me to play a game with my friends for fun, but every year it began to be more about my future. When I was younger, I played travel ball to have fun with my friends and make memories, but these past few years, it has allowed me to play in places all across the east coast and has ultimately helped me continue to pursue my dreams of playing college and hopefully professional baseball.
DP-You had a very active summer season, what were some highlights?
Playing for the Diamond Devils the past few summers was a great experience. I was able to play with other talented players across our state. Over the summer, we all became great friends which made winning that much more fun. The tournament in Nashville was my favorite because we were able to walk the streets of Music City and I was able to celebrate my no-hitter with them.
DP-Who are the three toughest hitters you have faced?
The toughest hitter by far would have to be PJ Morlando, but I’m sure that doesn’t shock anyone. The next two toughest would have to be Caden Reeves (Chapin) and Bradleigh Wohlers (Flo-Dar).
DP- Who are the top 3 underclassmen that you know?
Peter Mershon (Eastside C), Jachin Davis (Stratford UTL), Banks Alexander (Carolina Forest C)
DP- What are your top baseball trips/experiences?
12u Cooperstown Tournament (2018), Preseason tournament sophomore year (Gilbert), Throwing a Perfect Game at Carolina Forest (2022), Summer tournament in Nashville (2023) and throwing to my little brother in the Fall League All-Star Game at Coastal Carolina (2023).
DP-What do you think your teammates thoughts are on the attention from colleges/pro scouts that you’ve gotten?
The majority of the team doesn’t say much about it, just that they enjoy playing in front of them, but my best friends pick on me for it, nothing crazy.
DP-A successful 2024 for your high school team is:
Winning the region would be a huge accomplishment for us, we are super young this year.
DP-What anxieties do you have about entering college?
I am not worried about college, I am looking forward to it.
DP-What is the toughest adjustment you expect after high school on and off the field?
Living apart from my family for sure.
DP-Tell us why you believe you’ll succeed beyond high school in this game:
I want to be the person that my younger self dreamed of being.
DP-What areas of your game do you need to work on the most to improve before you hit the college practice field?
The biggest thing I want to work on is to finetune my mechanics to get the most out of my body, and of course gain as much velocity and movement as possible. Increasing command is always a plus as well.
DP-What is the biggest crowd you’ve ever performed in front of and where?
Either one of the Palmetto Games I pitched in or opening day at the IP Classic.
DP-You have a had some really enjoyable experiences this summer and beyond. Describe what you liked most:
Winning in different stadiums around the country. I like seeing the city and what there is to do there, but winning never gets old.
DP-Diamond Prospects was born right after you were. What have been some of the pros and cons as growing up as the “son of DP”?
It has definitely been an interesting experience, as everyone has always known my name and has high expectations on my name. I have heard noise about how I am ranked where I am because I’m the son of DP, but personally I do my best to tune out the noise and become the best player I can be and give all glory to God.
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a person and why?
Jesus has made the greatest impression on me by far. My ultimate goal for my life is to bring as many people with me to heaven as possible.
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a baseball player and why?
David Goggins. Reading his books and listening to his podcasts has made a stronger person and keeps me going when I don’t feel like I can. He also helps me get out of my comfort zone and do crazy things like run miles in the pouring rain in the middle of the night.
DP-What does the term “student-athlete” mean to you?
Student comes before athlete for a reason.
DP-What do you intend to major in?
DP-What MLB feat in history do you wish you’d been inside the stadium to witness and why?
Cubs World Series Game 7 win to break the 108-year drought because I am a huge Cubs fan.
DP-Who is your favorite athlete outside of baseball and why?
Dak Prescott because he is a great person and doesn’t deserve all the hate he gets.
DP-Who is your favorite MLB pitcher and position player and why?
Spencer Strider because he throws gas and has ‘the stache’, and Nico Hoerner because he plays hard all 162 games.
DP-What big leaguer would you most compare your game to?
James Karinchak because I play with fire.
DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?
DP-What rule change would you like to see in MLB?
Legalize pine tar for pitchers! If hitters can use it, so can we.
DP-What is your favorite sport to play other than baseball?
DP-What is your favorite sport to watch other than baseball?
DP-What are some of your hobbies?
Go to the beach, hangout with friends, play guitar, and go to the gym.
DP-Use three words to describe yourself:
God-fearing, humble, loving
DP-What is something funny or different that people don’t know about you?
I qualified for the Fortnite World Cup in 2019
DP-If there were going to be a movie made about your life, who would you want to play you?
DP-Do you have a Twitter/Instagram account? If so, who’s your favorite person to follow?
Yes, for Twitter I follow Trump and for Instagram I follow Livvy Dunne
DP-What’s your favorite thing to listen to when you’re working out?
I don’t listen to music, I use internal motivation.
DP-Who is your favorite actor and actress?
Actor: Tom Cruise Actress: Jennifer Aniston
DP-What is your favorite movie?
Pursuit of Happiness
DP-What is your favorite thing to watch on television?
Whichever one of my favorite sports teams are playing
DP-What type of music do you prefer?
Country (Morgan Wallen/Zach Bryan)
DP-What is (or would be) your ‘intro’ song?
Narco by Timmy Trumpet and Blasterjaxx
DP-What is your favorite video game?
Fortnite, but only if the boys are on
DP-What is your favorite meal?
I usually go for grilled chicken because it has a lot of protein.
DP-What goals do you have for yourself in and out of baseball?
My goal for life is to bring as many people to Christ as I can, but my goal for baseball is to play as long as I can.
DP-If you could have dinner with three people in history, who would they be and why?
Jesus Christ, Nolan Ryan and David Goggins
DP-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully playing in the Major Leagues for any team that wants me.
DP-You have been a participant in the Palmetto Games, in what way has that added to your high school baseball experience?
It introduced me to a bigger crowd than I would ever pitch in in a regular high school game. The Palmetto Games acted as the “big stage”, so now high school games come easier.
DP-What are your thoughts on what Diamond Prospects has done for kids in the state of South Carolina?
It has definitely exposed them to more college and pro coaches than they would have if there was no Diamond Prospects.
DP-Give a young high school player who is reading this article one piece of advice:
If you truly love the game and you truly want to be a great player, you have to be great in every single aspect of your life to get the most out of your ability. You have to work out consistently, you have to eat right, drink water, get sleep. A lot of things go into getting better, and don’t quit if you don’t see results right away. Keep working, keep grinding and keep playing hard!
DP-Your Twitter and Instagram account?
Twitter: NolanA_5 Instagram: nolanalexander5
DP-Thank you Nolan, you have been reading these Q&A’s and attending/working our events your whole life, we appreciate you plugging in what life is like in your shoes.