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MLB or SEC? Bradley Loftin could have a big decision ahead of him

Loftin is committed to playing baseball for Mississippi State, but he could hear his named called in this weekend's MLB Draft.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Major League Baseball could come calling for one Desoto County High School baseball player. DeSoto Central alum Bradley Loftin may hear his named called in this weekend's MLB draft. 

If he opts not to go pro, he will still have a home in Starkville, playing for Mississippi State.

Loftin's game looms large. At 6'3" tall, it's hard not. But the former Jaguar prefers to move in silence, and his parents catered to that mentality.

Unlike many top baseball prospects, Loftin didn't travel the country going to every prospect camp or showcase. Instead he played two sports growing up, including soccer all the way through his senior year, and volunteered. 

The goal was to be the best young man, not just the best baseball player. 

"I think it's better to fly under the radar, instead of everybody seeing who you are, because I'm feel like you could probably lose a lot of a lot of juice just from being known that much," Loftin said.

Loftin is quiet and maybe a little unassuming to those who don't know him well. But he tries to lead by example, especially to his two younger siblings at home.

"That's been my dream is to raise a good person who happens to play ball as opposed to a ballplayer," said Christine Loftin, Bradley's mom.

"I'm the one who is asked to set the examples around the house," Bradley said. "My sister has watched me play sports. So I feel like that's probably had an impact on her because she's about to go on her freshman year in high school, and she just made the volleyball team."

His younger brother Brian has special needs after a mitochondrial disease diagnosis. Loftin described their relationship as "incredible."

"I couldn't ask for a better little brother," he said. "It was a struggle at times, but we managed to get through it for the better so it was good."

Those are the type of things that are important to him, baseball is a release. That's because he treats the game like a game.

"Baseball is not a grind. Baseball is fun, and so I've tried to teach Bradley, you know, you have to be careful what you call work, or grinding," said Bo Loftin, Bradley's father.

"I mean, it's a game and it's fun. And it's meant to be fun. And it's, man, it's really fun to play with your friends," Bradley said.

Even so, Loftin's work ethic is no joke. His mom recalls days where'd he be outside in the yard, constantly hitting a baseball off a tee into a net.

“'Do you have to make him go out there every day and do that?' I said, 'No, actually, we have to go out there and make him come inside to eat dinner or do his homework or whatever.' Once he puts his mind to it, he's driven to go out there and, and do it," Christine said.

Loftin may have a big decision to make. Currently, he's in Starkville meeting his new teammates and preparing for a baseball career at Mississippi State, the 2021 champions. Or he could achieve another dream, as a pro baseball player if his name is called in the MLB Draft this weekend.

"That can be electric through my veins right now. That's the main goal is to get to the major leagues, whether that's three years of college or right now, this weekend. It's not gonna kill me if I don't go this weekend," Loftin said.

Loftin's parents have made it clear, there is not a wrong choice. Playing for a premiere SEC program or joining the major leagues, he'll be fine either way.

"No matter what happens, he's in a winning situation," Christine said.

"He's already made his choice, as far as you know, the next three or four years. So I don't think there's not a lot of pressure," Bo said.

Loftin said he's not stressed about the decision, because at the end of the day he still gets to play the game he sees as fun.

"It'll be great, if I did (get selected) this weekend. But if I don't, I can go have a great time at this wonderful school and play baseball for three years and then be potentially a top five pick in three years," Loftin said.

The MLB Draft begins Sunday, July 17 and runs through Tuesday, July 19.

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