Independence High graduating senior Robert Hassell III is taking his baseball abilities to the major leagues after being drafted by the San Diego Padres.
Hassell, an outfielder and pitcher on the Independence High baseball team for his high school career, was the eighth overall pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft and the first high school player to be chosen. Prior to being drafted by the Padres, Hassell committed to playing at Vanderbilt University.
He was named the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year in both 2019 and 2020.
“Robert is the most talented player I have ever coached, but what sets him apart from others is his work ethic and drive to be one of the best,” said IHS baseball coach Michael McLaury. “He has been a leader for Independence baseball for four years, and we look forward to following his long, successful career.”