Dylan Minghini was looking for a school with a major emphasis on academics, but one where he could also continue to showcase his prodigious baseball talents.
He found exactly what he was looking for in the Patriot League.
Lafayette College in Easton, Penn. will be the next stop for the Gordon Lee senior, who signed his letter of intent in a ceremony on Thursday.
Minghini, who was considering Alabama-Huntsville and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore among other, said Lafayette contacted him after last season ended.
“In the summer I played in something of an academic travel team with a bunch of other academic-oriented people,” he explained. “Lafayette was one of the schools that reached out to me and I visited the campus. I think it's a perfect fit for me because the other people that go there are academic-oriented first, just like me.”
“He's very smart,” said Gordon Lee assistant coach Derek McDaniel. “We’re neighbors. I've known Dylan since he was four and he's always showed signs of that. His parents went to Georgia Tech so he's got those bloodlines. He wants to be an engineer and this is it a great fit for him.”
Minghini, a catcher, was the 2017 Walker County Player of the Year and help guide the Trojans to a Region 6-A championship and the Class A Public School state finals this past spring.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, who hit .430 as a sophomore, hit .385 as a junior and led the Trojans in total hits (45), hits with runners in scoring position (30) and doubles (12). He swatted three homers and had a team-high 39 RBIs from the clean-up spot in the order.
In the nine state playoff games, he hit a whopping .520 with seven doubles and two homers, while driving in 12 runs. He also showed off his arm behind the dish by throwing out nearly 30 percent of would-be base stealers on the season.
“He’s a great leader,” McDaniel added. “He's not very vocal, but he seems to be getting better at that and we're hoping his senior year that it will continue. But he’s just a hard worker who goes out there day in and day out and puts in the time. Plus, he’s also great team player.”
Minghini said he hopes to bring some of that leadership to the Leopards program.
“I want to be able to work with the pitchers,” he said. “My freshman year I want to be able to go in there and compete and I feel like I could have a quick understanding of the pitchers and fit in pretty quick.”
A 2017 pre-season high school All-American Honorable Mention pick by Perfect Game, Minghini scored a 32 on his ACT and ended last season with a 4.0 GPA.
“He works great with the pitchers and I started letting him call the games behind the plate about halfway through his sophomore year,” Gordon Lee head coach Mike Dunfee said. “He’s a smart enough kid to be able to do that and not let it affect his hitting. Some catchers do that and they overthink things when they get up to bat, but it doesn’t affect him.
Minghini plans to study mechanical engineering.
In baseball, the Patriot League also consists of American University, Army, Boston University, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Loyola-Maryland and Navy. The Leopards also scored a victory over Notre Dame to begin last season.