Hall signs minor league contract with Mets

Former UNA catcher Kevin Hall prepares to swing against Miles College Feb. 6. Hall, a former first team All-Gulf South Conference selection, signed a free-agent contract with the New York Mets last week.

Former UNA Baseball player Kevin Hall received a phone call on June 27 that few others have: one from a professional baseball team.

The New York Mets contacted Hall in the weeks following the 2016 MLB Draft in June to sign a free agent contract to play rookie ball. Hall will play for the Met’s Gulf Coast League affiliate in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the GCL Mets.

“It was so surreal and shocking,” Hall said. “When it was actually happening, I almost could not believe it. I got a little teary eyed and I’m sure I had one of the biggest smiles ever on my face.”

“I instantly called my parents to share the news with them. After that I was probably on the phone for three straight hours with all of my friends telling me congrats and best of luck.”

Hall played two seasons at UNA during the 2015 and 2016 seasons as a catcher and outfielder. He was a first team All-Gulf South Conference selection in 2016.

Hall’s path to success began at Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee.

“I am a pretty quick learner and picked up on a lot of the things our coaches were teaching us during my freshman year of high school,” Hall said. “I also became stronger and faster from lifting weights, which improved my performance a lot.”

After he graduated high school in 2012, Hall played for the Meridian Community College Eagles in Meridian, Mississippi. He was named Scholar-Athlete of the year in 2014.

“Playing at Meridian Community College will be two years I will definitely never forget,” Hall said. “I had some great teammates and gained friendships that I hope last a lifetime.”

Despite possessing the physical characteristics many schools would find attractive, Hall was not heavily recruited out of junior college.

“Kevin had impressive physical skills,” said UNA head baseball coach Mike Keehn. “He was such a versatile player with the ability to play up to five different positions.”

Hall said the UNA’s location and prestige made it hard to turn down the offer.

“UNA called and asked me to come on a visit,” said Hall. “The campus is beautiful along with the entire city of Florence. It is a great town to live in and seemed to be a fun school to attend. It just felt like a good fit for me.”

Hall would go on to have a stellar career for the Lions, especially in his senior year in 2016. Hall finished with a team-high .390 batting average, 8 home runs, 41 runs batted in and 49 runs scored. Hall also flashed the speed, stealing 16 bases,

“He had a tremendous impact on our team,” Keehn said. “He’s a hard worker that played a tremendous year both on the field and in the classroom. We are all pulling for him.”