Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Evan Sleight’s journey to captaining the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Alabama baseball player Evan Sleight (#3) steps up to bat against South Carolina at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

In his first season with the Crimson Tide, Evan Sleight is captaining the Alabama baseball team to a hot start, cementing his position in the top of the order and as an everyday starter.  

Sleight also finds himself as the captain of the team, wearing the number 3 to represent the three core values of head coach Rob Vaughn’s team: ownership, toughness and grit. 

“It is an extreme honor,” Sleight said of the jersey number. “There have been a lot of great players who have worn the number 3, and I’m extremely excited to keep that tradition going.” 

Now in the middle of the season, Sleight has started in 29 games for the Crimson Tide in holding down the corner of the outfield in right field. Batting a .333 average with 10 doubles, two triples and five home runs supported by a .558 slugging percentage, Sleight is a staple point in the Alabama lineup card every game. On the other side of the ball, Sleight has been perfect defensively for Alabama. Racking up 58 putouts with zero errors, Sleight’s fielding percentage sits at a perfect 1.000.  

In high school, Sleight was the top-ranked high school player in the state of Massachusetts according to Perfect Game USA, along with being named to the Northeast Region All-High School first team in his senior year. He also helped Belmont Hill School claim its first Independent School Championship in 2019.  

The graduate student and Framingham, Massachusetts, native made two stops in his college baseball career before making Tuscaloosa his final destination. Sleight began his career in Virginia playing for the Virginia Cavaliers of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2020; however, he didn’t see the field in his freshman campaign due to injuries.  

From 2021 to 2023, Sleight anchored down the corner outfield for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights of the Big Ten conference. In his three seasons in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Sleight earned accolades such as All-Big Ten third team in 2023, and All-Big Ten academic honors in 2022 and 2023.  

While at Rutgers, Sleight faced off against the now Alabama head coach while Vaughn was the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins, also in the Big Ten. Sleight was the centerpiece of Vaughn’s first transfer portal class to Tuscaloosa to begin his first season. In his final year for the Scarlet Knights, Sleight started all 56 games, batting .315 and racking up 14 doubles and 12 home runs.  

“He had a lot of success playing summer ball in the Cape Cod League, and the MLB Draft League,” former Virginia teammate Steven Schoch said on his podcast. “He’s been all over, and now he’s taking his talents to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.”  

Now donning both crimson and the number 3, Sleight is a crucial part of Vaughn’s program. Building a winning culture to last in his first season, Vaughn brought with him the tradition he previously had in Maryland as head coach. Current Alabama hitting coach Anthony Papio, previously donned the number during his time as a player at Maryland, embodying the core values in 2016.  

“We have three pillars we hang our hats on all the time: We talk about ownership, toughness and grit,” Vaughn said when asked about the meaning of the three pillars. “It’s on the practice plan every day, it’s posted all over, we talk about that stuff every day, and that’s kind of what we want to hang our hat on.” 

With a team that aspires to reach the SEC championship and the College World Series, Sleight is the man who can lead the Crimson Tide baseball program back to the national stage and compete with the blue bloods of college baseball. Sitting with seven remaining SEC series on the schedule, including rivals such as Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn, Sleight and Alabama have all the cards in front of them with everything to play for as they enter the heart of the SEC schedule.  

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