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Posey in the spotlight

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

LEESBURG -- Jess Posey isn't the lead singer of Disney's latest boy band.

He isn't the star of a reality TV series and he isn't on the cover of Teen magazine.

But when the 16-year-old steps onto a baseball diamond, his name precedes him.

When your older brother is the hottest young prospect in the major leagues, and your other brother is playing baseball at Florida State, that spotlight comes with the territory. Jess' eldest brother, Buster, is a rising star in the San Francisco Giants' organization and middle brother, Jack, is a pitcher with the Seminoles.

But many think that Jess, the youngest of the three Posey boys, could be the most complete player of the bunch.

And he hears the talk, reads the paper, and feels the pressure.

"Oh yeah, sometimes I feel the pressure, but not all of the time," he said Saturday during Lee County High's picture day. "In a way I like it because it makes me work that much harder. But I'm just trying to play my game. I'm not trying to one-up my brothers. I'm just trying to be me and help the team out."

Now a sophomore, Posey was a major contributor to Lee County's 23-4 run and Region 1-AAAA championship last year. He's firmly entrenched as a starter in the Trojans' pitching rotation and plays second or shortstop equally well.

"My favorite position is at short," he said. "I feel like that position is supposed to be in on every play. I like being the leader of the infield."

A born leader? Perhaps. But he has three full seasons to develop at Lee County. In the meantime, Posey asks just one courtesy of people who watch him play.

"Don't judge me before you know me," he said as a smile ran across his face.

There is plenty of time for that.