These are the nation’™s top 12 recruiting classes. For 2005 draft
picks, the team and round are in parentheses. Asterisks denote junior
Recruiting coordinator: Erik Bakich. Key recruits:
Pedro Alvarez, 3b (Red Sox, 14); Nick Christiani, rhp; Ryan Flaherty,
ss; Diallo Fon, of (Yankees, 49); Brett Jacobson, rhp (Diamondbacks,
11); Josh Zeid, rhp.
Alvarez, Fon, Flaherty, outfielder Kurt Lipton and transfer catchers
Parker Hanks (UCLA) and Matt Meingasner (Broward, Fla., CC) should
offer instant improvement to an offense that ranked 11th in runs scored
among SEC teams and 202nd nationally. An influx of power arms should
help maintain a staff that led the SEC in ERA and ranked 17th
2. ARIZONA STATE
Recruiting coordinator: Jay Sferra. Key recruits: Ike
Davis, of/1b/lhp (Devil Rays, 19); Matt Hall, 2b/ss (Angels, 8);
Preston Paramore, c (Mets, 22); Ryan Sontag, of; Jeff Urlaub, lhp
(Devil Rays, 26); Brett Wallace, 3b (Blue Jays, 42).
Arizona State’™s second strong recruiting haul in as many years will
cushion the loss of Travis Buck, Tuffy Gosewisch and Jeff Larish from
the 2005 College World Series team. Davis, who led Chaparral High of
Scottsdale, Ariz., to two top-10 final national rankings and was the
MVP of the 2004 Aflac All-America game, could join Hall, Paramore and
Wallace as lineup regulars as freshmen. Sontag was the Big 10
Conference freshman of the year at Michigan State a year ago.
Recruiting coordinator: Tommy Harmon. Key recruits: Jordan Danks, of (White Sox, 19); Joey Parigi, lhp/of; Kyle Russell, of; Brad Suttle, 3b (Angels, 21), Kyle Walker, lhp.
Texas filled needs of lefthanded pitching (signing seven lefties),
infielders and catchers. It also added tremendous power to the outfield
with first-round talents Danks and Russell. Transfers Chais Fuller
(Sacramento City College) and Steve Clevenger (Southeastern Louisiana)
will vie for the vacant shortstop position while two more newcomers
Preston Pehrson (Jacksonville) and Brett Lewis (Texas-Arlington) look
to fill the catching void.
4. SOUTH CAROLINA
Recruiting coordinator: Jim Toman. Key recruits: *Robbie Grinestaff, 3b; Reese Havens, ss (Rockies, 29); DeAngelo Mack, of; *Trent Kline, c; Justin Smoak, 1b (Athletics, 16).
Smoak, a high school teammate of 2005 freshman All-American Matt
Wieters of Georgia Tech, and Havens are good friends who each won state
titles as seniors and were among the top 50 prep prospects in the 2005
draft class. That duo along with Grinestaff should offer an immediate
offensive upgrade. Lefty Alex Farotto (Greer, S.C.) should become a
factor on a staff that lost three senior weekend starters.
Recruiting coordinator: Pat Shine. Key recruits: Ryan
Babineau, c (Brewers, 13); Brandon Crawford, ss; Cody Decker, 1B/DH;
*David Huff, lhp (Phillies, 19); Tim Murphy, lhp/of (Angels 11).
Coming off a 15-41 season, the Bruins needed a large, talented class
and got just that. Huff will slot into the weekend rotation while JC
transfer Tyson Brummett and freshman lefties Andy Suiter and Robert
Dickman should also contribute. Murphy will become a factor out of the
bullpen and as the everyday right fielder. Babineau, Crawford and
Decker should all join him as regulars in the lineup.
Recruiting coordinator: Rod Delmonico. Key recruits: Tony Delmonico, ss; *Deunte Heath, rhp (Angels, 23); Josh Lindblom, rhp (Astros, 3); *Ty Pryor, rhp; *Brian Van Kirk, of.
Last year’™s class wasn’™t large, but boasted two of the nation’™s best
freshmen in J.P. Arencibia and James Adkins. This class could be better
because of its power arms. Lindblom, the highest-drafted player to
attend a Division I school, will join Heath and Pryor in fighting for
rotation spots. Delmonico, the son of coach Rod Delmonico, makes for an
even more interesting story. He’™ll graduate from high school early and
should step right in at shortstop in a season when he normally would
have been battling for position in the draft’™s first two rounds.
7. LOUISIANA STATE
Recruiting coordinator: Turtle Thomas. Key recruits:
Jarred Bogany, of (Pirates, 15); Louis Coleman, rhp (Braves, 28);
Robert Lara, c (Twins, 17); Jason Ogata, ss (Padres, 50); Derik Olvey,
The normally well-stocked Tigers might need a handful of fresh faces
to step right in to key roles after fielding a junior- and
senior-dominated squad in 2005. Ogata, the best prep player in Oregon,
intrigues with his power bat and could immediately fill the void at
shortstop. Bogany’™s raw skill set reminds scouts of Torii Hunter
because of his combination of speed and power in center field. Olvey, a
Notre Dame transfer, brings a much-needed power arm to Baton Rouge.
Recruiting coordinator: Kevin McMullan. Key recruits:
David Adams, inf. (Tigers, 21); David Caldwell, c; Jeremy Farrell, 3b
(Rockies, 41); Shooter Hunt, rhp (Rangers, 34); Jacob Thompson, rhp.
Brian O’™Connor enters his third season with his second strong class.
Adams rated as Florida’™s No. 6 prospect last spring, but slipped in the
draft because of his desire to attend college. Farrell stands 6-foot-4
with good power and baseball bloodlines (his father John is the
Indians’™ farm director). Either player could replace Ryan Zimmerman at
third base, with Adams capable of handling a middle-infield slot as
well. Hunt and the 6-foot-6 Thompson both reach 90 mph with solid
Recruiting coordinator: Dean Stotz. Key recruits: Joey
August, of; Jeremy Bleich, lhp; Jason Castro, c (Red Sox, 43); Brent
Milleville, c (Angels, 39); Sean Ratliff, of/lhp; Austin Yount, of.
A commitment to Stanford tends to scare teams away from expending
picks on a player, so that’™s not a vital measuring stick for a Cardinal
class. Bleich and Ratliff helped USA Baseball’™s junior national team to
a silver medal at the Pan Am games in September. Milleville rated as
the draft’™s second-best prep catcher for his size and power bat. Yount
is the nephew of former Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount.
Recruiting coordinator: Chris Finwood (now coach at Western Kentucky). Key recruits: Mike Bianucci, of/inf.; Justin Bristow, 3b/rhp (Royals, 22); Evan Crawford, lhp; Luke Greinke, ss/rhp; Bryan Woodall, rhp.
Draft status says little about this class, starting with Bristow, a
potential second- or third-rounder who slipped because of signability.
He and Greinke, the younger brother of Royals starter Zack, should slot
into the left side of Auburn’™s infield immediately. Each also reaches
90 mph off the mound. Bianucci led the Clark Griffth League in home
runs last summer. Crawford rated as Alabama’™s top prep pitcher.
Recruiting coordinator: Dan McDonnell. Key recruits:
Phillip Irwin, rhp; Lance Lynn, rhp (Mariners, 6); *Craig Rodriguez,
lhp; Cody Satterwhite, rhp (Indians, 37); *Garrett White, lhp.
Mississippi lost five pitchers who accounted for 77 percent of its
innings a year ago and responded by signing a deep class of arms.
Satterwhite attended Hillcrest Christian School in Byram, which also
produced former Rebels Stephen Head and Seth Smith. He and Lynn both
reach the mid-90s. Rodriguez, White and fellow JC transfer Matt Rozier,
a righthander, will add a veteran influence on what looks to be a young
12. SAN DIEGO
Recruiting coordinator: Eric Valenzuela. Key recruits: Scott Denault, rhp; Brian Matusz, lhp (Angels, 4); Ricardo Pecina, lhp; Josh Romanski, lhp (Padres, 15); *Anthony Siama, rhp.
All but one starter returns from 2005, so it makes sense that
pitchers highlight San Diego’™s list of newcomers. Matusz is the highest
draft pick to ever attend USD and second-highest pick to land on a
Division I campus this fall. He and Romanski work in the low 90s and
should contribute quickly. Pecina was an all-state performer as a San
Diego prep while Siama earned all-California juco honors as a closer at
Santa Ana JC.