Baseball Stars Celebrate Signing Day

As the early period for players to sign their National Letter of Intent opened Wednesday, many high school and junior college players took advantage of the chance to make their college choices official.

Around the country, top players put pen to paper and celebrated the day.

Florida prep lefthander Jordan Butler, signed with Florida, and New York prep outfielder Quentin Holmes, a Mississippi State commit, were teammates on USA Baseball's 18U National Team this year and summed up the day's feelings for many players.

Hagen Danner and Nick Pratto have been teammates with Huntington Beach (Calif.) High and Team USA, but could soon be rivals on the diamond. Danner is committed to UCLA, while Pratto is headed to Southern California.

Westminster Christian School in Miami saw six players sign with Division I programs. Luis Aviles is headed to Rice, M.J. Melendez is committed to play for Florida International, where his father Mervyl was hired as head coach over the summer, and Max Pinto signed with Samford. Dylan Cloonan, Tyler Paige and Alex Ruiz continuee the tradition of Westminster players signing with Miami, following the path of former Warriors stars such as Alex Rodriguez and David Thompson.

Baseball's signing day is not as suspenseful as football's signing day because most players commit well in advance. But this year did provide a surprising commitment.

State JC of Florida lefthander Brendon Little, the No. 7 prospect in the Cape Cod League this summer, signed with Liberty. This is the second time Little has committed to Liberty coach Scott Jackson, who recruited Little to North Carolina out of high school. Jackson took the head job at Liberty this summer, while Little transferred to junior college after making just four appearances for the Tar Heels as a freshman. Little is expected to be picked on the first day of the draft in June.