Breaking Down The Pac-12's 2019 Recruiting Classes
Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in college baseball. After presenting the Top 25 recruiting classes and the 10 classes that just missed the cut, Baseball America is breaking down every class in several of the biggest conferences in the country.
Presented here is team-by-team analysis for every team in the Pac-12. Four teams from the conference ranked in the Top 25 and two more made the next 10 classes. Links to full breakdowns for those teams can be found below, as well as a snapshot view of the class. Full breakdowns for the five teams that didn't make the rankings can be found here.
While Arizona got hit hard in the draft, it was able to adjust on the fly and bolster its class with some late additions this summer. The class looks a lot different than it did on Signing Day in November, but it ended up as a solid all-around group. Netz is undersized but can flash big stuff, running his fastball up to 94 mph. His four-pitch arsenal and makeup should help him contribute as a freshman. Righthanders Chandler Murphy and Wesley Scott also have the potential to pitch right away. Outfielders Mac Bingham and Blake Klassen, who also profiles at first base, lead the position player group.
The Sun Devils loaded up on pitching this year, while also mixing in some promising hitters, highlighted by catcher Michael Carpentier Jr. (287) and Sean McLain, the younger brother of UCLA sophomore Matt McLain. On the mound, Fall, a junior college transfer, has the potential to add another premium arm to the rotation. Righthander Seth Tomczak (159) and lefthander Cooper Benson are the top freshmen arms, with Benson likely the most ready of any newcomer to take on important innings right away.
Recruiting coordinator: Noah Jackson
Top recruit: Aaron Roberts, RHP/INF (No. 369)
With some premium talent headed to pro ball following last season (most notably No. 3 overall pick Andrew Vaughn), Cal picks up some needed impact talent in this class. Roberts has a physical frame at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and has two-way potential thanks to his powerful stuff on the mound and power bat at the plate. He has a funky delivery but can run his fastball up to 96 mph, and the Las Vegas native led the state of Nevada in home runs last spring.
First baseman/outfielder Nathan Martorella is big and physical at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, and he played defensive end for his high school football team. He’s a powerful lefthanded hitter who should quickly add some thump to the Golden Bears’ lineup. First baseman Jake Skipworth and catcher Ethan Cloyd give Cal two more physical hitters. Skipworth can also get on the mound, and the righthander has good arm strength and an imposing 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame.
Righthander Josh White was one of the best pitchers in Northern California last spring and has the skills needed to quickly earn innings for the Golden Bears. Righthanders Steven Zobac and Joseph King both have two-way ability but standout on the mound. King has a powerful arm and can reach 94 mph, while Zobac does a little bit of everything and has solid breaking stuff.
Recruiting coordinator: Jack Marder
Top recruit: Anthony Hall, 1B/OF
Oregon’s coaching change left the recruiting class leaner than usual as a few of its highest profile recruits changed their commitments following the decision to move on from George Horton and his staff. But new coach Mark Wasikowski inherited a solid group and added some impact talent himself, including Hall.
Hall played at a high level throughout his amateur career, including playing for the USA Baseball’s 12U National Team at the 2013 World Cup. The lefthanded hitter is listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and has a strong, physical presence to go with above-average power. Jack Scanlon, another late addition, has a physical frame at a listed 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and he is the rare catcher/pitcher two-way player. He has some projection on the mound and intriguing tools behind the plate. Outfielder Sebastian Orduno is a plus runner, and that speed plays well both defensively and with his approach at the plate.
Righthander/infielder Joshua Kasevich has two-way potential. He pounds the strike zone and throws his fastball around 90 mph, while also showing the ability to hit for average. Righthander Andrew Mosiello held his own this summer in the West Coast League and has advanced strike-throwing ability that should help him quickly carve out a role on staff.
With Mitch Canham taking over as Oregon State’s head coach, the Beavers bring in another solid recruiting class. Valero and outfielder Micah McDowell played for the Canadian Junior National Team at this year’s 18U World Cup and have impact potential. Righthander Will Frisch (450) headlines the newcomers on the mound and has the potential to step into an important role right away for the Beavers. Righthander Ryan Brown and lefthander Connor Hjerpe also standout among the freshmen.
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The four-time winner of the award for the top name in college baseball, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Itchy Burts, graduated at the end of last season, leaving a void at the top of this list.
Recruiting coordinator: Gabe Alvarez
Top recruit: Ethan Hoopingarner, RHP
Ranking: Next 10
USC’s class lost some players to the draft and in this summer’s coaching turnover, but it ultimately landed a good group of newcomers. Hoopingarner headlines the class on the mound thanks to his athleticism and advanced pitchability. Outfielder Adrian Colon, a native of Puerto Rico, is a plus runner with the tools to profile in center field and quickly make an impact. Shortstop Tyresse Turner gives the class another speedy, impactful, up-the-middle player.
The Cardinal took a larger than normal group after losing nine players off its 2019 team to the draft and will be looking to the newcomers to make an impact, especially in the lineup. Gargus, a switch-hitter, has plus power that should play right away on The Farm. Kody Huff (400), a versatile player, and outfielder Brock Jones (477), who is also playing football for the Cardinal, give the class a pair of premium athletes. Lefthander Quinn Matthews (457) leads the newcomers on the mound and offers plenty of upside.
The Bruins have a compact class of nine freshmen, but it's not lacking on upside or talent. Curialle anchors the class after coming on strong this spring and showing off his ability to hit for both average and power while playing a premium defensive position. Outfielder Emmanuel Dean (323) and catcher Darius Perry (479) have big tools and offer significant upside. Lefthander/first baseman Josh Hahn (354), the California Gatorade Player of the Year, will likely contribute first on the mound, but he has true two-way ability. Righthander Jared Karros (485), the son of former major leaguer and UCLA product Eric Karros, is ultra-projectable and could develop into a star in Westwood.
Recruiting coordinator: Jay Brossman
Top recruit: Randon Hostert, RHP (No. 265)
Utah brings in one of its best recruiting classes in program history, headlined by Hostert, but he isn’t the only high-end talent among the newcomers. The position players are led by first baseman Trey Clarkson, catcher Brock Rudy and shortstop Kayler Yates.
Hostert was the top-ranked prospect in Idaho last spring and is ultra-projectable. He is listed at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, and he already runs his fastball into the low 90s to go with a curveball and changeup. He needs to develop more consistency as he physically matures and focuses on baseball after also playing basketball throughout high school. Righthander Sean Bolin comes to Utah from Argyle (Texas) High, which this spring was named High School Team of the Year. Like Hostert, he has plenty of projection in his 6-foot-6, 193-pound frame and has a promising three-pitch arsenal.
Yates has a long, lean frame and intriguing defensive tools, including a strong arm and good range. He was one of the best players in Utah this spring and offers plenty of promise for the Utes. Clarkson has a big, physical profile at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and above-average power. He also has two-way potential, and while his stuff isn’t as powerful as his bat, he throws strikes with three pitches and may be able to find a role on the Utah staff. Rudy is an advanced defender with good arm strength and promising lefthanded power at the plate.
Recruiting coordinator: Elliott Cribby
Top recruit: Nate Weeldreyer, RHP (No. 365)
The Huskies brought in a strong, well-rounded class that includes some impactful position players and pitchers who have a chance to compete for innings right away. This is a class that should help Washington build on the momentum the program has built up in the last few years.
Outfielder Will Simpson has a promising combination of power and speed. He’s an above-average runner, drives the ball well and at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, projects to develop more power as he fills out, which would make him a prototypical corner outfielder. Outfielder Caiden Matheny is an explosive all-around player with plus speed and has added strength in the last year that has helped him start driving the ball with more authority. Infielder Dalton Chandler also has above-average speed that plays well on the bases and some physicality that gives him a chance to quickly make an impact. Christian Dicochea has a good feel for the barrel at the plate and the defensive versatility to play all over the field.
Weeldreyer is a powerful righthander with a fastball that gets up to 93 mph and mixes in a hard slider. He has a strong, physical build and figures to quickly carve out a role on the Huskies’ staff. Righthander Alex Giroux stands out for his strike-throwing ability with his three-pitch arsenal and can run his fastball into the low 90s, though it’s typically a tick slower. Righthander Logan Gerling comes to Washington after a strong two-year career at Tacoma (Wash.) JC. He has good pitchability and the feel to throw his whole three-pitch arsenal in any count.
Recruiting coordinator: Terry Davis
Top recruit: Brady Hill, OF/RHP
Coach Brian Green was hired to take over the program after a successful run at New Mexico State. The class coming in with him is heavy on junior college transfers and also includes a well-balanced freshman class. Hill has two-way potential and is a high-end athlete. He is an above-average runner and profiles well as a corner outfielder, and he can also get on the mound and run his fastball up to 94 mph.
Outfielder Nathan Swarts has the tools to quickly work his way into the lineup. The righthanded hitter is a plus runner and has already bulked up in Pullman, adding strength to his wiry frame. He has a good feel for hitting and can play anywhere in the outfield. Catcher Jake Meyer won a national championship last season with Central Arizona JC, and his steady defensive skills should play right away for Washington State. Catcher Jadon Bugni also has an intriguing skillset, especially his arm strength, but he will need some time to refine his tools.
On the mound, righthander Joey Cammarata stands out. He has a strong, physical frame, and his fastball has been up to 94 mph. Grant Taylor is more of a projectable righthander at a listed 6-foot-4, 206 pounds.