EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon baseball head coach George Horton announced the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period on Wednesday. The incoming class will join the Ducks in the fall of 2012.
Horton’s latest class consists of eight high school seniors and five junior college players, and also includes student-athletes from six different states. The Ducks have signed seven players from the Northwest region, including the top two prospects in the state of Oregon as evaluated by Baseball Northwest.
Westview High School (Portland, Ore.) third baseman Carson Kelly, the top-ranked recruit in the state of Oregon, highlights the class along with left-hander Cole Irvin (Yorba Linda, Calif./Servite HS), as both high school seniors are currently playing for the USA Baseball 18U national team in the COPABE Junior AAA/18U Pan American Championships.
In addition to Kelly, Oregon has signed the No. 2 recruit in the state of Oregon, catcher/right-hander Joshua Graham (Roseburg, Ore./Roseburg HS) as well as his teammate, right-hander Jared Priestley.
The Ducks have also inked three players ranked in Baseball America’s top-100 prospect list for the class of 2012 led by Kelly (28), Irvin (70) and Andrew Pullin (80) of Centralia High School in Washington.
“Once again our coaching staff has put forth an outstanding effort scouring the country to identify and recruit some of the top talent in the 2012 class,” Horton said. “We have been fortunate enough to sign very talented classes in the past, and I feel this class will continue that tradition. I believe this class is brimming with student-athletes that will be able to compete immediately, and I hope we are privileged enough to bring all 13 to campus following the draft. As always, our staff’s goal is not only to recruit gifted baseball players, but also young men who are exceptional off the field and committed in the classroom. I can only commend the job coaches Mark Wasikowski and Jay Uhlman accomplished with our latest recruiting class.”
Oregon also welcomes left-hander Brandon Brown (Star, Idaho/Idaho HS), the top-ranked recruit out of Idaho evaluated by Baseball Northwest, 2011 All-CIF Southern Section Division I Team outfielder Nick Catalano (Anaheim, Calif./Esperanza HS) and left-hander Garrett Cleavinger (Baldwin City, Kan./Lawrence HS).
Oregon’s junior college commits include outfielder Tyler Baumgartner and right-hander Adrian Sampson from the defending NWAACC champion Bellevue Community College Bulldogs. In addition, the Ducks welcome Howard College (Big Spring, Texas) teammates right-hander Clayton Crum and right-hander Nicholas Sawyer, as well as first baseman Jacob Jelmini from College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.
For the last two years, Horton has brought in back-to-back top-10 classes (2010 & 2011), and for the last four years, Oregon has recruited a top-25 class.
Tyler Baumgartner, OF (Poulsbo, Wash./Bellevue CC)
- Enters his sophomore year at Bellevue CC as the squad was recently ranked third in the American Baseball Coaches Association Junior College Pacific Association’s Division 2012 Pre-Season Poll
- Selected as the 2011 NWAACC tournament MVP after leading Bellevue CC (37-14) to the tourney title in a 5-3 win over Lower Columbia College, and in the tournament hit .333 driving in six runs on seven hits, including one home run
- During the 2011 season, hit .338 with 49 hits, 37 RBIs, 35 runs scored, nine doubles, two triples, six home runs, seven stolen bases and a .552 slugging percentage, and was named to the Northern Division First Team
- Graduated in 2010 from Central Kitsap HS after playing for head coach Bill Baxter , and was selected as a first-team all-Narrows 4A League infielder after hitting .450 with an .800 slugging percentage along with six home runs and 38 RBIs as a senior
- Played for the Northwest Timberjacks ('09) and the Narrows Baseball Club ('10) summer league teams
- Also a second-team all-Narrows 4A League basketball player.
Brandon Brown, LHP (Star, Idaho/Eagle HS)
- Ranked the top recruit in 2012 out of the Montana/Idaho/Wyoming region by Baseball Northwest
- Won the 2011 5A state championship at Eagle HS as a junior, and in the title game at the state tournament, was the starting and winning pitcher, scattering six hits against the defending champion Capital Eagles, who had scored 31 runs in their previous two games
- Has been a three-year varsity starter at Eagle HS, and was named to the Baseball Northwest Senior all-tournament team.
Nick Catalano, OF (Anaheim, Calif./Esperanza HS)
- A starting center fielder, was a 2011 All-CIF Southern Section Division I Team selection after batting .377 with 37 runs scored, 40 hits, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, five triples, three home runs, and a .623 slugging percentage
- A first team all-Century League pick as a junior in 2011, finished second in the league in both on-base percentage (.507) and stolen bases (23)
- The Aztecs finished the 2011 season 23-11, winning the Century League title with a 9-3 record, and advancing to the CIF Southern Section Div. I title game before falling to J.W. North 7-1
- Was also named third team All-Orange County, and was voted Esperanza’s Defensive Player of the Year, while also being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player at the Hard 9 National Classic
- A three-year member of the varsity squad, he is also a receiver on the Esperanza HS football team with 869 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns
- Manages a 3.86 gpa and is a scholar athlete.
Garrett Cleavinger, LHP (Baldwin City, Kan./Lawrence HS)
- A three-year letterman on the football and baseball squads
- As a junior in 2011 was named second team all-Sunflower League on the diamond, and helped lead Lawrence to a Sunflower League championship and a fourth place finish in the Kansas 6A state championships
- To reach the state semis, he pitched a complete-game two-hitter in the regional championship, striking out 10 in a 2-1 victory over defending champion Manhattan HS
- Plays club baseball for the Kansas City Sluggers and head coach Brian McRae
- Was selected to play in the 2011 Get Hits 4 Education All-Star Game, and was also selected to play in the 2011 Midwest Select 50 Showcase and the 2011 Midwest Pro Futures Game (Tulsa, Okla.)
- Played on the Kansas City Royals 2011 scout team.
Clayton Crum, RHP (Spring, Texas/Howard College)
- Currently a redshirt freshman at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas
- Attended the University of Texas at Austin, but did not play during the 2010-11 academic year, and will come to Oregon with three years of eligibility remaining
- Was drafted out of Klein High School in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs in the 47th round (1420) after helping lead Klein to the 5A state championship game
- Posted a 6-0 record with two saves, a 1.54 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 36 innings as a senior in 2010, earning second-team all-state and district MVP honors, and was also a Rawlings preseason first-team All-Region All-American as a senior
- Registered a 4-1 record with three saves, a 1.97 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 39 innings to earn second-team all-district accolades as a junior
- Also earned two letters in football as a quarterback for head coach Stan Labay.
Joshua Graham, RHP/C (Roseburg, Ore./Roseburg HS)
- Led Roseburg High School to a Southern Oregon Hybrid League championship as a junior in 2011, and was named the league player of the year
- Named to the 2011 Class 6A all-state first team, and is currently ranked the No. 2 recruit in the 2012 class from the state of Oregon by Baseball Northwest
- Voted Roseburg’s most valuable player by his teammates with a record of 10-2, 2.54 ERA, two saves and 89 strikeouts in 80 innings pitched
- The Indians finished the 2011 season 19-7 overall and 13-3 in the 6A Southern Oregon standings for head coach Troy Thompson, advancing to the semifinals of the OSAA 6A Baseball State Championships before falling 4-1 to Central Catholic HS
- In 2010 as a sophomore was named second team Class 6A all-state, and helped Roseburg to a South Western Conference title with a record of 24-1, while being named a first-team all-league pitcher after posting a 0.89 ERA with a 6-2 record and 53 strikeouts in 47 innings
- In the summer of 2011 finished fourth in state with the Roseburg Doc Stewarts American Legion baseball team, and also participated on the 18U USA Tournament of Stars American Legion team in Cary, N.C
- In the summer of 2010 played American Legion ball, winning the regional and state tournaments, before placing fourth in the American Legion World Series
- Is the nephew of former Oregon State Beaver and Major Leaguer Jamie Burke.
Cole Irvin, LHP (Yorba Linda, Calif./Servite HS)
- Currently playing with fellow signee Carson Kelly for the USA Baseball 18U national team in the COPABE Junior AAA/18U Pan American Championships
- Is considered the 22nd-ranked recruit in the state of California and the 80th-ranked recruit in the country by Perfect Game, and is also considered the 70th-ranked prospect in the 2012 class by Baseball America
- Played with Kelly in the 2011 Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field, and played for the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 Area Code Games
- Named first team all-Trinity League and All-Orange County second team as a junior in 2011 at Servite HS, and was also named his club’s most valuable pitcher with a 1.40 ERA
- As a sophomore in 2010, received Trinity League honorable mention accolades, and was named Servite’s most improved player
- In the summer of 2010 played for the Virginia Canes, winning the 16U Perfect Game WWBA Championship, and was selected most valuable pitcher at the tournament.
Jacob Jelmini, 1B (Manhattan Beach, Calif./College of the Canyons)
- Currently a sophomore at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., and in his freshman year for the Cougars, was named to the Western State South All-Conference second team after batting .277 with 33 hits, 16 RBIs, 19 runs scored, six doubles and four home runs
- A 2010 graduate of Mira Costa HS in Manhattan Beach, Calif., hit .417 as a senior with 14 RBIs, eight doubles, two home runs, 21 runs scored, a .611 slugging percentage and a .506 on-base percentage
- Was named the 2010 Bay League Co-Most Valuable Offensive Player.
Carson Kelly, INF/RHP (Portland, Ore./Westview HS)
- Currently playing with fellow signee Cole Irvin for the USA Baseball 18U national team in the COPABE Junior AAA/18U Pan American Championships
- Is ranked the top recruit in the state of Oregon by both Perfect Game (53 nationally) and Baseball Northwest, and is also ranked the No. 28 prospect in the 2012 class by Baseball America
- Over the summer played in the Under Armour All-America Game with Irvin, and played for the for the Kansas City Royals in the 2011 Area Code Games with fellow signee Andrew Pullin
- Was chosen by ESPN RISE as the 2010-11 Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year
- Was named the Oregon Class 6A Player of the Year following his junior season at Westview after leading the Wildcats to the state title with current UO freshman Sam Johnson
- Hit .473 with 14 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .973 slugging percentage at Westview, and on the mound was 9-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched
- Following his sophomore season was named second team all-state after batting .458 with 31 RBIs
- Also played for the USA Baseball 16U national team, finishing 2-0 on the mound with a .333 average during the team’s run to the gold medal at the 2010 Pan American Championships
- Maintains a 3.78 gpa.
Jared Priestley, RHP (Roseburg, Ore./Roseburg HS)
- In 2011 as a junior helped lead Roseburg HS to its third consecutive league title as the Indians won the Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference championship for head coach Troy Thompson
- Advanced to the semifinals of the OSAA 6A Baseball State Championships before falling 4-1 to Central Catholic HS
- Was named the Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference Pitcher of the Year, and second team all-state with a 2.17 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched
- As a sophomore in 2010 was named first team all-Southwest after helping Roseburg win the Southwest Conference championship with a record of 24-1
- In the summer of 2010 played for Doc Stewarts American Legion team, and pitched in the state tournament and the Northwest Regional before a fourth place finish in the American Legion World Series.
Andrew Pullin, OF/RHP (Centralia, Wash./Centralia HS)
- A two-time first team all-state pick and a three-time first team all-league selection
- As a junior in 2011 was named to the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Class 2A all-state team as well as first team all-Evergreen League, and was also named Centralia HS Offensive MVP
- During the summer of 2011 played in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park, and also played with Carson Kelly for the Kansas City Royals in the 2011 Area Code Games
- Is considered the No. 1 recruit in the state of Washington by Perfect Game (33rd nationally), and is evaluated as the 80th-ranked prospect in the 2012 class by Baseball America
- Played for Marucci Elite, which won the Perfect Game WWBA Championship
- A three-year varsity starter, has been named to The Chronicle all-area team for three consecutive years, and as a sophomore in 2010 was named to the WSBCA Class 2A all-state first team and all-Evergeen League first team as Centralia won a league title
- A three-year winner of the Evergreen League all-academic award.
Adrian Sampson, RHP (Sammamish, Wash./Bellevue CC)
- Entering his sophomore season at Bellevue CC, the squad was ranked third in the American Baseball Coaches Association Junior College Pacific Association’s Division 2012 Pre-Season Poll
- As a freshman at Bellevue CC led the Bulldogs (37-14) to the NWAACC title as Bellevue defeated Lower Columbia College, 5-3, in the NWAACC tournament championship game
- Was named to the NWAACC all-tournament team after pitching a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out 15 in a 3-0 win over Lower Columbia on day 3 of the NWAACC tournament
- In 10 appearances and nine starts at Bellevue, pitched six complete games and finished the year with a 6-2 record and 1.87 ERA, and in 62 and 2/3 innings tossed, struck out 82 and held opposing batters to a .176 clip
- Was named first team all-North Region following his rookie year at Bellevue, and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 16th round (493) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft
- Over the summer pitched for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League, started the WCL All-Star Game, and was named first team all-WCL finishing his summer with a 4-4 record and 1.71 ERA in 63 and 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 71 and holding opposing batters to .153 clip
- Prior to Bellevue CC was a three-year starter at Skyline HS, and was a two-time first team all-Kingco 4A selection, and as a junior in 2009 was named to the Seattle Times all-area team as well as second team all-state 4A.
Nicholas Sawyer, RHP (Carrollton, Texas/Howard College)
- Currently a sophomore at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas
- Last season as a freshman helped head coach Britt Smith win his third straight Western Junior College Athletic Conference title with a 46-13 record
- In 15 appearances managed a 1.96 ERA, 2-2 record and four saves tossing a total of 18 and 1/3 innings.
- Was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round (894 overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft
- A 2010 graduate of Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas.