Miami Baseball Announces 13 Member Signing Class

Head Coach Jim Morris
Head Coach Jim Morris

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Five pitchers and eight position players make up the University of Miami baseball program’s 2008 signing class, as announced by UM head coach Jim Morris on Tuesday. The 13-member signing class includes nine players from South Florida, one from Central Florida and three from the state of Texas.

With 10 freshmen and three junior college transfers, the 2008 signing class is expected to make a big impact on the field as early as the upcoming 2009 season. Five of the 13 signees were selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, including Chris Herrmann (Tomball, Texas), who was taken in the 10th round by the Baltimore Orioles. In addition to Herrmann, Harold Martinez (Miami) was taken in the 19th round by the Baltimore Orioles, Taylor Wulf (Santa Fe, Texas) was chosen in the 29th round by the Atlanta Braves, Scott Lawson (Grapevine, Texas) was taken in the 40th round by the Houston Astros and Daniel Miranda (Miami) was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 50th round.

Herrmann, a junior college transfer from Alvin Community College in Texas, comes to Miami after earning All-America status at the JUCO level a season ago. He is joined in the class by two other transfers – Wulf, who was Herrmann’s teammate at Alvin CC, and Lawson, who also comes in from another program in Texas in Grayson Community College.

n addition to Martinez and Miranda, seven of the eight other incoming freshmen come from the South Florida area. Martinez, Miranda, Nathan Melendres, Vickash Ramjit, Sam Robinson, David Villasuso all hail from Miami, while Gerry Gonzalez (Coral Gables), Travis Miller (Tequesta) and Kevin Youst (Plantation) are also from the South Florida area. Ted Blackman (Altamonte Springs) is the lone incoming freshman not from Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties.

Several incoming freshmen have previous connections prior to signing with UM. Miranda and Robinson were teammates at Killian Senior High School in Miami, Melendres and Villasuso played together at Florida Christian School and of the nine players from South Florida, six played summer ball together with the Florida Legends Baseball Club.

The 2009 UM baseball team will feature 19 returning players – including 16 letterwinners – from last year’s team that reached the College World Series and finished with an overall record of 53-11. Among the players returning this season include left-handers Chris Hernandez, Collegiate Baseball’s National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, and Eric Erickson, a two-time All-ACC performer, as well as shortstop Ryan Jackson, a first-team All-ACC selection in 2008.

Miami’s first day of fall practice is slated for Oct. 9.

2008 Miami Baseball Signing Class

Ted Blackman

Outfield

6-0, 180, S/R

Freshman

Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Lake Brantley HS

Hit .380 with one homer and 12 stolen bases during his senior year in 2008 … Named to the Seminole Athletic Conference first team as a senior … Named MVP of the Florida State Game his junior and senior seasons … Helped lead Lake Brantley to a 20-4 record and a 6A state championship … Coached by Mike Smith at Lake Brantley … Played summer ball for the Orlando Scorpions.

Gerry Gonzalez

Outfield

5-10, 170, L/L

Freshman

Coral Gables, Fla.

Ransom Everglades HS

Named Ransom Everglades’ Best Offensive Player as a senior in 2008 and Best Defensive Player in 2007 … Hit .470 with two home runs, 25 RBI and five stolen bases his senior season and .420 with 18 RBI and six stolen bases his junior year … Coached by Steve Wodgetts at Ransom Everglades.

Chris Herrmann

Third Base/Catcher

6-0, 182, L/R

Junior

Tomball, Texas

Tomball HS/Alvin CC

Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round (296 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft … Hit .442 with 14 home runs and a .711 slugging percentage at Alvin Community College … Named to the NJCAA Division I All-American Team in 2008 … Also named to the JUCO World Series All-Tournament Team after hitting .500 with three home runs and nine RBI … Honored with the NJCAA Rawlings Big Stick Award … Named to the All-Region XIV Team and the NJCAA JUCO All-Star Team … At Tomball, named 17-5A First Team All-District unanimously as a second baseman … Named All-Area in Houston at second base in addition to being named to the Houston Area All-Star team in 2006 … Coached by Rick Lynch at Tomball and Brian Alexander at Alvin … Played summer ball for the Houston Mavericks.

Scott Lawson

Second Base/Infield

5-10, 185, L/R

Junior

Grapevine, Texas

Colleyville Heritage HS/Grayson CC

Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 40th round (1,202 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft … Led Grayson to the Junior College World Series Championship as a sophomore, hitting .468 with six homers, 40 RBI and 22 stolen bases on the season … Named first team all-conference and first-team all-region as a freshman at Grayson in 2007, hitting .426 with eight homers, 64 RBI and 15 steals … Named to the Texas Junior College All Star Team … At Colleyville Heritage, hit .440 with four homers and 32 RBI his senior season and .409 with three homers and 25 RBI his junior year … Named first-team all-state in Texas by both the coaches association and the state sportswriters in 2006 … Awarded first-team all-district his junior and sophomore seasons … Named to the Dean’s List at Grayson … Coached by Alan McDougal at Colleyville Heritage and Dusty Hart at Grayson … Played summer ball for the Glens Falls Eagles.

Harold Martinez

Infield

6-3, 200, R/R

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Braddock Senior HS

Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 19th round (573 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft … Hit .410 with eight homers and 27 RBI as a senior and .500 with three homers and 23 RBI as a junior at Braddock … Named first-team all-county as a senior and led his team to a district championship in 2008 and 2006 … Hit .489 as a sophomore and .390 as a freshman … Played on the USA Junior National Team (18U) and the USA Youth National Team (16U) … Coached by Manny Fernandez at Braddock … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends.

Nathan Melendres

Infield/Outfield

5-10, 185, R/R

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Florida Christian School

Played two years at Coral Park Senior High School before transferring to Florida Christian School for his final two prep seasons … Named second-team All-Dade his senior season after hitting .398 with four home runs, 30 RBI and 15 stolen bases … Helped lead Florida Christian to record of 19-6 in 2008 … Hit .375 his junior year, earning honorable mention All-Dade … Coached by Ernie Padron at Florida Christian and Jose Novas at Coral Park … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends … Brother Nick is a pitcher at Florida Atlantic University.

Travis Miller

Pitcher

6-2, 210, L/R

Freshman

Tequesta, Fla.

Jupiter HS

Played two years at Jupiter Christian School before transferring to Jupiter High School for his final two prep seasons … Had a combined record of 6-3 with 62 strikeouts in his two seasons at Jupiter HS … Helped team to a combined record of 44-11 (23-6 in 2008; 21-5 in 2007) … Named all-county and second-team all-district his junior season … Finished his junior season with an ERA of 1.50 … At Jupiter Christian, hit .300 with 16 RBI his sophomore season and .333 with 26 RBI his freshman campaign … Coached by Doug Ferguson at Jupiter High School.

Daniel Miranda

Pitcher

5-11, 220, L/L

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Killian Senior HS

Played alongside fellow UM freshman Sam Robinson at Killian … Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 50th round (1,490 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft … Earned third-team All-Dade his junior season after going 7-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 83 strikeouts … Coached by Angel Herrera at Killian … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends.

Vickash Ramjit

1B/3B/OF

6-3, 200, R/R

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Columbus HS

Named all-county as a senior after hitting .387 with two home runs and 37 RBI in 2008 … Had similar numbers his junior year, hitting .385 with two homers and 31 RBI … Led his team to the second round of the playoffs his senior year and to the third round his junior year … Coached by Joe Webber at Columbus … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends.

Sam Robinson

Pitcher

6-2, 175, L/L

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Killian Senior HS

Played alongside fellow UM freshman Daniel Miranda at Killian … Named first-team All-Dade his senior year, earning a record of 5-2 with a 1.11 ERA and 50 strikeouts … Went 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 45 strikeouts as a junior in 2007, earning third-team All-Dade … Led team to a 16-7 record in 2008 and a 18-6 mark in 2007 … Coached by Angel Herrera at Killian … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends … Twin brother Zach plays baseball at Tennessee Temple University.

David Villasuso

Catcher/First Base

5-10, 198, R/R

Freshman

Miami, Fla.

Florida Christian School

Hit .365 with seven home runs and 30 RBI as a senior and .375 with 11 homers and 33 RBI as a junior at Florida Christian … Attended tryouts for the USA National Team … Played in the Miami-Dade and Dade County All-Star games … Coached by Ernie Padron at Florida Christian … Played summer ball for the Florida Legends.

Taylor Wulf

Pitcher

6-0, 235, R/R

Junior

Santa Fe, Texas

Santa Fe HS/Alvin CC

Coached by Ronnie Wulf at Santa Fe and Brian Alexander at Alvin … Went 10-1 with a 3.82 ERA and 74 strikeouts his sophomore season at Alvin … Was a unanimous all-conference selection in 2008 … Served as Alvin’s closer in 2007, recording six saves en route to being named a JUCO All-Star … Helped lead team to a Region XIV Championship and a JUCO World Series appearance in 2007 … Also named to the Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Team and the Junior College All-Star Team in 2008 … Played summer ball for American Legion Post 89 and Post 554 … Brother Ryan plays baseball at Brookhaven Junior College.

Kevin Youst

Pitcher

6-3, 200, R/R

Freshman

Plantation, Fla.

American Heritage HS

Missed his senior season due to injury … Team won both state and national championships in 2008, finishing the season 31-2 … Went 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA as a junior … Coached by Todd Fitzgerald at American Heritage.