Tennessee Announces 2010 Recruits

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Todd Raleigh
Todd Raleigh

The University of Tennessee baseball program has announced the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Todd Raleigh announced Thursday. The 12 players come from seven states, 10 are from the high school ranks and two currently attend junior colleges. Nine of UT signees were ranked as one of the top 10 prospects in their state by PGcrosschecker.com.

“With the class overall we assessed our needs,” Raleigh said. “The number one need was pitching, and I think we did a great job with that. We also brought in some power offensively, some good hitters and we addressed our class the way we needed to.

“It’s undoubtedly a top-10 class in my opinion. Our staff– Fred Corral, Mike Corn, Nate Headley and especially Bradley LeCroy– did a great job with it. Talent aside, I think these kids are going to play the way we want to play here at Tennessee.”

Tennessee Baseball Signees

Player Pos. Hometown (School)
Chad Bell LHP Knoxville, Tenn. (Walters State CC)
Nicholas Blount RHP Loganville, Ga. (South Gwinett)
Ryan Casteel C Cleveland, Tenn. (Bradley Central)
Christopher Fritts OF Houston, Texas (Cypress Ridge)
Andy Hillis RHP Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood)
Brandon King RHP Martinsburg, W.Va. (Martinsburg)
Jon Reed RHP Tulsa, Okla. (Tulsa Memorial)
Michael Theodore RHP Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Detroit Country Day School)
Alan Walden RHP Chattanooga, Tenn. (Red Bank)
Drew Steckenrider OF Lawrenceville, Ga. (Greater Atlanta Christian)
Cody Stubbs 1B Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola)
Khayyan Norfork 2B/SS Ripley, Tenn. (Jackson St CC)


Chad Bell, LHP Knoxville, Tenn. (Walters State CC)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as the No. 9 JC prospect nationally, the No. 2 JC LHP prospect nationally and the No. 1 JC Prospect in the state of Tennessee
-Posted a 12-2 record with 3.40 ERA in 2008, with 106 strikeouts in 104 innings
-Led Walters State to the 2008 NJCAA World Series
-Named the TJCAA Pitcher of the Year in 2008
-High school career record of 27-5
-TBCA Todd Helton Player of the Year in 2007
-In 2007, finished state runner-up with South Doyle High School and finished the season with 14-1 and a 1.31 ERA
-Named 2007 Knoxville News Sentinel PrepXtra Player of the Year and first-team All-State
-Drafted in the 25th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and again in 37th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2008

Coach Raleigh on Bell: “Chad is obviously one of the top prospects in the country. He is going to bring experience for us. He won in high school, he won a championship last year in junior college and he went to the World Series. He brings just a wealth of winning experience to us, and his being a local kid also is a bonus for us.”

Nicholas Blount, RHP Loganville, Ga. (South Gwinett)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as one of the Top 300 HS prospects in the country
-No. 16 ranked overall prospect in the state of Georgia
-No. 9 ranked pitching prospect in the state of Georgia

Coach Raleigh on Blount: “Nick is a great prospect; he has a lot of upside to him. I think his best days are ahead of him. He has a high ceiling to be a great pitcher here one day.”

Ryan Casteel, C Cleveland, Tenn. (Bradley Central)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com among the Top 350 prospects in the country
-Ranked No. 8 best overall prospect in the state Tennessee
-Top ranked catching prospect in the state Tennessee
-Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla., sponsored by MLB
-Led Bradley Central to district championships in 2006 and 2008
-Competed at TSSAA state tournament as a junior in 2007 and advanced to the Quarterfinals
-Earned All-State honors as sophomore and junior
-Set all-time Bradley Central single-season record for batting average (.537) and RBI (60) as a junior
-Combined for 22 home runs during sophomore and junior seasons

Coach Raleigh on Casteel: “We feel like Ryan is one of the top positions players in the state of Tennessee. He is the best high school catcher in the state: I don’t think it’s even close. I think Ryan fits our needs being an offensive catcher and also being a good all-around defender.”

Christopher Fritts, OF Houston, Texas (Cypress Ridge)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as one of the Top 500 prospects in the country
-No. 63 ranked overall prospect in the state of Texas
-Three-year varsity letterman and was a three year All-District selection
-Holds career batting records in average, home runs and RBI at Cypress Ridge
-Also holds single-season batting records in average, home runs and RBI
-Played for the Georgia RoadRunners during the summer, won 2008 Summer Nationals
-Had a .412 average, nine home runs and 35 RBI during his junior season

Coach Raleigh on Fritts: “Chris is a baseball player. He might not showcase as well as some of our other guys, but he plays the game the way we want it to be played. He just knows how to play baseball, and he can flat out hit.”

Andy Hillis, RHP Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood)

-Rated by PGCrosschecker.com as the No. 118 ranked overall prospect in the country
-No. 2 ranked prospect in the state of Tennessee
-No. 1 ranked pitcher in the state of Tennessee
-Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla. sponsored by MLB
-Threw no-hitter with the East Cobb Astros in 18U Showcase

Coach Raleigh on Hillis: “Andy has tremendous upside. He can throw the ball really hard with a lot of velocity. His best days are ahead of him. We feel like he is one of the best pitchers in the state of Tennessee. I think that Andy has a great future.”

Brandon King, RHP Martinsburg, W. Va. (Martinsburg)

-Rated by PGCrosschecker.com as the No. 1 ranked prospect in West Virginia and one of the top right-handed pitching prospects on the East Coast
-Reached 20 wins in each of his first three high school seasons
-Led Martinsburg to the 2008 Regional Championship for first time since 1995 (team reached state semifinals)
-Earned first-team 2008 West Virginia AAA All-State honors after posting a 7-3 record with 1.50 ERA during the regular season and striking out 107 batters
-19-9 record through first three seasons with a 1.47 ERA and 225 strikeouts in 156 2/3 innings
-During his sophomore and junior seasons, he hit 20 doubles, 16 home runs and drove in 99 runs

Coach Raleigh on King: “Brandon goes in that same mold as Andy Hillis and Nick Blount. He is a big kid. He is about 6-4, Hillis is 6-8, and Blount is about 6-6. So I think with a plethora of those power arms, as we like to call them, those guys will be valuable. Brandon is an imposing figure on the mound. He is big and physical, giving him a chance to be a frontline starter.”

Jon Reed, RHP Tulsa, Okla. (Tulsa Memorial)

-Rated by PGCrosschecker.com as No. 109 ranked overall prospect in the country
-No. 2 ranked prospect in the state of Oklahoma
-No. 1 ranked RHP in the state of Oklahoma
-Competed this past summer in the East Coast Pro Showcase, the Area Code Showcase and Perfect Game National Showcase in the Metrodome

Coach Raleigh on Reed: “Jon is one of the best pitchers in the country. What Jon brings for us is his instant pitchability because we are going to be losing some weekend guys next year. He knows how to pitch, and he has great game presence. The bigger the game, the better he pitches.”

Michael Theodore, RHP Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Detroit Country Day School)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as one of the top 150 overall prospects in the country
-No. 2 ranked prospect in the state of Michigan
-No. 1 ranked pitching prospect in the state of Michigan
-Competed in Perfect Game National Showcase in the Metrodome
-Led Detroit Country Day School to a district championship in 2008
-Pitched a 17-strikeout, shutout against Harper Woods during the 2008 season
-Member of 2007 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars: PONY National Team

Coach Raleigh on Theodore: “Michael is one of those kids who’s not as big as some of the other power arms we signed, but he has a good change up, great pitchability, knows how to pound the zone and he is going to be able to help us right away.”

Alan Walden, RHP Chattanooga, Tenn. (Red Bank)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as the No. 10 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee
-No. 3 ranked pitching prospect in the state of Tennessee
-Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla., sponsored by MLB
-Was a member on four straight district championship teams
-Led Red Bank to a 25-16 record as a junior in 2008

Coach Raleigh on Walden: “We think Alan is as good as it gets out there. Alan has a chance to be really special, and He has tremendous upside like our other signees. He has a great breaking ball already, a power slider and I can see Alan stepping in here right away and contributing. With Alan and Andy Hillis, we believe we have the top two pitchers in the state of Tennessee. On top of that, I think Walden is one of the top pitchers in the entire country.”

Drew Steckenrider, OF Lawrenceville, Ga. (Greater Atlanta Christian)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as the No. 19 overall prospect in the country
-No. 4 ranked overall prospect in the state of Georgia
-Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla., sponsored by MLB and Perfect Game National Showcase in the Metrodome
-Played in the 2008 AFLAC All- American game
-During his junior season, he hit .387, stole 15 bases, had 25 RBI, seven home runs and a 1.17 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched
-Considered one of the nation’s top recruits by numerous media outlets
-Rated by Baseball America as one of the Top 100 overall prospects in the class of 2009

Coach Raleigh on Steckenrider: “Drew is probably our best athlete in this class. He is 6-4, he can run, he can hit with power from both sides of the plate and he can hit for average. He can pretty much do it all. We feel like Drew can come in right away and help to replace some of what will lost in next year’s draft. He is certainly very talented, no question about it.”

Cody Stubbs, 1B Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola)

-Ranked by PGCrosschecker.com as one of the Top 350 overall prospects in the Country
-No. 9 ranked overall prospect in the state of North Carolina
-No. 1 ranked first baseman in the state of North Carolina
-Competed this past summer in the East Coast Pro Showcase and the Area Code
-2008 Conference Player of the Year and a two time All-Conference selection
-Member of 2007 USA Baseball Youth National Team

Coach Raleigh on Stubbs: “I think Cody Stubbs is one of the best left-handed hitters in the country this year. He is 6-4 and hits with tremendous juice. He has a lot of upside. He has a chance to be a great hitter here and his best days are ahead of him.”

Khayyan Norfork, 2B/SS Ripley, Tenn. (Jackson St CC)

-Batted .360 with 43 runs, 60 hits, 40 RBI, 14 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 17 stolen bases as a freshman at Jackson State
-Was a third-team All-Conference selection in 2008
-Carried a .480 batting average during his senior year at Ripley High School
-Named to the All-District and All-District Tournament teams during both his junior and senior seasons
-Played summer ball in the KIT League for the Owensboro Oilers in 2008 and was on pace to break the league record for stolen bases before a summer-ending injury (23 stolen bases in 21 games)
-Played Connie Mack summer ball in 2007 with the Memphis Tigers and advanced to the Southeast Regional final

Coach Raleigh on Norfork: “Khayyan plays with a high energy level that we really like. He can steal bases; he is a very offensive kid. He has great range in the middle infield, and I like the way he plays the game.”

  • George Carpenter

    Perfect Game website lists Ryan Gallardo as committed to UT as a catcher. Can you confirm that information? Thank you.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      George, Your looking at the list for 2009-2010 freshmen class