FROM PRESS RELEASE
TAMPA, Fla. – Head Coach Lelo Prado and the University of South Florida baseball coaching staff were honored by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on Tuesday with the 43rd-best baseball recruiting class in the country.
“This rank is a good start,” said Prado. “I think this recruiting class will lay the foundation for great teams in the future and I think it is going to be one of many great recruiting classes. We have picked up some great freshman and some good junior college kids. I am very pleased with the players we have brought in, and I feel very good about where the program is headed.”
Prado, along with assistants Lazer Collazo and Bryant Ward, added 28 newcomers to the 2008 USF squad, including 17 freshmen and 11 transfers.
“Lazer and Bryant did a great job with this recruiting class – they both worked their tails off,” said Prado. “They wanted their first spring recruiting class to be pretty high in the rankings. I thought we’d be ranked a little higher than that, but it is what happens during the season that really counts. We are working toward our ultimate goal, and that is to win conference championships, get to regionals and be a program that is there every year.”
The staff has recruited what looks to be one of the best-ever for USF, a lineup that includes four players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, two NJCAA National Champions, a pair of players from the California State Championship Final Four team, an FCCAA State Champion, prospects ranked by Baseball America and a high school all-American.
“The key to us is making sure the young guys get the system fast and play at a high level early. If they do, then we are going to be fine,” said Prado. “I think these new guys are going to have great careers.”
The MLB draft included four incoming Bulls in left handed pitcher Stephen Hunt (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit HS), LHP Junior Carlin (Riverview, Fla./Riverview HS), right hander Derrick Stultz (Tampa, Fla./Wharton) and outfielder Brian Hobbs (Marietta, Fla./Chipola JC). Hunt was USF’s highest selection when he was taken by Oakland in the 17th round. The Red Sox picked Carlin in the 29th round, then selected Stultz in the 38th round. In 2006 Hobbs was selected by the Angels in the 41st round.
Hunt, who pitched in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., is an honorable mention all-county player for JHS. The LHP and first baseman was the defensive player of the year for JHS and an all-county selection by the St. Pete Times.
Carlin was a 2007 Hillsborough County All-Star game participant and in 2006 led the Riverview team to the 6A District 8 championship game.
At 6-3, 220-pounds, Stultz was an honorable mention all-county player for Wharton High after transferring from Gaither High the previous season. He went 1-0 with a 5.25 ERA for the Cowboys last season, striking out 19 batters in 12 innings. Stultz also pitched in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
Although Hobbs was selected in the 41st round of the 2006 MLB Draft, he opted to return to Chipola Junior College in 2007 for his second season with the Indians. The squad won the NJCAA National Championship, with Hobbs batting .320 with four home runs and 21 RBIs. Hobbs had eight home runs the prior season. At 6-2, 230 pounds, he stole 10 bases with his 6.8 speed. Prior to Chipola, Hobbs was a two-time all-state player for Arundel High in Preston, Md.
Catcher Trey Manz joined Brian Hobbs on the 2007 Chipola College NJCAA National Championship team. During the title season, Manz batted .315 with nine home runs and 50 RBI in 55 games. For his performance, he was named to the First Team Panhandle Conference Squad. The left handed hitter was an All-Bi-City player for Shaw High School in Columbus, Ga.
Junior middle infielder Jeremy Malmendier and junior first baseman Brandon Smith helped Sacramento City College to the Final Four of the California State Championships in 2007.
Batting .351, Malamendier earned second team all-conference honors while leading his team to a 19-5 record and a first-place finish in the BIG 7 Conference. Malmendier produced 52 hits, including 10 doubles and one triple while driving in 25 RBI. He posted a .432 slugging percentage and scored 36 runs as a sophomore at Sac City.
Smith helped Sac City to a 35-15 record by batting .299, driving in 25 RBI and collecting 70 total bases in 45 games. Smith had 53 hits, including nine doubles and four triples, while scoring 35 runs in his second season with the Final Four team.
Outfielder Chris Rey batted .403 with two home runs and 36 RBI last season, leading Miami Dade College to the FCCAA State Baseball Championships. A former Gulliver Prep standout, Rey earned first team all-state and all-conference honors while at Miami Dade. As a high school junior, he hit .349 and drove in 18 runs, earning second team All-Dade honors. He also played quarterback on the Gulliver football squad.
Outfielder Ryan Lockwood transferred to USF after taking a red shirt year while at the University of Florida last season. He earned second-team all-state honors as a senior at Jesuit, hitting seven home runs and 30 RBI. He has played in both the Cape Cod and Coastal Plain summer baseball leagues in the past. A four-year letterwinner at Jesuit, Lockwood helped the Tigers to the final four of the state tournament all four years of his prep career. The three-time all-county selection appeared on the Watch List for the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year. In 2005 he represented the East team at the prestigious Baseball Express Cape Cod High School Classic in Wareham, Mass. While competing for the All-American Prospects, his squad claimed the 17-and-Under World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) Championships at East Cobb in Marietta, Ga. He also participated in the East Coast Professional Showcase.
Eric Baumann was a catcher and designated hitter for Duke during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Baumann, from Armwood High in Seffner, Fla., played in nearly 60 games with the Blue Devils in two seasons. As a freshman he saw action in 28 games, starting nine. He recorded a .510 slugging percentage overall and 1.154 percent in ACC games. He was a designated hitter his sophomore season, making 23 starts. Prior to Duke, Baumann was the runner-up in the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championship in 2001 with Team Florida USA and won the USA Baseball Junior National Olympic National Championship the same year. In the summer of 2002, he led Team Florida USA in home runs.
Catcher Cory Johnson played in seven games for Liberty University (Va.) last season, recording a .375 batting average. A graduate of The King’s Academy, Johnson was a second-team all-area player twice and honorable mention as a sophomore.
Teddy Kaufman is a walk-on who was used as a situational reliever at Miami last season as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow in fall 2004. Kaufman was a standout pitcher at Miami Killian, with a 1.25 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 73 innings as a junior before his injury. He missed his senior year at Killian and redshirted the 2006 season at Miami as he recovered from his injury. Kaufman helped lead Killian to the state championship game in 2004.
Right handed pitcher Andrew Salgueiro, a transfer from Louisville, made 16 appearances for the Cardinals last season, posting a 4.50 ERA with two wins. Salgueiro struck out 20 opponents in 18 innings for UofL, who played in the 2007 College World Series. In 2006 he made 14 appearances as a true freshman, seven of which were in conference play. While at Gulliver Prep in Miami, Salgueiro was honored as an all-Dade County and all-conference player. He played in the 2004 North/South all-star game and the Perfect Game National Tournament.
Catcher Ryan Garcia batted .349 at Brevard Community College in 2007, collecting 21 RBI from nine doubles and one home run his freshman season. In high school, Garcia batted .360 with six home runs his junior season and tallied 20 RBI while batting .357 as a senior. Garcia, who only played one season at Brevard, will have three years of eligibility with the Bulls.
A top 300 player from Chamberlain High School, Todd Brazeal is a third baseman and outfielder that should make an immediate impact for the Bulls. Ranked 112 by Baseball America, Brazeal was a three-time all-county selection and was selected to the All-Saladino tournament team as an infielder. As a freshman in 2004, Brazeal was selected to the “Tampa Tribune” All-Hillsborough County (second team) baseball squad.
Right handed pitcher Kevin Quackenbusch, who Baseball America touted as a nationally ranked prospect, was a 2006 Baseball Express Cape Cod All-American. A member of the All-American Prospects, Quackenbusch has attended the PG National Showcase, the Florida Diamond Club Showcase and the Tournament of Stars in Joplin, Mo., where USA Junior National Baseball Team tryouts were held. Quackenbusch, who was a 2007 all-state player for Jesuit HS, posted a 9-4 record and a 1.40 ERA with 1-2 strikeouts in 70 innings his senior season. The Hillsborough County All-Star pitched a no-hitter in both his junior and senior years.
Pitcher Zach Pietrzyk, FACA District 13 Class 5A Player of the Year, comes to USF from Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Fla. Pietrzyk is an honorable mention Louisville Slugger High School All-American, as well as a first team All-Hillsborough County and first team All-Western Conference player. Pietrzyk was selected to the 2005 PG National Underclass Prospect team in 2005 and was on the top 10 prospect list for the 2005 PG Sunshine East Showcase. A member of the 2005 19-and-under national AAU championship team (Brandon Blaze), Pietrzyk pitched for the Central Florida Renegades during the summer of 2006.
Infielder John Koscso batted .525 with five home runs and 41 RBI his senior year for Jesuit High School in Tampa. The Class 4A, District 13 player of the year, Koscso was a first team honoree for the all-state, All-Sun Coast and All-Hillsborough County teams. He played for the 17U All-American Prospects, who won the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association National Championship in East Cobb, Ga.
Kyle Eastham, a freshman pitcher/outfielder from Riverview High in Florida, posted a 7-4 record for the Sharks in 2007, earning all-conference accolades. He held a 2.15 ERA in 52 innings while striking out 75 opponents. At the plate, Eastham batted .441 with 30 hits and 20 RBI, including nine doubles, one triple and three home runs, for a .735 slugging percentage. He attempted and stole three bases his senior season.
Michael Anzivino is a right handed pitcher from Gulliver Prep in Miami, Fla. Anzivino played for the Florida Legends Baseball Club in 2007, where he was 1-1 with two saves and one complete game.
Freshman Randy Fontanez joins the Bulls from Oviedo High School, where he was a second team all-conference pitcher and a first team all-county shortstop. Fontanez recorded a 1.11 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 75.2 innings his senior season. Fontanez also played for the Florida Legends Baseball Club in 2007, making five appearances and picked up one victory in 8.2 innings.
Middle infielder Tommy Bates joins the Bulls from Westminster Academy in Ft. Lauderdale. A varsity team captain, Bates batted .350 with one home run, stole 25 bases and posted a .989 fielding percentage his senior season.
Ian MacGeorge and Doug Wagner are fresh off their 2007 FHSAA 4A State Championship season with Bishop Moore High School. MacGeorge is a 6-foot 4-inch outfielder from Altamonte Springs, Fla., and Wagner is a 6-foot 1-inch right handed pitcher from Maitland, Fla.
Michael Franzese pitched for Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., before heading to Tampa for his freshman season with the Bulls. The right hander was 9-1 with three saves his senior season and as a junior recorded five saves and an 8-2 record.
Prior to USF, freshman Josh Slawson was a left handed pitcher for Miami Killian High School.
A local product from Sickles High School in Tampa, freshman Andrew Longley will add depth to the Bulls’ catchers. Longley, his team’s captain, earned the SHS Golden Glove award in 2007 by fielding .992. He also recorded a .320 batting average as a senior.
Jordan McGillis is one of six newcomers not from the state of Florida. The infielder from Evansville, Ind., batted .393 and posted an on base percentage of .609 his senior season at Memorial High School.
The Bulls officially start the fall season at Red McEwen Field on Monday, Oct. 8.