NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma baseball program announced on Monday the signing of 12 new talents during the early signing period which ended earlier this week. The new class is compiled mostly with players coming from two-year colleges as nine of the prospects hail from the junior college ranks. The Sooners also continued to recruit strongly within the Oklahoma high school system as they picked up three of Oklahoma’s top prep players.
“We’re extremely excited about our new Sooners that we have coming in,” commented OU head coach Larry Cochell. “We feel like we signed to our needs without overrecruiting.”
Another strong emphasis in the class was on pitching as the Sooners recruited seven hurlers to prepare for the potential loss of both current and recruited pitchers to the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft next year.
“We will lose a significant amount of innings off this pitching staff, so we felt like we needed to prepare for that scenario. Also in the signing of these pitchers we realize that we probably are not going to be able to keep all of them because of the professional baseball draft,” continued Cochell.
The following is a brief look (in alphabetical order) at the Sooners’ 2006 incoming class:
Omar Aguilar, Righthanded Pitcher, Merced Community College Merced’s top performing pitcher last year ... Projected to serve in a starting role again this year ... Has been clocked as high as 98 mph on his fastball ... Selected in the eighth round by the San Francisco Giants in the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and in the 27th round by the Giants in the 2003 draft ... Recently named by Baseball America as the No. 1 draft and follow prospect for the 2005 MLB draft ... Also received recognition from Baseball America as the fifth top prospect in the Valley Baseball League this past summer ... Served in both starting and relief roles in his first season ... Only freshman pitcher to capture first team All-Central Valley Conference honors last year ... Started nine of the 18 contests in which he appeared ... Tied for the team lead in wins with a 6-4 record ... Led the team in strikeouts with 73 ... Posted a 4.58 ERA and worked 70.2 innings ... His ERA improved to 2.61 in conference play which ranked fifth in the conference in league games only ... Posted a 4-1 mark in conference play ... Ranked among the league leaders in several categories (games overall) including strikeouts per game (9.3 2nd), hits allowed per game (7.4 3rd), innings pitched (14th) and ERA (18th) ... His strikeouts per game average ranked in a tie for 15h in the California state JUCO system ... Helped lead team to a third place conference finish with a 22-16 overall mark and a 14-7 record in league play ... Coached by Chris Pedretti ... Played alongside current Sooner Joel Pedretti last year and on the Covington Lumberjacks this past summer ... Also recruited by Oklahoma State.
Andrew Carpenter, Righthanded Pitcher, Sacramento City Community College Embarking on his first season at SCC after transferring from Chico State ... Will be in the starting rotation at SCC ... Possesses a fastball, curveball, split finger and changeup ... Averages between 87-90 mph on the radar gun ... Served as one of the Wildcats’ starting pitchers as a freshman ... Compiled a 7-2 record with a 4.12 ERA ... Also recorded two saves in six relief appearances ... Fanned 53 batters in 74.1 innings of work ... Team went 8-3 in his 11 starts ... Ranked third on the team in starts, appearances, wins, innings pitched and strikeouts ... Finished tied for sixth in wins and ninth in ERA in the California Collegiate Athletic Association ... Team finished season with a 42-21-1 overall record and a conference mark of 23-15-1 ... The Wildcats owned the association’s top team ERA, strikeouts, wins and saves totals ... One of his four complete games on the season occurred during the team’s semifinal win over UC San Diego in the CCAA championships ... Helped lead team to the association championship ... Coached at Chico State by Lindsay Meggs ... Currently coached by Andy McKay at SCC ... Current teammates with fellow Sooner signee Louis Ott ... Also recruited by Long Beach State and Arizona State.
Arin Fowble, Third Baseman, Owasso (Okla.) High School - A three-year starter and letterman for the Rams ... Played at third base and also utilized occasionally behind the plate ... Recorded a .375 batting average with 96 hits, 75 runs scored and 78 RBI for his career ... Also compiled 25 doubles, one triple and nine home runs in his first three seasons ... Has struck out only 17 times in 256 career at bats ... Named the Blue Devil Classic Game Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive year last season ... Hit the longest home run in school history against Sapulpa in the high school state tournament ... Helped lead team to its second straight state title and third consecutive Frontier Conference championship ... Team went 34-3 on the year and finished No. 3 in the nation for the second consecutive year ... Member of the Oklahoma Junior Sunbelt Team ... Selected as the Blue Devil Classic Game MVP as well as to the Classic All-Star Team ... Named first team all-conference and second team All-Metro ... Helped lead team to a state title and conference championship ... Team finished the year 36-4 and was ranked third in the nation ... Chosen as the Blue Devil Classic Game MVP .... Helped lead team to a conference championship ... Coached by Larry Turner ... Lettered in wrestling and football his freshman and sophomore years ... Recently named a top junior recruit by Street and Smith’s magazine ... Was ranked as the No. 3 14-year-old in the nation by Baseball America after helping lead his team to the CABA World Series title ... Also recruited by Oral Roberts.
Chris Henry, Lefthanded Pitcher, San Joaquin Delta Community College Projected to serve in the starting rotation for the second straight year ... Possesses a fastball, curveball, split finger and slider ... Clocked between 86-89 mph on the radar gun ... Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 41st round of the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft ... Started five of the eight contests in which he appeared ... Most regularly used freshman hurler on the staff ... Posted a 1-1 mark with a 5.88 ERA ... Both decisions came during conference play ... Recorded 14 strikeouts ... Pitched 26 innings ... Team finished with a 17-16 overall mark and a 13-13 record in Bay Valley East Conference play ... Coached by Jim Yanko ... Also recruited by UNLV, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, California-Riverside, Tennessee, University of Pacific and Winthrop.
David Hernandez, Righthanded Pitcher, Cosumnes River Community College A preseason Junior College All-American selection by the California Community College Coaches Association ... Cosumnes’ top pitcher a year ago ... Will continue to hold down the No. 1 spot in the starting rotation this year ... Also expected to see occasional time as the team’s designated hitter ... Pitching repertoire includes a fastball, slider and changeup ... Has been clocked consistently in the low 90’s ... Drafted twice in his career: in the 34th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and in the 29th round by the Colorado Rockies in the 2003 draft ... Garnered first team All-Bay Valley East Conference honors ... Compiled an 8-3 record in 17 appearances ... Started 14 games and recorded one save in his three relief outings ... Registered a 3.38 ERA and fanned 99 batters in 82.2 innings of work ... His strikeout total tied the school’s single-season record ... Tossed one complete game ... Posted a 6-3 mark and a 4.21 ERA in conference action ... Led the team in wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched ... Ranked in a tie for third in starts and fifth in strikeouts per game (10.8) in the California state JUCO system ... Tied for top honors in the league, ranked first in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched and 12th in ERA ... Chosen as the team’s Pitcher of the Year ... Team finished the season with an 18-17-1 overall record and a 15-11 mark in conference play and a third place finish in the Bay Valley East Conference standings... Coached by Tony Bloomfield ... Teammates with fellow Sooner signee Sean Shoffit.
Matt Lovelady, Righthanded Pitcher, Modesto Junior College Embarking on his first season at Modesto Junior College after spending one year at Salt Lake City Community College and part of a season at San Joaquin Delta Community College ... Described as a power pitcher with a good fastball, breaking ball and changeup ... Has hit the low 90’s on the radar gun ... Projected to serve in a starting role at Modesto ... Coached by Bo Aiello at MCC ... Made one relief appearance in his only season at San Joaquin Delta Community College in 2004 ... Coached by Jim Yanko at San Joaquin Delta Community College ... Former teammates with fellow Sooner signee Chris Henry at San Joaquin Delta and current teammates with fellow Sooner signee Aaron Reza at Modesto Community College ... Started as a freshman at Salt Lake City Community College ... Pitched 20 innings before season was ended by injury ... Posted a 2-0 mark ... Coached by D.G. Nelson ... Lettered three years at Snow Canyon High School in St. George, Utah ... Garnered State Most Valuable Player honors in Class 3-A as a senior ... Registered a 9-1 record and a 1.30 ERA ... Helped lead team to a state championship ... Posted a 5-0 record his junior year ... Team finished in second at the state tournament ... Coached by Jerry Beck ... Also lettered two years in football ... Also recruited by Long Beach State and Utah.
John Maschino, Pitcher, Edmond (Okla.) North High School A two-year starter and letterman ... Pitched as well as played at first base ... Used as a starter on the mound in addition to making occasional relief appearances ... Owns career pitching marks of a 2.94 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 82 innings pitched ... Tied for team top honors in wins last year with an 8-2 record ... Struck out 70 batters in 60 innings and relinquished only 49 hits ... Posted a 3.93 ERA and recorded a pair of saves ... Hit at a .356 clip ... Garnered second team All-Big City from the Daily Oklahoman and first team All-Edmond accolades from the Edmond Evening Sun ... Helped lead team to a 32-7 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the Metro Conference last year ... Team finished as runner-ups in the state tournament and were crowned as conference champions ... A member of the Oklahoma Junior Sunbelt Team ... Also participated in the Area Code Games as a member of the Chicago White Sox scout team ... Recorded a 2-0 mark on the mound as a sophomore ... Also batted .350 ... Team went 27-14 on the year and advanced to the state semi-finals and won their conference ... Coached by Rick Nordike ... Also competed on the football team as a freshman ... Also recruited by Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Missouri.
Brandon Moss, Catcher, Norman (Okla.) High School A three-year starter and letterwinner for the Tigers ... First player to start on the varsity baseball team since the beginning of his career in the last 12 years at Norman High School ... Owns a career batting average of .440 and 21 career home runs ... On pace to break the school’s all-time home run record ... Batted a career high .452 last year with six home runs and 35 RBI ... Named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2004 ... Team went 21-15 on the year and hosted a state regional contest ... Hit at a .443 clip with eight homers and 44 RBI as a sophomore ... Team posted a record of 25-12 during his sophomore campaign ... Helped lead team to a conference championship ... Recorded a .418 batting average and four home runs with 25 RBI in 2002 ... Garnered the team’s Contributor Award as a freshman ... Team finished his first year with a 14-20 record ... Coached by Doug Gillis ... Former prep teammate of current Sooner Tyler Adkins.
Louis Ott, Infielder, Sacramento City Community College Served as the team’s starting shortstop a year ago ... Has begun to hit from the left side of the plate and will be used as a switch hitter this season ... A valuable utility player that can play any position on the field ... May also see some time behind the plate ... Saw action in all 36 games last year ... Hit at a .254 clip with 26 runs scored and 19 RBI ... Batted .256 in conference games only ... Helped lead team to a 30-6 overall record and a first place finish in the Bay Valley East Conference with a 23-3 mark ... Team held the No. 1 seed through the first two rounds of the Northern California Community College Playoffs ... Coached by Andy McKay ... Teammates with fellow Sooner signee Andrew Carpenter ... Also recruited by Fresno State, Oral Roberts and Auburn.
Kyle Price, Infielder, Southern Nevada Community College - Versatile prospect who can play at first, second and third base ... Team is a member of a league that uses wood bats ... Has been selected to serve as a team captain this season ... Batted .295 with 10 doubles and 28 RBI last year ... Started 46 of the team’s 60 contests ... Helped lead team to a 39-20 record and a conference co-championship ... Team advanced to the regional championships in post-season play ... Coached by Tim Chambers ... Also recruited by Tennessee, Georgia and UNLV.
Aaron Reza, Infielder, Modesto Junior College Beginning his first season at Modesto ... Coached at Modesto by Bo Aiello ... Walked on at Long Beach State during the 2004 season ... Did not make any appearances for the Dirtbags ... Coached at Long Beach State by Mike Weathers ... Projected to start at shortstop and hit in the leadoff or third spot in the batting order in the spring ... Described as a good runner who bunts well and has a quick first step on defense ... A four-year starter and letterman at Patterson (Calif.) High School ... Selected as the all-league shortstop all four years ... An all-district pick in his final three seasons ... Selected as team’s Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player his junior and senior years ...Batted .580 with five home runs and 45 RBI and runs scored as a senior ... Swiped 35 bases ... Named a first team All-State selection ... Served as team captain during his final campaign ... Helped lead team to a 27-4 record and conference and sectional championships ... Also led his team to a league title his junior year ... Coached by Rich McWilliams ... Also lettered in football for four years ... Played at the running back position ... Ended his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher ... A three-time team Offensive Player of the Year and Team Most Valuable Player ... Twice named to the all-district team in his junior and senior seasons ... Excelled off the field as well where he was named a Stanford Super Student and served as President of the Block Club ... A member of the National Honor Society ... Also recruited out of high school by Washington State, University of Nevada, Long Beach State and University of Pacific.
Sean Shoffit, Infielder, Cosumnes River Community College A preseason Junior College All-American selection by the California Community College Coaches Association ... Competed at first base as well as pitched last year ... Will start at shortstop and serve as the team’s closer this season ... Possesses a fastball, slider and changeup and can hit the low 90’s on the radar ... A first team All-Bay Valley East Conference selection at first base as a freshman in 2004 ... Ranked second on the team in hitting, hits and runs scored with a .328 average, 42 hits and 32 runs, respectively ... Owned the team’s best on-base percentage at .434 ... Drove in 15 runs ... Contributed nine extra base hits, including seven doubles, a triple and a home run ... Batting average rose to .347 in conference play ... Made eight relief appearances and started one game on the mound last year ... Registered an 0-2 record with a 6.52 ERA ... Struck out six batters in 9.2 innings of work ... Team finished the season with an 18-17-1 overall record and a 15-11 mark in conference play and a third place finish in the Bay Valley East Conference standings ... Coached by Tony Bloomfield ... Plays alongside fellow Sooner signee David Hernandez.