|2018 Recruiting Class|
|RHP||Ben Abram||Georgetown, Ont.|
|C||Cayden Aldridge||Tahlequah, Okla.|
|IF||Braxton Bohrofen||Oklahoma City, Okla.|
|LHP||Will Dennis||Overland Park, Kan.|
|IF/RHP||Kohl Franklin||Tulsa, Okla.|
|RHP||Brayden Lloyd||Owasso, Okla.|
|IF||Conor McKenna||Carlsbad, Calif.|
|IF/RHP||Diego Muniz||Rockwall, Texas|
|RHP||Wyatt Olds||McLoud, Okla.|
|RHP||Rene Ramos||Olathe, Kan.|
|LHP||Carson Rollins||Katy, Texas|
|LHP||Chase Van Dyk||Frisco, Texas|
|OF||Milan Walla||Kerrville, Texas|
|LHP||Braxton Webb||McKinney, Texas|
NORMAN – University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Skip Johnson welcomed his first signing class to the program on Wednesday at the beginning of the early signing period. The Sooners’ 2018 signing class began with 13 players signing and committing to the program in the first day of the signing period.
“We recruited a first-rate class with a lot of local talent and a number of players that recognize the power of OU’s national brand,” said Johnson. “Between Oklahoma and Texas, there’s not two better states in the country to recruit from for baseball. Both breed players with the right kind of grit and play at a high level of baseball at the high schools and in their select programs.
“Now that they’re committed to the University of Oklahoma, our job is to add a little bit of wit to that grit. A bunch of them are tough kids and we’re looking to grow them into tough and smart ballplayers.”
Oklahoma’s 2018 signing class was ranked in the top-25 by every major outlet reporting on college baseball, including No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball News. The class also earned the No. 19 spot from D1Baseball.com and No. 20 by Baseball America.
The first player to sign on Wednesday was Tahlequah High School catcher Cayden Aldridge. As a freshman, Aldridge set the Keys High School record for home runs, doubles, RBI and slugging percentage. He then moved on to Tahlequah, where he became a two-sport star in football in baseball. Aldridge, an All-District catcher this past spring, set school records for single-game rushing yards and all-purpose yard as a junior last fall.
"Between Oklahoma and Texas, there's not two better states in the country to recruit from for baseball."
— Skip Johnson
Johnson and the Sooners got early commitments from three left-handed pitchers, two two-way products and a right-hander plus an outfielder. The group of lefties was made up of Will Dennis and Carson Rollins out of high school and junior college signee Braxton Webb.
“This signing class has been built to fill the potential void of having nine junior pitchers on our current roster,” added Johnson. “We could lose a lot of guys in the draft, which is a great thing for those individuals, but can be a challenge for a program.”
Dennis is a two-time Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention as a high school pitcher at Blue Valley Northwest. The Overland Park, Kan. product was an All-East Kansas League Honorable Mention this past spring as he helped his tea, to a third place finish the Class 6A. Rollins followed up a Second Team All-District season in 2016 as a First Team honoree as a junior in 2017. Plays his prep ball for Obra D. Tompkins High School in Katy and spends his summers with Texas Twelve.
Webb went 5-2 out of the bullpen for Grayson (Texas) Community College last season. He totaled 72 strikeouts in 52 innings of work. In his prep days at McKinney Boyd, Webb was a First Team All-District pitcher and helped his summer team the Dallas Patriots to a Perfect Game World Series Championship.
From north of the border, Oklahoma welcomed righty Ben Abram, a product of Georgetown District High School in Ontario, Canada. He has played the past five seasons with the Ontario Terriers and been a three-time member of Team Canada, including the Canadian National Team 18U this past summer. A 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher with a four-pitch mix, he helped Canada to a fourth place finish at the U18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Ont. Abram pitched 4.2 innings a start against Japan to lead Canada into the medal round.
Kohl Franklin and Diego Muniz both signed as infielders and right-handed pitchers and were joined in the class by outfielder Milan Walla.
Tulsa’s Franklin has played three years of varsity baseball at Broken Arrow as a pitcher and infielder. He helped the team to a 6A semifinal game appearance as a junior in 2017. With a 5-2 record and 1.85 ERA on the mound this past season, Franklin was named an All-Metro Honorable Mention by the Tulsa World. Muniz earned First Team All-District as a shortstop in his sophomore season at Rockwall in Rockwall, Texas and First Team All-District as a pitcher as a junior in 2017. Following this past season, he earned a spot on the Texas roster for the 2017 Battle of the Borders with Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. Walla, a native of Kerrville, Texas, was named First Team All-State outfielder by the Texas High School Baseball Association at Kerrville Tivy as a junior. Walla helped Kerrville Tivy to a District 26-5A championship.
Oklahoma added NLIs from right-hander Brayden Lloyd, lefty Chase Van Dyk and infielder Braxton Bohrofen. Lloyd helped Owasso reach the 6A state playoffs this past season, while earning All-Metro First Team from the Tulsa World with an 8-1 record and 2.22 ERA. As a freshman in 2015, he came out of the bullpen for the final 2.1 innings of the state championship and earned the win. Van Dyk pitches for Frisco Reedy High School in the spring and DBAT in the summer.
Bohrofen, is a four-year player on the Westmoore football and baseball teams. He served as team captain of the Jaguars’ football team this past fall. A standout in the classroom as a member of the National Honor Society, he has excelled on the field as well at the select level by helping Midwest Elite to a title at the 17U WUBA Perfect Game World Series. Bohrofen’s father Brent was a four-time letterwinner at OU from 1988-91 as he hit .310 with 26 career home runs.
Before the end of the day Wednesday, the Sooners added right-handed pitchers Wyatt Olds and Rene Ramos. Playing for his father Chris as the head coach at McLoud High School, Olds has been a three-time All-Conference selection and earned All-State Honorable Mention as a junior by The Oklahoman. Originally from Houston, Ramos began his prep career at Klein Collins before moving to Olathe, Kan. and joining Blue Valley Southwest High School. He played his summer ball with the EvoShield Canes 16U Gold this past year.
On Thursday, Oklahoma added a NLI from junior college infielder Conor McKenna. McKenna hit .365 as a freshman at Palomar (Calif.) Community College. He drove in and scored 27 runs in 36 games played with five stolen bases en route to earning First Team All-Conference. A product of Carlsbad High School, the same school that produced current Sooner Kyle Mendenhall, he earned team MVP honors as a senior.
The Sooners are coming off a 35-24 campaign, which ended with their first NCAA regional berth in four years. Oklahoma opens the 2018 season February 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. before returning to Norman for its home opener against Abilene Christian on February 21. Season tickets go on sale December 6.