Nov. 16, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego head baseball coach Rich Hill has announced the singing of 10 players to National Letters of Intent to play baseball at USD beginning in the 2011 season. Singing NLI's to play at USD are Kris Bryant (Las Vegas, Nev./Bonanza HS), Dylan Covey (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), Danny Hawksley (Rancho San Diego, Calif./Valhalla HS), Marcus Littlewood (St. George, Utah/ Pineview HS), Max MacNabb (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), Griffin Murphy (Highland, Calif./Redlands East Valley HS), Paul Paez (Baldwin Park, Calif./ Bishop Amat HS), Kellen Sweeney (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Jefferson HS), Michael Wagner (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial HS) and Tony Wolters (Vista, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista HS).
"This is an outstanding group of players, probably the best pre-signing deadline that I've been apart of," stated Hill. "Our assistant coaches, and Jay Johnson in particular have done an unbelievable job. This is a phenomenal group in terms of ability, character, academics, and commitment to spending their first 36 months in college developing."
Bryant, a 6-5 third baseman, comes to the Toreros after a stand-out high school career at Bonanza High School, where he was named a 2009 AFLAC All-American, and was selected to play in 2009 USA Baseball Tournament of the Stars, and the 2009 Area Codes games. He was named first-team All State Nevada 4A (Las Vegas Review Journal) after hitting .486 with 14 home runs and 34 RBI during his junior season. He earned back-to-back first-team All-State distinctions as a sophomore and junior.
"Big-time power guy, with soft hands in the infield, and will be a middle of the order hitter immediately for us," stated Hill.
Covey, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, will join the Toreros in 2011 after an outstanding high school career at Maranatha High School. Covey was named a 2009 AFLAC All-American and was named the 2009 CIF Southern Section Division IV Player of the Year, as well as the 2008 CIF Southern Section Division VI Player of the Year. He earned back-to-back Alpha League Player of the Year honors as a sophomore and junior and was named the Star News Area Player of the Year as a junior. As a junior he posted an 11-2 record, with a 1.23 ERA, and had 127 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched.
"Big, strong, athletic, right-handed pitcher, who pitches into the mid-90's with his fastball, and possesses a very hard mid 80's breaking ball," said Hill.
Hawksley, a 6-3 catcher/first baseman, comes to USD after a stand-out career at Valhalla High School, where he hit .362, with three home runs, and has 24 RBI as a junior en route to a first-team All-Grossmont League selection.
"Local star out of Valhalla High School, who is an outstanding character and keeps improving every day. He is is a real steal for us," stated Hill.
Littlewood, a 6-2 shortstop from Pineview High School, will join the Toreros in 2011 after a huge high school career. After his junior hear, he was named Mr. Baseball in Utah, was selected to the U18 National Trials, was selected to play in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, and selected to play in the Area Codes Games. Littlewood hit .531, had a .634 on-base percentage, hit 14 doubles, had five triples and six home runs, while slugging at 1.047 as a junior.
"Outstanding switch hitter, who is a plus defender," said Hill of Littlewood. "He is an immediate impact guy who will change us offensively and defensively the second he gets here."
MacNabb, a 6-1 left-handed pitcher, comes to USD by way of near-by La Costa Canyon High School, where he was a first-team All-League and All-CIF selection as a junior after posting an ERA of 1.15, with an overall record of 6-1, racked up 81 strikeouts in 55 innings of work. He was also selected to play in the North-South Series as a junior.
"Great left-handed pitcher from La Costa Canyon, who is just now coming into his own. He possesses a good breaking ball and is just a real competitor," stated Hill.
Murphy, a 6-3 left-handed pitcher, comes to the Toreros after a stand-out career at Redlands East Valley High School. As a junior he went 9-2, with a 1.20 ERA en route to a first-team All-Citrus Belt League selection, a second-team All-CIF Southern Schools distinction, as well as a second-team All-State (medium schools) honor. He was selected to play in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, the 2009 Area Codes Game and was selected to the 18 and Under 2009 USA National Trials.
"Heralded left-handed pitcher from the Inland Empire. He has a huge upside, possesses a great curve ball and change-up," stated Hill. "Griffin is a phenomenal character guy and will make an immediate impact to the pitching rotation."
Paez, a 5-9 left-handed pitcher, joins the Torero pitching staff in 2011 after a solid high school career at Bishop Amat High School. As a junior, he went 10-3, with a 2.17 ERA, had 107 strikeouts in 67 innings of work. For his efforts, he earned first-team All-Del Rey League honors, was named second-team All-CIF Southern Section and was a 2009 first-team Under Armour Pre-Season All American.
"Competitive left-handed pitcher that comes from a storied high school program," stated Hill. "He commands all three pitches for strikes, and is a proven winner!"
Sweeney, a 6-0 infielder/outfielder, comes to USD by way of Jefferson High School. As a junior, he was named an AFLAC All-American, was selected to play in the Area Codes Games, and was a first-team All-State selection.
"Sweeney is a gifted athlete who is a five tool player when healthy," said Hill. "He possess great speed, has a great bat; and great hands as an infielder."
Wagner, a 6-4 right-handed pitcher, will join the Toreros from Centennial High School, where he was a first-team All-Northwest Conference selection, a second-team All-Sunset Division honoree, and was selected to play in the Area Codes games as a junior. During his junior season, he posted a 5-2 record, with a 2.62 ERA, had 68 strikeouts in 53.1 innings of work.
"Michael is a projectable right-handed pitcher that is just now coming into his own. He has a live fastball with downward plane and is developing off speed pitches," said Hill.
Wolters, a 5-10 infielder, comes to USD after a stand-out high school career at Rancho Buena Vista High School. He was named an AFLAC All-American as a junior, was selected to the 18 and Under 2009 USA National Team, selected to play in 2009 USA Baseball Tournament of the Stars, selected to play in the Area Codes Games, was named first-team All-Palomar League and named first-team All-CIF San Diego Section. As a junior, he hit .380, with six home runs, nine doubles, and had 29 RBI.
"Wolters was the MVP of AFLAC game. He is a guy who has true baseball mentality, and is a very skilled athlete who will change the complexion of our team," said Hill.