That's right, ladies and gents, I'm pulling a college baseball sneak-attack right in the middle of possibly the most important season Baylor Football has ever played. "But Miles," I hear you say to your computer screen, "I have enough to think about. Between worrying over WVU this weekend, pondering how many more visits Andrew Billings is going to take before he realizes that he can be a starter his freshman year at Baylor, fretting about Hicks/Holl hijinks, and hoping beyond hope that Mark and Christian will be reunited one day, I just don't have the time for baseball right now!"
I know. I get it. I understand that all of those things are on your plate, but I just can't help myself. After CJ Spiller got injured today, thereby killing my fantasy hopes for the weekend, I delved into a long bout of "deep Googling." When I finally broke the surface, hours later, I had in my possession the largest amount of Baylor Baseball 2013 commitment news this site has ever seen! Sadly, it's still next to nothing. Why are you so secretive baseball recruits? Let us know a little bit more about you.
For all the very good news, everybody jump - jump - jump - jump -
A few weeks ago, Mark did a write up about Darryn Sheppard (OF). I cannot overstate how excited I am about Sheppard. He's quite possibly the best recruit our baseball team has had in the past several years, and he could see immediate playing time even though our outfield is already full of young, experienced talent. Since Mark wrote him up already, I'll just link to that HERE.
Right around the same time, Kendall Rogers of PerfectGame tweeted that Baylor was "putting together a really nice 2013 recruiting class right now." He's right. The Year of the Bear wasn't just a huge boon to football recruiting. Here's the rest of the info about our 2013 class (with an extra-special 2014 bonus!):
Kameron Esthay (LHP, 1B) - Lake Charles, LA - Esthay is another good "get" for the Bears. As a pitcher, he throws in the mid-to-high 80s at this point, while also playing at first base. After his junior season, he was honored as a Louisiana Class 5A All-Star along with several high-round 2012 draft picks including Gavin Cecchini and Styker Trahan. That's good company. As Mark likes to say, you can tell a lot about a recruit from the other schools that are recruiting him. That's another plus for Esthay, as LSU, Auburn, and Mississippi State all reportedly have interest.
Nick Lewis (RHP) - Flower Mound, TX - Yup. That's it. Apparently, he's 6'2" - 175. It's very important to me that recruits have odd names, so that I can actually find them on the internet.
Aaron Dodson (C, 1B) - Cypress, TX - 6'3" 195 - He's listed as a switch-hitter, and obviously, he's a pretty large fellow. Here's hoping he's got some power in his bat. A good sign for Dodson is that A&M was reportedly in on him. If A&M likes a player, I want that player at Baylor. A&M knows ‘em some baseballs.
Steven McLean (SS) - Los Altos, CA - 5'11" 180 - Do you really need to know anything about this kid besides his AWESOME NAME. Over/under: how many times will I write that "Baylor had a McCLEAN game in the field!"? So many times. So many. If you want a ton of info about Mr. McLean, click HERE for his recruiting profile. Lots of interesting info. Seems like a talented player from the Bay Area, showing how Baylor's reach has grown recently.
Kyle Ott (RHP) - Galveston, TX - 6'1" 180 - PerfectGame has Ott hitting 88 with his fastball as of this summer, and these players are so young that it's possible, even likely, that they'll see more velocity with increased strengthening and tweaks to pitching motions. I couldn't find much in the way of stats for Ott, but I did find a blurb from the Galveston Daily News in May naming him #2 in their Top Ten Performers and saying that he "blasted a homerun and pitched lights-out" in one game. That sounds pretty good.
Daniel Castano (LHP) - Austin, TX (Lake Travis High) - 6'3" 205 - That is a large person. Count me as a fan of big, tall pitchers. After his junior year, Castano was named 2nd Team All-District 25-4A. MaxPreps has him ranked 39th in the state. He was recruited by both TCU and Texas Tech.
Possibly the most interesting occurrence during this flurry of recruit news was the announcement of 2014 (!) commit Jonathan Ducoff (SS, 2B). Getting a '14 recruit this far out is quite nice, and Ducoff is already being sought after by A&M and TCU. Thank you, Year of the Bear!
I feel that I should note that these recruits are for the 2013 school year, therefore, they won't see the field for Baylor until spring of 2014 at the very earliest. If you'd like to know who the new blood is going to be for the upcoming year, I suggest you CLICK HERE for the baylorbears.com write-up of our 2012 class. I'm especially excited about Sterling Wynn, a LHP from China Spring. No, it's not a typo, he struck out 126 batters in 66.1 innings. There are some other nice players there, but I'll let you look for yourselves.
Of course, this list is dependant upon Baylor not only fighting off other suitors for these guys, but also hoping that Major League Baseball doesn't steal them. I would personally be shocked if Darryn Sheppard wasn't drafted next summer. The question will be, with the new MLB CBA, can some team cobble together enough money in the later rounds to lure him away. If not, then we'll get a great player. Wouldn't if be interesting if Baylor Football had to fend off NFL teams for Robbie Rhodes services? Now that would get pretty crazy.