Baylor Baseball announced their fall signing class today, and I was surprised by a couple things. First, the size of the class. It's tiny, comprised of only four prep players. Second, the quality of the players. There are some outstanding young ballplayers coming to Baylor for the 2015 season.
Baylor's abysmal 2013 season, in which we completely missed the post-season tournament, could only be regarded as an enormous letdown, especially compared to the magical 2012 run where one muffed defensive stop was all that kept us from College World Series glory.
After last season, I even saw a few people lament that Head Coach Steve Smith didn't seem to be recruiting talent like he used to. I disagree. 2013 was always going to be a rebuilding year. A team simply can't lose Max Muncy, Josh Ludy, Dan Evatt, and Logan Vick and keep winning like it did before.
Last year's recruiting class featured a few stand-outs, including Josh Pettitte (Yup, that Pettitte. Say hello to his Dad, Andy, and his many World Series rings when you see him at games) and consensus Top 100 recruit Darryn Sheppard. If you want a comparison, Sheppard is the baseball equivalent of pulling in a Davion Hall or Robbie Rhodes. That's the talent he should bring with power, speed, centerfield defense, and a strong throwing arm.
This year's crop brings Jonathan Ducoff, another consensus Top 100 player in the country. Ducoff is listed as a second-baseman, but he has the athleticism to play shortstop, and that's where I see him fitting at Baylor. Along with Ducoff, Smith is bringing in RHP Theron Kay, who is a MaxPreps Top 100 player, OF Levi Gilcrease, who batted .493 with 19 steals and 7 homers his junior year, and diminutive OF Richard Cunningham who seems to project a lot like Baylor RF/CF Adam Toth.
Quick note on Ducoff: He's been committed to Baylor for over a year, and he's good friends and classmates with football TE commit Jordan Feuerbacher. They had a co-signing ceremony today where they both signed their LOIs.
Read more about all these guys on baylorbears.com. Now go back to the football and basketball posts, and I'll leave you alone until the early spring!