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Baseball America ranks Tide's recruiting class fourth

  • Chris Walsh

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The 2012 Alabama baseball team’s recruiting class was tabbed as the fourth ranked class in the nation, as announced by the Baseball America on Thursday. It’s the second top 20 ranking for the Crimson Tide this season, after UA’s class was selected 16th by Collegiate Baseball last month. The Tide welcomed 11 signees for the upcoming season that includes 10 freshmen and one junior college transfer for the upcoming season.

    “This class of incoming players will make an immediate impact for our program,” Alabama assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, Dax Norris said. “We have a few guys that have surprised us with their abilities and many of these players will have an opportunity to showcase their talents right away. This class has talent at all three positions, in the outfield, in the infield and on the mound, which will create a lot of competition for spots when the season gets her this spring.”

    The rankings are based on players who enroll at school each fall. Athletes who initially signed with a school and then signed a pro contract after being drafted do not count in the overall evaluation.

    Of the 11-man recruiting class secured by head coach Mitch Gaspard and his coaching staff, Alabama had three players drafted last June. Those players were catcher Wade Wass, Pensacola, Fla. (Meridian CC),a 13th round selection by the Baltimore Orioles, right-handed pitcher Ray Castillo, Seale, Ala. (Russell County HS), who was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 27th round and infielder Mikey White, Birmingham, Ala. (Spain Park HS), a 34th round selection by the New York Mets.

    Wade Wass

    6-0 | 205 | C | Pensacola, Fla. (Meridian CC/Pensacola Catholic HS)

    Named first team Region 23 by the National Junior College Athletic Association following his sophomore season at Meridian Community College in 2012 … in 57 games, he posted a .427 batting average, with 23 home runs, 18 doubles and 67 RBI … added 46 walks and was hit by a pitch 12 times to finish the 2012 season with a .568 on-base percentage … As a freshman at Meridian CC, he posted a .370 batting average with 11 home runs, 39 RBI and 42 runs scored …also had eight outfield assists in 48 games in 2011.

    Ray Castillo

    6-1 | 175 | RHP | Seale, Ala. (Russell County HS)

    Helped Russell County High School to a 41-12 record in 2012 … posted a 6-2 record with a 0.73 ERA in 57.2 innings pitched as a senior … held opponents to a .135 batting average while striking out 85 batters and only walking 14 … did not allow an earned run in his final seven appearances of the season … Was a 2012 preseason Southeast All-Region second team selection by Perfect Game USA … named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American first team prior to his senior season … Ranked as the No. 18 prospect in Alabama and No. 364 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … was a Class 5A Honorable Mention All-State selection as a pitcher by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … posted a 10-1 record and a 2.01 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs, in 2011 … finished his junior season with 66.1 innings pitched, 115 strikeouts, seven complete games, three shutouts, and a .180 opponent’s batting average … selected as a Perfect Game USA Honorable Mention Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American in 2011.

    Mikey White

    6-1 | 190 | INF | Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)

    Named the Birmingham News All-Metro Player of the Year in 2012 … Awarded as Mr. Baseball in the state of Alabama by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2012 … Was named the Alabama Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in 2012 by ESPN … ranked No. 77 in ESPN100 high school baseball player rankings … as a senior at Spain Park, White batted .389 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 2012 … helped the Jaguars (35-17) to their first Class 6A state semifinals finish … recorded a .712 slugging percentage and .524 on-base percentage … posted an 8-2 record with two saves, a 1.13 ERA and 61 strikeouts against nine walks in 55.2 innings pitched … named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American first team prior to his senior season … he captured a gold medal at the Pan American Games this past summer as a member of the 2011 USA Baseball U18 National Team … Ranked as the No. 4 prospect in Alabama and No. 70 nationally by Perfect Game USA … earned a spot on the 2011 USA U18 National Team that captured a gold medal at the Junior Pan-American Championships in Cartagena, Columbia, from Nov. 17-27, 2011 … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … played in the 2011 Alabama North-South All-Star game … was a Class 6A First Team All-State selection at shortstop by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … was a 2011 First Team All-Hoover/South Baseball Team selection by the Birmingham News … helped his team to the state playoffs in 2010 and 2011, including an area championship in 2011 … was a two-time first team all-metro selection and a two-time all-county honoree … was a Perfect Game USA Second Team Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American.

    After two years of evaluation of this group of player, the coaching was able to capitalize on the talent in Alabama by signing seven of the top recruits within the state boarders. Additionally, the Tide signed three players from Louisiana and one from North Carolina and Mississippi.

    “We spent a lot of time evaluating players for this class and the level of high school talent in Alabama for the 2012 recruiting class was very good,” Norris added. “We were able to sign a number of the top players from the state and these are the type of guys we want. They a very talented, had a high baseball IQ’ and they are guys that want to play here and wear the University of Alabama uniform.”

    Here is a rundown of the eight other signees that started school at Alabama in the fall:

    Daniel Cucjen

    6-0 | 175 | INF | Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian Academy)

    Prepped at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, La. …. Helped EVC to Class 2A state championships in 2009 and 2011 and three straight District I championships from 2009-11 … as a senior, batted .432 with 42 runs batted in and a .508 on-base percentage … high school coach is Tim Hulett … also competed in tennis and football.

    Colton Freeman

    6-1 | 195 | OF/LHP |Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)

    Helped Spain Park to the semifinals of the Alabama 6A state championships … was a 2012 preseason Southeast All-Region second team selection by Perfect Game USA … Ranked as the No. 16 prospect in Alabama and No. 291 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … was a Class 6A Honorable Mention All-State selection as a pitcher by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … helped Spain Park HS post a 36-15 record in 2011 … was a 2011 First Team All-Hoover/South Baseball Team selection as a pitcher by the Birmingham News … 2011 Perfect Game USA Third Team Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American and an honorable mention preseason selection in 2010 … was on the Team One South squad in 2010 and 2011 … participated in the Team One Futures game in 2010 for the East squad … played in the Under Armour Fall Classic in 2010 … teammates at Spain Park HS with fellow signee Mikey White.

    Mathew Goodson

    5-11 |200 |OF | Oxford, Ala. (Oxford HS)

    Helped Oxford High School win its first Class 6A state title in 2012 … was a 2012 preseason Rawlings third team All-American and a Southeast All-Region first team selection by Perfect Game USA … named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American first team prior to his senior season … Ranked as the No. 8 prospect in Alabama and No. 199 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … was a Class 6A First Team All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … named the ASWA Class 6A Hitter of the Year and garnered ASWA Super All-State honors following his junior season … helped Oxford HS to a 35-7 overall record in 2011 after hitting .480 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI as a junior … was a 2011 Underclassman First Team Preseason HS All-American selection by Perfect Game USA … garnered Honorable Mention Underclassman All-American Honors by Perfect Game in 2010 … participated in the Perfect Game Invitational JR National Showcase is Tampa, Fla.

    Mitch Greer

    6-2 |215 |RHP/C |Prattville, Ala. (Edgewood Academy)

    Was a 2012 preseason Southeast All-Region second team selection by Perfect Game USA … Ranked as the No. 14 prospect in Alabama and No. 275 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … as a junior at Edgewood Academy, he posted a .495 batting average with nine home runs, 50 RBI and 10 doubles, helping his team post a 39-3 overall record in 2011 … a two-time all-state selection, he was an Alabama Independent School Association Class 2A First Team catcher by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … invited to the MLB East Coach Showcase in Florida during the summer of 2011 … as a pitcher he has a mid-90s fastball and posted a 7-2 record with a 2.09 ERA as a junior … 2011 Perfect Game USA Third Team Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American … helped Edgewood Academy to three consecutive state titles.

    Keaton Haack

    6-5 |205 |RHP | Oak Ridge, N.C. (Northwest Guilford HS)

    Was a 2012 preseason Atlantic All-Region first team selection by Perfect Game USA … Ranked as the No. 11 prospect in North Carolina and No. 344 nationally by Perfect Game USA … in 2011, the right-handed pitcher posted a 7-2 record and 1.58 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 57.1 innings, helping Northwest Guilford High School (19-10) win the Piedmont-Triad 4A Conference tournament … posted five shutouts during his junior season … was named the Most Valuable Pitcher for Northwest Guilford HS … 2011 Perfect Game USA Third Team Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American … was an all-area selection in both baseball and basketball … helped his club team “the Dirtbags” win the WWBA World Championship in 2010 … averaged 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game on the basketball court as a junior to earn all-conference accolades.

    Kyle Overstreet

    6-0 |195 | Infielder |Boaz, Ala. (Boaz HS)

    Was a 2012 preseason Southeast All-Region first team selection by Perfect Game USA … Ranked as the No. 7 prospect (top prospect at second base) in Alabama and No. 183 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … participated in the 2011 National Showcase and the 2010 Junior National Showcase hosted by Perfect Game USA … was a Class 5A First Team All-State selection at second base by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … named the Gadsden Times 2011 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Area selection … garnered Elite 12 First Team second baseman honors by the Huntsville Times in 2011 … hit .571 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 36 games in 2011, and added 18 doubles with 55 runs scored … set the Boaz HS single season record for home runs (11), batting average (.571) and on-base percentage (.669) as a junior … also posted a 7-1 record on the mound with a 1.36 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 42.0 innings pitched … selected to the 2011 AHSAA North-South All-Star game … 2011 Perfect Game USA Second Team Preseason HS Underclassmen All-American … was the Gadsden Times first team second baseman following a sophomore season that included a .479 average with a school record 51 RBI … garnered 2010 Perfect Game USA High Honorable Mention Preseason All-American honors … named to the All-County Team as a freshman in 2009.

    Georgie Salem

    5-11 |185 | OF | Birmingham, Ala. (Vestavia Hills HS)

    Was a 2012 preseason Southeast All-Region first team selection by Perfect Game USA … Ranked as the No. 6 prospect in Alabama and no. 166 nationally by Perfect Game USA … named to the 2012 Alabama Top-100 players list … was a Class 6A Honorable Mention All-State selection as an outfielder by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2011 … finished his junior season with a .422 batting average with seven home runs and 27 RBI … also had 11 doubles, scored 37 runs and stole 11 bases … named to the Birmingham All-Metro team for the second straight year in 2011 … won the South Birmingham Over the Mountain Athlete of the Year award in 2011 … was a 2011 Perfect Game USA Third Team Preseason Underclassmen All-American honoree and a Perfect Game USA High Honorable Mention Preseason Underclassmen All-American selection in 2010 … participated in a number of Perfect Game USA showcases during the summer of 2011 … named the Birmingham News South Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year in 2011… was a 2011 First Team All-Hoover/South Baseball Team selection by the Birmingham News … also a standout on the football field as a running back for Vestavia Hills HS … named the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club’s 2011 Birmingham Football Player of the Year.

    Chance Vincent

    6-4 | 190 | INF | Scott, La. (Acadiana HS)

    Was a three-year letter winner in baseball at Acadiana HS … was a three-time All-District selection, earning first team honors in 2011 and 2012 … helped Acadiana reach the state tournament from 2010-2012.

    2012 BASEBALL AMERICA RECRUITING CLASS RANKINGS

    1. Vanderbilt

    2. UCLA

    3. Georgia

    4. ALABAMA

    5. North Carolina

    6. Stanford

    7. Texas

    8. Arizona State

    9. Auburn

    10. Miami

    11. Texas Christian

    12. UC Santa Barbara

    13. Clemson

    14. LSU

    15. Texas A&M

    16. South Carolina

    17. Fresno State

    18. Kentucky

    19. Southern California

    20. Tennessee

    21. Arkansas

    22. Florida

    23. Cal State Fullerton

    24. Missouri

    25. Arizona

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    Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.

  • Dang 4th in the country but still 3rd in the SEC. Looks like the SEC is dominating baseball recruiting just like football

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  • Theta

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    Twitter: @ProducerAP

  • We need a state lottery if plan on topping Vandy or UGA. Unequal ground right now.

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    "The Lord just wasn't with us, Coach." "The Lord," grumbled Bryant, "expects you to block and tackle." Rick Bragg, August 8, 2012

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