New Nevada Coach Jay Johnson Brings in Good Bunch on Short Notice

John Byrne

It's always tough to recruit when you're the new kid on the block. However, coach Jay Johnson comes from University of San Diego and that program always recruits well; big boys kinda well. He knows what he is doing and proves it with this bunch.

Nevada Still Undergoing Changes as They Look to the Future

As a follower of San Jose State I know how difficult a change in leadership can be. A program such as Nevada's and San Jose's grow or mature under the tutelage of a head coach for over 20 years. Then, suddenly, a change. It creates problems with recruiting especially but also the new staff must learn to work with the returning players and sometimes that ain't good. I'm not suggesting anything but the change can be difficult. With all of that being said, let's see what new head coach Jay Johnson has coming in for the coming season. Wow, fall ball is upon us.

Evan McMahan, P, Arbor View HS, Las Vegas, NV
Most of what I read about this kid has already been posted on the official UNR site as he was signed late by the new coach. I'll tell you anyway. He was 6-2 and 2.25 in 62 IP. He struck out 80 and walked 20. I think that's a ratio of 4:1 but check my math. Calculus screwed up my math abilities years ago. That's a good ratio. He was a horse as he had 11 starts and that's a lot for a kid in high school.

Trenton Brooks, LHP/OF, Granite Hills HS, El Cajon, CA
Careful with this one as I have him attending Arizona also. A change in coaches makes that possible as all fans know. He was named to the California All-State team by MaxPreps as he caught people's eyes with 96 strikeouts in 68 IP. I'll leave it at that. Good stuff. As an outfielder he hit .435 so he can play both ends if needed. Again, I don't know which program he'll choose to attend as I saw both Arizona and Nevada mentioned as recently as July of this year in articles. He's a good one.

Mark Nowaczewski, RHP, Reed HS, Sparks, NV
I like draft picks. I figure if the bigs think they're good enough, they can play for me. Mark was a 27th round pick and has decided to learn the game in college. Bless his soul. No need to go over stats as I think draft status says enough.

Thomas Galart, RHP, Pioneer HS, Woodland, CA
Tom was 6-2 and 0.98 in 57 IP. He struck out 75 and walked 11 (!) in those innings. Batters beware; he throws strikes.

Tyler Davis, P/INF, Porterville HS, Porterville, CA
As a shortstop Tyler hit .410 his senior season and played all four years at the varsity level. He really didn't start to hit until his junior year (.342) but he outdid himself his senior year. As a pitcher he was 2-2 and 2.56 in 41 IP. He had 61 strikeouts in those innings to go along with 26 walks (a little high). So he has an arm. He also has blood lines as his dad played in the major leagues. Believe me, the tutoring he received probably counts for more than does genetics.

Jeff Nellis, INF, Mission Hills HS, San Marcos, CA
He was on a few watch lists for the San Diego area before the 2013 season started so people saw some potential. He made second team All-Avocado East League his senior season (great name, by the way). I found little else.

Bryce Greager, INF, Fountain Hills HS, Fountain Hills, AZ
Bryce follows coach from the San Diego area where he was a USD commit and he has had a circuitous route to Reno. I won't go into that here. He was also a draft pick (37th round) in 2011. I said circuitous. Here's the good stuff. He set single season power numbers while in high school with 17 homeruns his senior season and 26 over his career. Those aren't Kris Bryant numbers but they are close. All that power and Reno's altitude? Good lord!

Devonte German, P/OF, Bishop Manogue HS, Reno, NV
Here's another draft pick (11th round) but this one decided on going pro. Sadly, he's gone.

I'll have to say that Coach Johnson hit the road running. He brought some kids in from the San Diego area where he was coaching previously (USD) and he brought in some kids from the Las Vegas area which is right under the nose of UNLV. Hmm. He lost one in German but he certainly has some quality coming in. The top hitter has to be Greager and we'll have to see how he pans out. He has some great arms coming in with Brooks, McMahan, and Nowaczewski. Both Nowaczewski and Greager were draft choices. Overall, I'd have to say the WolfPack has the best class coming in for the MWC if they all show up. Now, will all this talent translate at this level? And then there are classes to attend. Baseball, love it.

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