Nevada Fills up on Transfers
Yeah, the Wolf Pack has a huge list of juco transfers. Transfers have a bit more experience and have played at a higher level. Because of that they are usually expected to help - now! They have, at best, three years to play but usually play two years. If they are really good and get drafted, they play one year. It's a crap shoot. If they don't find their way in their first year, they are in a world of hurt. They may be considered a bad deal and ignored their senior year or their scholarship is not renewed. In other words, the wiggle room (and time for maturation) is short for the transfer. Now, another problem; these guys were signed in November, 2013. I can't tell if they played at Nevada this past season (looks like no) or if they played another year at their juco. I always have that problem. Anyway, I'll deal with them as if they played at the juco level this past season and go from there.
So, why did Coach Johnson go for so many juco players? That's a tough one to answer. I don't really get the sense that he's in panic mode to fill many positions left vacant by the draft or graduation. Then again, it could be the lack of depth on the roster. I really don't believe that one as this is going to be one veteran team this coming season. A final note here. If any of you want to REALLY get the lowdown on what's going on in Wolf Pack sports, check out Chris Murray's blog at blogs.rgj.com. You'll find him under Nevada sports. Informative stuff and good reads. Now, let's just look at these guys and see what I could find.
Robert Anderson, RHP, West Valley CC, San Jose, CA
He was 0-3 and 2.92 in 37 IP last season. He struck out 29 in those innings and started only 2 games so he was used mainly in relief.
Michael Blasko, C, Bishop Gorman HS, Henderson, NV
Michael hit a very good .328 and 3 home runs his senior year for a powerhouse team. He hit an even better .444 over his career there. He was listed as Nevada's top catcher last season due, in part, to his power numbers (5 home runs in 2013.). He was also voted an underclass AA by MaxPreps his sophomore year so he's got cred. He could be a good one. He has an excellent chance at starting in the near future as the two Pack catchers are seniors.
Charlie Brooks, RHP, Buena HS, Ventura, CA
Charlie was 5-1 and 2.18 in 54 IP with 70 strikeouts his senior year. The strikeouts certainly catch your eye, don't they? He made first team all-league which is not surprising. He was also on the LA Times top high school players in the southern California area before the season started. He was not under the radar.
Grady Caldwell, 1B, West Valley CC, Santa Clara, CA
Grady hit .276 with 3 home runs last season. He had a much better freshman year but still appears to have a lot of pop with a two-year total of 8 home runs. He's playing his summer ball in Texas.
Jedd Fagg, INF, Williams Field HS, Gilbert, AZ
Here's a kid with a name straight out of a 80's cowboy shoot ‘em up. I can see a Jeddediah Fagg with a score to settle with the local sheriff, can't you? Anyway, He hit .289 with 2 home runs in 2014 which doesn't measure up to his previous years. I couldn't find a lot more.
Robert Fennell, INF/RHP, Scripps Ranch HS, San Diego, CA
I had more luck searching this kid under the first name of Grant. He hit .380 with 5 home runs his senior year. Here's a big star in his favor; he made second team All-San Diego County as a third baseman. San Diego is loaded with talent so that's quite an honor. The list is peppered with D1 recruits. I'm especially impressed with the 5 home runs as he seems to have developed some power in his senior year that wasn't there before. Let's go with Grant Fennell.
Jared Gaspard, OF, New Mexico JC, Friendswood, TX
He hit .366 with 1 home run in 93 ABs at New Mexico JC in 2014.
Sam Held, RHP, Delta CC, Stockton, CA
Sam was 7-2 and 2.34 in 69 IP with 52 strikeouts. He was third on the team in starts and this was a very good juco team as they were the state runner-up in 2014.
Cole Krzmarzick, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV
Cole hit .590 (not a misprint) with 6 home runs his senior year. He had 78 ABs so that's just a bit more than a home run every 10 at bats. Folks, that's a standard everywhere. He, along with teammate Blasko, was named a Louisville Slugger pre-season AA. As a final tribute, he made first team All-State. Enough of the accolades.
Alex Lott, RHP, Delta CC, Lodi, CA
Alex was Sam Held's teammate on Delta. Alex was 3-2 and 1.40 in 45 IP with 4 saves. He was a valuable reliever on the team as only one other guy was used in a closer role. He had 38 strikeouts in those innings.
Jordan Pearce, INF/RHP, El Camino HS, Oceanside, CA
He hit .386 with a healthy 7 home runs his senior year. He's listed as a shortstop but he's a good-sized kid with some pop so he could play third. A third baseman with a shortstop's arm ain't a bad thing. Even though he's also recruited as a pitcher he had limited time on the mound with limited success. I'll go with an infield position. He had originally committed to San Diego and, uh, where'd the Nevada coach come from? Yep, he followed Coach Johnson to Reno and that is a common occurrence. This kid is a good recruit as he was on a few lists as a possible draft pick and a few All this and All that lists too.
JoJo Romero, LHP, Oxnard HS, Oxnard, CA
JoJo was 7-5 and 1.60 in 78 IP and had an astounding 115 strikeouts! That figure is over 100 more strikeouts than any other pitcher on the team and the IP was 50 more. That's laughable. It's certainly obvious the coach thought highly of this kid. He had 5 losses and the team had 9. Put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today. Amazingly, the MaxPreps stat line was all that I could find.
Cameron Rowland, LHP, Chabot CC, Pleasanton, CA
He was 4-1 and 3.00 in 57 IP with 72 strikeouts. Pretty good numbers. Didn't find much more but the strikeouts suggest a power pitcher.
Cal Stevenson, LHP/OF, John F. Kennedy HS, Fremont, CA
Cal hit a healthy .510 with 2 home runs in 51 ABs. His OBP was .627 and he had 16 walks also. He has some speed as he had 23 stolen bases. Yeah, he looks like a go get ‘em outfielder with leadoff potential. Pitching? He was 6-2 and 1.13 in 49 IP with 92 strikeouts which works out to a little less than 2 an inning. That's eye-popping stuff kid.
Christian Stolo, LHP/OF, Western Nevada JC, Reno, NV
He was 6-3 and 2.73 in 13 starts in 2014. He had 66 IP with 69 strikeouts and 27 walks (ok, but could be better).
Zach Wilkins, RHP, Palomar CC, San Diego, CA
Zach was 3-0 and an minuscule 0.79 ERA in 34 IP with 28 strikeouts. That's pretty amazing stuff considering he didn't have power pitcher numbers. A little less than a strikeout an inning but a less than 1.00 ERA is pretty good. He had 12 starts in 2013 but became the team's closer this past season so, he can go both ways if asked.
Geez, how am I supposed to list the best of this bunch? Coach had less than a full year and still got some great talent to commit to the Pack. Pretty impressive; Blasko, Brooks, Krzmarzick, Pearce, Romero, Stevenson, and Wilkins. This is a big list with a lot of talent and I think coach will have fun watching these kids develop. Keep an eye on JoJo Romero.