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Nevada Baseball Recruits Include Two Draft Choices

Always nice if not great to get draft choices to choose college over four years living in hotels and buses. As I've always said, if you're not in the top 10 rounds and are eligible for college, go for college. These two did. Read on.

Coach Bruce was new last year and made a strong showing. Can he do it again?
Coach Bruce was new last year and made a strong showing. Can he do it again?
John Byrne

Nevada Recruits for the 2017 Season

The Wolf Pack got some good news after the MLB draft; two of their recruits were drafted but decided on attending school to play the game. It's always nice to get recruits that are talented enough to get drafted but decide on school rather than a life on the road. Those two would be Jaylon McLaughlin and Otis Statum. More on them below. In fact all of these players are on the current roster including the late signings listed after Matt Young.

Ryan Anderson, LHP, Spanish Springs HS, Sparks, NV
Ryan was named the DI North Pitcher of the year in 2016. He was 6-2 and 1.09 over 70 IP with 99 strike outs. Word was that he would get drafted but, surprisingly, he wasn't which was to Nevada's benefit. He's a big kid at 6'6" so he fits the mold of the big pitcha, as ol' Diz would say.

Michael Echavia, OF, Chabot CC, Pleasanton, CA
He hit .346 and 5 for Chabot which was good enough to make second team JCAA. You have to be aware that as much high praise this is, this AA list is CA only. The rest of the US has their own lists. Then again, I found another AA list which includes WA and OR and he made second team on that one also. Confusing, I know. Let's see what he does.

Tyler Flores, SS, Westlake HS, Westlake Village, CA
Coach got another kid with pop. How can you ignore 7 home runs at the high school level? Combine that with a .414 BA and you can't. His HR numbers work out to just about one every 11 ABs. He made CalHiSports Second Team All-State for California. He's ready.

Grant Ford, RHP, Pioneer HS, San Jose, CA
Grant was 3-3 and 2.74 in 38 IP this past season and was primarily a reliever. He had 50 strike outs (good) but had 24 walks (not so good). Command, my man, command. However, the number of strike outs for those innings does stand out.

Mitchell Hayes, 3B/RHP, Palomar CC, Temecula, CA
Mitchell was 6-2 and 3.44 in 55 IP. He was used both as a starter and in relief as he had 6 starts and 4 saves. He had 35 strike outs in those innings. He made honorable mention all league as a pitcher which says a bit.

Cole Henderson, 3B/RHP, Valhalla HS, El Cajon, CA
Cole had a decent year at .307 and 3 in 2016. He pretty much did the same his three years on varsity. As a pitcher he was an under appreciated 1-8 and 4.49 with 10 starts on a poor team. To me that spells team's ace. Coaches know what they have. Some hall of famers had seasons like that. So, look at this; he had 50 strike outs in 43 IP even if his walks were a bit high at 21. This kid might have what it takes as he's had his adversity, thank you very much.

Luke Mattson, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS, Orange, CA
Luke was 5-1 and 0.83 his senior season with 9 appearances and I suspect most were starts. He had 25 IP with 20 strike outs. And his WHIP was a very good 1.00 as he gave up only 16 hits. Impressive.

Jaylon McLaughlin, SS, Santa Monica HS, Santa Monica, CA
This is one of the draft choices who is now on campus He hit .387 his senior season after a .338 junior year. Since he was drafted I suspect he has a big upside. The numbers don't hint at why he was drafted. I'm wondering if he is a Brandon Crawford clone as a shortstop.

Riley Ohl, RHP, Marina HS, Huntington Beach, CA
Riley was 6-3 and 1.66 in 15 appearances in 2016. He struck out 71 in 76 IP with only 12 walks; pretty good stuff. His WHIP was 1.00 exactly as he gave up few hits. He made the All-Orange County team and that's saying something. He also made second team All-State so he's good.

Dillan Shrum, 1B, Granite Hills HS, El Cajon, CA
First Team All-League in 2016 as a left-handed pitcher which is interesting as he is recruited as a first baseman. He also made second team All-State as an infielder. Oh, so now I get it. Don't I? Again, I could find no stats to show how he performed in either position but he did get some recognition.

Otis Statum, OF, Bishop O'Dowd HS, Oakland, CA
He has good size at 6'2" and 205 and he hit ok at .319 but he had 5 dingers which is good for an outfielder. He hit a home run about every 13 AB's which ain't bad. Hey, the pros took notice as he was drafted in the 39th round and it appears he didn't sign. Good for the Wolf Pack.

Matt Young, LHP, Western Nevada CC, Reno, NV
Matt was 8-5 and 4.02 in 2016. No big deal until you dig a little deeper. He was primarily a starter and led his team is IP, starts, and strikeouts (93 in 85 IP). That says a bit more; his coach liked what he did.

Coach Bruce brings in a few players that should help. Otis Statum, Jaylon McLaughlin, and Tyler Flores all caught my eye. Two draft choices among the recruits should bring smiles to the fans. The late signings are below.

Conor Allard, C, Reno HS, Reno, NV
He made the American Family Insurance All-Nevada team and that's all I could find.

Ryan Cappello, RHP, Lone Pine HS, Lone Pine, CA
Ryan was 5-1 and 0.72 in 48 IP. He had 93 strikeouts in those innings which works out to about two an inning. That ain't bad my friend but this is an area of low population. Still, the strikeouts plus a WHIP of about 0.50 is nothing to sneeze at. He's on the roster so he will have a chance to prove his worth at some point. He also made All-CIF for his region.

Chase Grant, OF, Palomar CC, Carlsbad, CA
Chase was .356 and 1 for Palomar last season. He was second on the team in ABs so he played a lot. He made his all league team.

Zak Herbers, RHP, Capoistrano Valley HS, Capistrano, CA
As a senior Zak went 7-4 and 2.92 in ten starts and 52 IP. He struck out 50 in those innings so he's got some stuff.

Marco Valenzuela, C, Redondo Union HS, Redondo Beach, CA
I didn't find any stats but he did get nominated for All-CIF Southern Section in 2016.