Nov. 17, 1999
SEATTLE - The University of Washington baseball team has received National Letters of Intent from nine prospective student-athletes during the past week's early signing period, head coach Ken Knutson announced today.
The nine-man class -- all from the state of Washington -- represents the largest early-period class that the UW baseball team has ever assembled. The signees are: LHP Brian Carter (Woodinville HS), IF/OF Josh Conover (Kirkland/Lake Washington HS), RHP Trevor Gibson (Enumclaw HS), LHP Jamie Hawkins (Bainbridge Island/Bainbridge HS), IF Tripper Johnson (Belleuve/Newport HS), IF/C John Otness (Tacoma/Wilson HS), RHP Jeff Peterson (Covington/ Kentwood HS), 1B Steve Ramsey (Redmond/Eastlake HS) and IF Mike Wagner (Woodinville HS). The players will enroll in the fall of 2000 and be freshmen for the 2001 season.
"We're ecstatic about the start of the class," Knutson said. "This has the chance to be an impact class. There are going to be players that are going to flash onto the scene right away, assuming they don't elect to sign professional contracts.
"We have some pitchers that have the potential to be Pac-10 No. 1 starters and we signed some guys that will compete to hit in the middle of our lineup," Knutson said.
Gibson is probably the most acclaimed of the pitching prospects. "He was our No. 1 guy from the get-go," Knutson said. "We feel he has the chance to be a number one starter. He's a power pitcher with three quality pitches.
"Peterson [6-foot-4] and Carter [6-5] are both big, projectible guys that have really improved over the last season," Knutson said."They should both continue to get better. Hawkins in a left-hander that throws in the mid-80s. He's had a lot of success at the high school level."
Carter posted a 7-1 record with his summer team, Washington Baseball Club, while Hawkins was 6-2 with a 0.68 ERA at Bainbridge High in 1999.
"Both Johnson and Wagner are big strong athletic, fast guys," Knutson says. "They're middle-of-the-order type hitters. Both have athletic ability to play in a number of positions on the field."
Johnson was the All-KingCo first-team third baseman last spring after batting .473.
"Otness is a dominant high school player that we may move to catcher or third base. He can really hit and throw," Knutson said. "Ramsey [6-foot-5] is big and projectable. He needs to fill out and get stronger, but we think he can hit home runs. Conover is another big guy that can hit, run and throw and that can play all over the field."