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Baseball Lands Seven Top Prospects For 2013 Class
Release: 11/16/2011
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Nov. 16, 2011

SEATTLE - The Washington baseball team has received National Letters of Intent from seven prospects who will join the team for the 2013 season, third-year head coach Lindsay Meggs announced today.

The seven signees are: LHP Will Ballowe (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley), RHP/OF Braden Bishop (San Carlos, Calif./St. Francis), LHP Matt Bower (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer), IF Josh Cushing (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo), C/IF Duncan Hendrickson (Shoreline, Wash./Shorewood), C Austin Rei (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo) and 3B Alex Schmidt (Lynnwood, Wash./Kamiak/Western Nevada College).

"I want to congratulate our recruiting coordinator Dave Nakama and assistant coaches Dave Dangler and Jordon Twohig and director of operations Jim Fitzgerald for bringing in another outstanding recruiting class," Coach Meggs said.

"Because we knew this group was going to be small in number, we were looking to fill very specific needs," he continued. "This group provides added depth on the mound, a corner infielder with left handed power, an infielder who can play every position, a proven catch and throw guy, one of the best right-handed power hitters in the northwest, and a game-changer who can go get it in center field. Needless to say we are excited."


Bishop, who pitches and plays center field at St. Francis under coach Mike Oakland, has already played in the Area Code Games and for the NorCal team in the USA Baseball Champions Tournament. He batted .393 with 19 stolen bases as a junior and hit .375 with nine steals as a sophomore.

Bishop was ranked the No. 75 high school prospect in the country by Perfect Game, which also named him a preseason first-team All-American for 2012. He was all-county, All-CIF Central Coast Section last season and made the all-league first team as a sophomore and junior. Additionally, Bishop is a standout wide receiver on the football team.

"Braden is a legitimate 6.6 runner who can impact the game at the plate, on the bases and on defense," said Meggs. :"This is a young man with pro tools who had his choice of virtually any school on the west coast and he chose to be a Husky. Braden is as talented as any center fielder I've ever coached but more importantly for Husky Baseball, Braden is the type of player who can lead your team to the College World Series. This guy changes the game."


Rei, a catcher at Campolindo High, where he plays for coach Max Luckhurst, will be a four-year starter on the varsity this spring. He earned league MVP as a sophomore when he hit .350 and was all-league again as a junior, leading his team to a second straight North Coast Section title.

Rei has also played in the Area Code Games as well as a number of other elite showcases.

"I believe Austin is one of the best high school catchers in northern California and has a chance to come in here and catch immediately," Meggs explained. "It's not often you find someone his age who can both catch and throw at a high level and drive the ball. Austin is already well ahead of the curve and by the time he gets here he will be a force behind the plate. This is a potential All-Pac-12 player who we expect to have a long professional baseball career. Austin is the real deal."

 

 


As a junior at San Ramon Valley, where he plays for coach Chris Declercq, Ballowe struck out 75 in 62 innings and posted a 1.80 earned run average. A tall, powerful lefty, he's been named a "Top Prospect" by Perfect Game.

"Will is a big, physical left-hander who has a legitimate chance to become a power arm in the Pac-12 Conference," Meggs said. "We have seen Will in the mid to upper 80's and expect him to pitch in the low 90's before it's all over. Will is a great competitor who is not only very projectable, but also has the type of makeup that will allow him to compete for innings as a freshman. Will is a throwback, he has no fear, he wants the ball and he expects to win."

 

 

 

 


Hendrickson attends Shorewood High, where he plays for coach Wyatt Tonkin, a UW baseball alumnus. Last spring, he hit .455 with seven homers and 27 runs batted in. As a sophomore in 2010, he hit .350 with 22 RBI. He earned first-team all-league in 2011.

"Duncan is one of the most talented right-handed hitters in the state of Washington," Coach Meggs said. "He has outstanding bat speed and a very balanced approach to go with it. Defensively, before Duncan's arm injury, he possessed all the tools to be a legitimate Pac-12 catcher. And there is no doubt in my mind that once Duncan gets healthy he will compete for innings behind the plate, as a corner infielder, or at the DH position. For a big guy, Duncan is very athletic."

 

 

 

 


Cushing, who is a classmate of Rei's at Campolindo High, has been named one of Perfect Game's "Top Prospects" as well as a first-team All-East Bay and first-team All-Diablo Football League. He's also a three-time all-academic team member.

He was a part of back-to-back CIF North Coast Section championship teams and hit .400 with five home runs and 30 RBI last year. As a sophomore, he batted .357 with 22 RBI.

"Josh is a very solid player who comes from one of the best high school baseball programs in California," Meggs said. "A teammate of Austin Rei's from Campolindo, Josh can play every position on the infield and is a contact hitter who can drive in runs. While we like his versatility we love his intangibles. Josh makes the big play on defense, he gets the game-winning hit, and he plays harder than you. Josh is a winner.

 

 


Schmidt played at Kamiak High for coach Steve Merkley and will be a freshman this spring at Western Nevada College, where he plays for coach D.J. Whittemore.

Schmidt batted .460 as a high-school senior and then .480 with seven home runs in his summer season. He was a first-team All-WesCo South selection in 2011, his senior year.

"Alex is a left-handed hitting third baseman from Western Nevada College," said Meggs. "A Washington native from Kamiak High, Alex will come in and compete immediately for at bats in the middle of the batting order. Alex is a late bloomer who has shown good range at third base, an above average arm, and the ability to hit with power. Before it's all over, Alex may be the surprise of this entire recruiting class."

 

 

 


Bower is another tall, left-handed pitcher who attends Todd Beamer High in Federal Way, where he plays for coach Jerry Peterson. He also played summer ball for the Kent Bulldogs for former Husky slugger Jay Garthwaite.

"Matt is a 6-foot-5, left-handed pitcher who has not yet even begun to develop," explained Meggs. "With a pro body and a fastball presently in the mid 80's, Matt has the potential to be a power guy down the road. Matt is only going to get better and once he begins to add more size and strength to that 6-5 frame, well the sky is the limit. Matt's best days are truly ahead of him and if all goes right, he could be a monster before it's all over."

The 2012 Huskies return to the practice field early next year and open the season with a three-game series at San Diego State Feb. 17-19.

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