Ten Future Diamond Dawgs Signed To NLIs
Nov. 20, 2012
SEATTLE - The Washington baseball team has received National Letters of Intent from nine high school prospects and one junior-college transfer during the early signing period that began last week, Coach Lindsay Meggs announced today.
The class, which will enroll at the UW in fall of 2013, in time for the 2014 season, includes four position players and six pitchers, including four left-handers.
The class consists of: IF Garrett Anderson (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge); IF Chris Baker (Mountain View, Calif./St. Francis); LHP Henry Baker (Agoura, Calif./Agoura); IF Mitch Bevacqua (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho/Lake City); RHP Brandon Choate (Lynnwood, Wash./Tacoma CC); LHP Robert Daugherty (Woodland, Calif./Pioneer); LHP Mack Gaul (Toledo, Wash./Toledo); RHP Alex Hardy (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge); OF Jack Meggs (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue); and LHP Kellen Traxel (Port Orchard, Wash./South Kitsap).
"Congratulations to Coach [Jason] Kelly and Coach [Jordon] Twohig for bringing in a solid class capable of helping us on the road to Omaha," Meggs said. "This is a talented group of arms and athletes who will fit in nicely with some of the more physical guys already in our program.
"And while this group is athletic, they are truly baseball players," Meggs continued. "They understand how to play the game, and they are relentless in their quest to get better. I am impressed by the way they work both on and off the field. They are all truly student-athletes and we are excited to call them Huskies."
Anderson, one of two signees from Emerald Ridge (along with Hardy) earned second-team All-South Puget Sound League honors as a sophomore shortstop in 2011 and has been ranked nationally by Perfect Game USA.
"Garrett is a hard-nosed middle infielder who gets your attention because of how hard he plays," Coach Meggs said of Anderson. "He has a legitimate shortstop arm, so he is projectable at either spot defensively. Offensively, Garrett reminds me a little of Dustin Pedroia. He can make it happen with the bat and he refuses to get cheated."
Chris Baker batted .302 as a junior shortstop at St. Francis last year, teaming with current UW freshman Braden Bishop.
"Chris is a legitimate Pac-12 defender on the infield. The ball literally jumps into his glove," Meggs said. "He is quick and rangy, has plenty of arm, and has the savvy to play any spot on the infield. We recruited him to play short, but his versatility may be his biggest asset. Offensively, as he gets stronger, Chris will be a very tough out."
Henry Baker is a three-year varsity pitcher at Agoura. The lefty was 5-0 with a 2.15 earned run average, three saves and 30 strikeouts last spring, earning honorable mention All-Ventura County,
"Henry is a lefty with the ideal frame and loose arm that we're all looking for. He is already 87-90 with an above average curve ball and much more in the tank," Meggs explained. "At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Henry has a chance to be a power arm before it's all over. While I wouldn't say Henry was under the radar, I will say he may prove to be the jewel of this class."
Bevacqua, whose uncle Kurt was 15-year major leaguer, hit .454 with five homers, 12 doubles and 11 steals as a sophomore in 2011 and went on to play on the Royals team at the Area Code Games.
"Mitch is a three-sport athlete who has never had the opportunity to play baseball year-round," Meggs said. "Mitch is talented and Mitch is raw, but you know it's in there. We know it, the pro guys know it, anyone who has seen Mitch knows it. He is a right-handed hitting middle infielder with juice who can run. Mitch will make an impact the day he shows up. I can't wait."
Choate, who prepped at Mountlake Terrace High, will be a sophomore at Tacoma CC this coming season. Last year, the 6-foot-5 right-hander closed for the Titans, striking out 12 in his 11 innings of work.
"Brandon is the fastball/slider guy you see in this league who can eat up innings and settle into any role," Meggs said. "While we expect Brandon to compete for starting innings, he would also be valuable on the back end as well. Brandon is only going to get better and we think the timing is right. Before it's all over, this guy could be a monster."
Daugherty has been an outstanding two-way player at Pioneer High, batting .410 while also serving as a regular in the starting rotation.
"Robert is a left-hander who can throw three pitches for strikes, can hold runners, and is mature enough to pitch out of the pen as a freshman," said Coach Meggs. "While Robert is coming to the UW to be a starter, he is versatile enough to be used at both ends of the game. Robert is going to be a good Husky, he loves to work and he knows how to win."
Gaul will be a four-year starter at Toledo. Last spring, he was 7-2 with a 0.42 earned run average over 51 innings. He was first-team all-area and all-league and was the conference MVP and batting champion as both a sophomore and junior, having batted .490 as a junior and .524 as a sophomore. He was also first-team all-state in 2012 and has earned all-league as a linebacker on the football team as well as numerous academic honors.
"Mack is a left-hander who attacks every hitter like a middle linebacker," Meggs said. "He's a mid 80's strike-thrower who has the ability to throw a plus curveball for a strike. Mack is a late-bloomer who is just getting started. This guy is tenacious on the mound and once he figures it out he's going to be very tough on lefties."
Hardy allowed just 15 hits and four earned runs while striking out 30 in 25 innings last season, earning first-team All-South Puget Sound League honors as a junior. He was also a second-team selection in as a sophomore and picked up honorable mention honors as a freshman. Additionally, Hardy is a two-time scholar-athlete award winner.
"Alex has a chance to be an impact guy immediately," said Meggs. "One of the best arms in his class, Alex has a chance to be a true power guy very soon. And while the arm and the athletic ability get your attention, it's how he competes on the mound that separates him from the pack. You can see it in his body language; this guy is relentless."
Jack Meggs will come to the UW to play for his father. Jack's brother, Joe, will be a senior on the UW baseball team this spring. The younger Meggs, who is also the starting quarterback for Bellevue's football team (currently ranked No. 4 in the nation), stole seven bases, drove in 15 runs and hit seven doubles from the leadoff spot as a junior for the Wolverines last spring. He played on the Royals' Area Code team.
"Jack is a baseball player," Meggs declared. "He can play all three outfield spots, he can swing the bat and he can run the bases. Because he can handle the bat from the left side, Jack would be ideal in the leadoff spot or the two hole. Yet as hard as Jack plays and as talented as he is, the best thing about Jack is he's a winner. He will help us immediately."
Traxel earned first-team all-league and all-county as a sophomore and was a second-team all-league pick despite missing considerable time due to injury last year.
"Kellen is a left-handed pitchers whose best days are still ahead of him," Meggs explained. "Like most talented left-handers his age, Kellen is all elbows and knees. But when it's all on time and on line, Kellen misses the barrel consistently. Kellen loves to work and he loves the game, and when he adds some strength to that frame of his he is going to sneak up on everyone."
The Huskies open the 2013 next February 15 with the first of three games at UC Davis.
UW Baseball Signing Class (2014 Season Newcomers)
Name Pos. Hometown (High School/JC) Garrett Anderson IF Puyallup, Wash. (Emerald Ridge)