Titan Crack Top Ten in Two Preseason Recruiting Polls
Oct. 20, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton baseball's recruiting effort has been rewarded with a pair of "top ten" rankings by the two major college baseball publications in the past few weeks. The Titans' incoming class, assembled by Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach Jason Gill, has been ranked 8th by Collegiate Baseball, while Baseball America has it one spot lower at 9th in the nation.
"It is nice to be recognized on a national level for our recruiting class and we are happy with the talent we have coming in," Gill said, "but we have a lot of new names on the backs of our jerseys, and we have to wait to see how well they adapt to playing for the name on the front."
Following the College World Series in June, the Titans lost three-fourths of arguably the best defensive infield in the nation, two-thirds of both the outfield and starting pitching rotation, a setup man and a closer to last year's MLB draft and free-agency.
Regardless, Gill adamantly stated, "We are not looking at this season as a rebuilding year. We do have positions to fill, but no one player is going to make the difference." Gill added, "The formula for success that is Titan Baseball has been here a long time. It is our job to teach these guys how to play within it."
"In the past Fullerton has based a lot of its recruiting emphasis on defense and pitching, and this year is no different."
The 2007 Titans will look quite different after losing 14 players off of last year's CWS roster. Eighteen new faces will don pinstripes going into Fall workouts looking to fill seven vacant starting slots (two pitching, and five position spots) in the lineup. All-in-all, 11 freshmen, six juniors and one senior will join the 22 players returning to the program to form this year's team.
Nine hurlers (Ryan Ackland, Brad Barragar, John Basnight, Dustin Birosak, Matt Dean, Brenden Hall, Jeff Kaplan, Travis Kelly and Michael Morrison) have been brought in to fill the pitching vacancies, while five new infielders (Ryan Aguyo, Nate Bridges, Cory Jones, Jake Vasquez and Joel Weeks) will vie for the spots left by the three departed position players.
Baseball America has named Davis, Bridges, Morrison, Mahin, Jones, Kelly, Barrager and Kaplan as the Titans' top recruits with Kaplan contending for a No. 3 spot in the weekend rotation.
Wrapping up the newcomers are a pair of catchers with Titan blood in their lineage. Kyle Hardman and Matt Wallach both have experience behind the plate and have family members who have been Titans. Hardman is the younger brother of current Titan centerfielder Clark, and Wallach is the son of Golden Spikes Award winner and former Major League All-Star, Tim.
Since 1983, Fullerton has finished in the Top Ten in Collegiate Baseball's ranking nine times, ranking as high as No. 1 in 2000.
Cal State Fullerton opens the 2007 baseball season on Feb. 2 when they host the Stanford Cardinal in the first of a three-game series at Goodwin Field.
Complete 2007 Recruiting Class
Ryan Ackland (6-0 / 185 / RHP / FR / Yorba Linda / Esperanza HS)
Ryan Aguayo (5-10 / 180 / INF / FR / Pico Rivera / Servite HS)
Brad Barragar (6-4 / 215 / RHP / JR / Alta Loma / Golden West)
John Basnight (6-3 / 200 / RHP / FR / Santee / Santana HS)
Dustin Birosak (6-2 / 190 / LHP / JR / Chino Hills / Fullerton Coll.)
Nate Bridges (6-2 / 195 / INF / FR / Yorba Linda / Villa Park HS)
Khris Davis (5-11 / 195 / OF / FR / Glendale, AZ / Deer Valley HS)
Matt Dean (6-1 / 210 / RHP / FR / Vista / Vista HS)
Brendan Hall (6-1 / 210 / LHP / FR / Peachtree City, GA / McIntosh HS)
Kyle Hardman (6-4 / 230 / C/1B / FR / Trabuco Canyon / Mission Viejo HS)
Cory Jones (6-2 / 225 / INF / FR / Camarillo / Camarillo HS)
Jeff Kaplan (6-0 / 190 / RHP / JR / Dana Point / Irvine Valley College)
Travis Kelly (5-11 / 195 / RHP / FR / Alta Loma / Los Osos HS)
Nick Mahin (6-2 / 225 / OF/1B / JR / Cypress / Santa Ana College)
Michael Morrison (6-1 /190 RHP / FR / Cypress / Cypress HS)
Jake Vasquez (6-0 / 220 / INF / SR / Diamond Bar / Texas A&M)
Matt Wallach (6-2 / 210 / C / JR / Yorba Linda / Cypress College)
Joel Weeks (5-9 / 180 / INF / JR / Cypress / Cypress College)