Nov. 15, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team has announced the signing of 11 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent.
Joining the Utes for the 2014 season are Mason Smith (Meridian, Idaho), Dylan Drachler (Las Vegas, Nev.), Riley Ottesen (Highland, Utah), Hunter Simmons (Mountain View, Calif.), Jared White (Riverton, Utah), Tyler Viza (Phoenix, Ariz.), Josh Rose (Alpine, Calif.), Josh Moore (Gilbert, Ariz.), Max Schuman (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Cam Gust (Riverton, Utah), and Nolan Stouder (Wendell, Idaho).
"We really satisfied some needs for us, particularly on the offensive side of the ball," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We've signed some quality, quality hitters, and we've added some players on the left side of the plate, which is something we've missed. On the pitching side, we feel like we signed some quality young arms and hopefully we will shore up our pitching staff for years to come. [Assistant coaches] Mike Crawford and Bryan Kinneberg did an outstanding job putting this class together."
Continue below for more on each player.
Rocky Mountain HS/Meridian, Idaho
Kinneberg on Smith: Mason is an impact player, both as an offensive and defensive player. His bat will be a major force for three or four years here. He is a great athlete who really has a knack for barreling balls up. He had a tremendous summer at Area Codes and with USA Baseball.
Spring Valley HS/Las Vegas, Nev.
Kinneberg on Drachler: Dylan is a tall, skinny, loose left-handed pitcher with an extremely high ceiling. He has great command of his fastball with a plus-changeup, and will make an immediate impact on our pitching staff. He has a solid work ethic which will help him reach that ceiling.
First-team all-state as a junior ... two-time all-league ... 6-2 record with a 2.24 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched ... went 4-3 as a sophomore with a 3.24 ERA and 61 strikeouts.
American Fork HS/Highland, Utah
Kinneberg on Ottesen: Riley is a hard-throwing right handed pitcher with a Pac-12-ready slider. He is a very good athlete, and a very competitive and confident player.
2012 5A MVP ... Valley Player of the Year ... helped lead American Fork to a 2012 state title ... hit .460 at the plate, going 9-1 on the mound with a 1.44 ERA in 63 innings pitched ... 81 strikeouts.
Saint Francis HS/Mountain View, Calif.
Kinneberg on Simmons: A very athletic first baseman with a lot of room to fill out and get bigger. He is athletic for his size and has a chance to hit for power. Will be a middle of the lineup guy for us.
Played in the 2012 Area Code Games ... hit .246 as a junior at Saint Francis HS, with a .357 on-base percentage and seven doubles ... hit .500 as a sophomore.
Riverton HS/Riverton, Utah
Kinneberg on White: Hard-throwing right-hander with a plus-changeup. He is a prototypical big, strong pitcher and has a chance to pitch a lot of innings here right away.
Second-team all-state ... second-team all-region.
Desert Vista HS/Phoenix, Ariz.
Kinneberg on Viza: Tyler is a tall, lanky right-handed pitcher with a lot of upside. We feel like his potential is just beginning. We are hoping he will have an immediate impact for us.
2012 Area Code Games ... pitched in 11 games at Desert Vista, going 2-1 with two saves ... 4.67 ERA ... hit .310 in 29 at-bats.
Granite Hills HS/Alpine, Calif.
Kinneberg on Rose: Left-handed hitting outfielder who is going to be a quality bat in our lineup in the future. He is an all-tools player who can throw, run, hit and defend. He's going to be a great college player.
Led the league in home runs and RBI in 2012 ... second-team all-CIF and second-team all-section in 2011 ... two-time all-county ... two-time all-league ... three-year varsity player.
Gilbert HS/Gilbert Ariz.
Kinneberg on Moore: Another left-handed hitter who we hope fits right into our lineup. He has a chance to play both infield and outfield. He is a very good athlete who is big and strong and has a chance to hit for power.
Honorable mention Arizona All-Division I ... hit .449 with five home runs, 38 RBI and a 1.349 OPS ... all-Tribune second team ... first-team all-district ... first-team all-section.
Arcadia HS/Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kinneberg on Schuman: Another plus-bat from the left-handed side. He is a real student of the game. He is extremely-hard working and has a passion to be great at this level. We look for him to have an immediate impact on our lineup next year.
Second-team all-section ... hit .391 with a .652 slugging percentage in 2012 ... 28 RBI and 12 doubles.
Riverton HS/Riverton, Utah
Kinneberg on Gust: Switch-hitting infielder who is a good athlete. He has a lot of upside on offense.
Second-team all-state ... honorable mention all-region.
College of Southern Idaho/Wendell, Idaho
Kinneberg on Stouder: Our only junior college player in this class, he has a plus-fastball and slider. Being a JC guy, we hope be brings maturity and experience to our staff.
Will play at the College of Southern Idaho in 2013 ... played one year at Point Loma Nazarene ... went 1-0 in 10 games with a 9.00 ERA ... pitched 13 innings with nine strikeouts ... team captain at Wendell HS ... also an all-conference athlete in football and basketball.