Head coach Bill Kinneberg has signed eight prospects to national letters-of-intent this week.
Nov. 20, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah baseball coach Bill Kinneberg has announced the signing of eight student-athletes to national letters-of-intent this afternoon. Set to join the Utes for the 2009 season are outfielder Cooper Blanc (Lehi, Utah/Eastern Arizona CC) catcher C.J. Cron (Phoenix/Mountain Point HS), pitcher Chad Ellis (Farmington, Utah/Salt Lake CC), outfielder Gavin Green (Layton, Utah/Layton HS), pitcher Joe Pond (Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial HS), catcher Jo Jo Sharrar (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Newberry Park HS), pitcher Jordan Whatcott (Gilbert, Ariz./South Mountain JC) and middle infielder Tyler Yagi (Sandy, Utah/Skyline HS).
"First of all, we had some needs that had to be filled and I truly feel like that we were able to fill those with the pitchers, catchers and outfielders that we signed," said Kinneberg. "With the eight guys that we signed, we met all of the goals that we set out to meet last summer."
Below is a look at all eight players:
Lehi, Utah/Eastern Arizona CC
Started at Dixie State before transferring to Eastern Arizona College ... plays both baseball and football ... played in 31 games for Dixie in 2006 ... hit .300 with three doubles and 12 RBI.
Kinneberg says: "Cooper is a good defensive outfielder with a lot of speed and a good arm. He also has the strength to turn into a very good hitter for us."
Phoenix/Mountain Point HS
Named a Louisville Slugger Honorable Mention All-American ... also all-region, all-state and all-city ... holds school record for RBI and doubles in a season ... hit .419 with 46 RBI and 8 home runs in 30 games ... member of National Honor Society ... maintains a 3.75 GPA.
Kinneberg says: "C.J. has the chance to play at either first base or catcher. But, he is a quality hitter with a lot of power, so look for his immediate impact on this team to be at the plate."
Plays at Salt Lake CC ... 4-5 on the year in 14 appearances ... made nine starts, throwing one complete game ... 4.01 earned-run average ... fanned 33 batters and walked 28 ... opponents hit just .217 against.
Kinneberg says: "Chad really impressed us this last fall. We scrimmaged against Salt Lake Community College and he had four good innings against us. He is coming off of a mission and he is continuously getting better as he gets stronger."
Layton, Utah/Layton HS
First team all-region in 2006 and 2007 ... two times first team all-area (2006-07) ... selected to the Jr. Olympic team (2006) ... 2007 Prospect Games MVP ... three-year starter and four-year letterwinner at Layton High ... team's leading pitcher and hitter ... hit .459 with eight doubles, five home runs and 23 RBI ... played summer ball in the Omaha Pro Tournament in Nebraska ... three-sport athlete, also playing football and basketball.
Kinneberg says: "Gavin is a great athlete with a lot speed. He currently plays three sports, but once he devotes his full attention to baseball, we feel she should become a great college player."
Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial HS
Deseret News first team all-state in 2007, second team in 2006 ... went 9-1 on the mound in 2007 ... also hit an impressive .523 ... two-sport athlete, quarterbacking Judge into the 2007 State Championship game.
Kinneberg says: "He plays both football and baseball, so he is a tremendous athlete. We feel that once he focuses on baseball, his growth potential is sky-high. He's also a great student and a great leader."
Jo Jo Sharrar
Thousand Oaks, Calif./Newberry Park HS
A 6-2, 195-pound catcher ...all-league and named to the all-Phil Nevin National Classic team as a junior ... hit .356 in 87 at bats in 2007 ... also had six doubles and two home runs ... fielder at a .964 clip ... honor roll every year and Presidential Award for academics ... owns a 3.7 GPA.
Kinneberg says: "He is a great defensive catcher with a great arm. He plays with a lot of passion and hustle, and he should be a defensive standout on his high school team this spring."
Gilbert, Ariz./South Mountain JC
Had 27 hits in 88 at bats (.303) ... nine extra-base hits and one home run ... 14 RBI ... appeared in 12 games on the mound, going 5-4 ... 4.73 earned-run average ... struck out 57 batters while walking just 21.
Kinneberg says: "Jordan is a solid all-around ball player. He can play any position in the field, and he can hit too. He's a competitive athlete who is good now, but he has ability to grow into a standout college ball player."
Sandy, Utah/Skyline HS
Honorable mention all-state by the Deseret News in 2006 ... three-year starter for Skyline ... hard worker and dedicated player.
Kinneberg says: "Tyler is a good defensive player, very quick in the field. He will have the ability to play either shortstop or second, and he solidifies our middle infield for the years to come."