November 17, 2011

Islanders Baseball Inks 13 Players in Fall Signing Period

The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team continued to stockpile local talent with the signing of 13 players, five from the Greater Corpus Christi area, to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the early signing period this past week. These players are part of the continuing improvement of the Islanders program under Head Coach Scott Malone and his coaching staff.

Malone is excited about the players coming in and the quality of class that his coaching staff, led by top assistant and recruiting coordinator Chris Ramirez, picked up in the fall signing period.

"Coach Ramirez has put together another talented group of future Islanders," said Malone. "I know how hard my staff works; my coaches do an outstanding job of getting to know the kids and their families. I can tell you these kids will not only be talented baseball players but most importantly, great representatives of our program in the classroom and in the community."

That rapport with recruits has helped Ramirez become one of the top recruiters both in the Southland Conference and around the nation.

"Chris is making a name for himself, not only in the state of Texas, but all over the United States as one of the best young recruiting coordinators in the country," Malone said. "Our baseball program is lucky to have him as the point man for all of our recruiting efforts. "

The Islanders program added nine high school players and four junior college competitors that will be counted on to help sustain the momentum built in the program since Malone took the top spot on the coaching staff in 2007.

"The class has a great blend of four junior college players as well as nine high school kids that will help to create a foundation, not only for next year, but also for the years to come. This is one of the biggest fall classes we have had, and I know that is a direct result of the success last year's team had in setting a school record with 37 wins.

The signees follow in alphabetical order:

 

 

Chris Cano

RHP/OF • 6-2 • 170

Corpus Christi, Texas/Mary Carroll HS

 

Chris Cano is a 6-foot-2 pitcher/outfielder at Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi. Cano finished his junior year with a .383 average while hitting three home runs and stealing 22 bases. On the mound, the right-hander complied a 2.83 ERA while helping his team to the state semifinals. As an outfielder, Cano was named first team all-district during the 2011 season. As a sophomore, he was named first team all-district and all-tournament during the state playoffs as he helped the Tigers to a state championship.

Ramirez on Cano: "Chris is an extremely talented overall baseball player. He is a tall, rangy athlete that shows he can already use his changeup as a plus strikeout pitch as well as impact the game with his bat at the plate. Chris will also bring a great winning mentality into our program coming from Corpus Christi's Carroll High School."

Clayton Davis

OF • 5-11 • 200

The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS

 

Clayton Davis is a 5-foot-11 outfielder from The Woodlands HS. As an outfielder, Davis has hit over .400 each season as a Highlander while helping his team to district championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Highlanders were also crowed the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) Champions, one of the biggest high school baseball events every year in the city of Houston, during both the 2009 and 2011 seasons.

Ramirez on Davis: "Clayton is probably, physically, the strongest high school player in the early signing class for us. He is a corner outfielder for the traditionally powerful Woodlands High School, and will provide another offensive weapon for us to add to our baseball program."
 

Oshea Dumes

RHP/1B • 6-2 • 225

Corpus Christi, Texas/Mary Carroll HS


Signee Oshea Dumes is a presence on the field. Standing at 6-foot-2, he pitches from the right side and is also a first baseman for the Mary Carroll Tigers. Last year, Dumes batted .357 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI as the Tigers finished with a 35-6 record and reached the state semifinals. On the mound, he tossed 78.2 innings, striking out 107 batters while walking just 29 and posting a 2.05 ERA. He was named First Team All-South Texas, All-State by two separate organizations, a High School All-American and an ESPN Rise player. As a sophomore, Dumes hit .368 for the State Champion Carroll team and was first team all-district, All-South Texas and was part of the All-State Tournament Team as the Tigers finished 30-6 on the year.

Ramirez on Dumes: "Oshea is a very strong and physical two-way player from right here in our back yard at Carroll High School. On the mound, he has a very strong arm and ability to compete at a high level with three pitches, and at the plate, he as the raw power to change the game with one swing. We look for Oshea to impact our program both on the mound and at the plate."
 

 

Tanner Griggs

RHP • 6-1 • 165

Houston, Texas/Clear Creek HS

 

Tanner Griggs is a pitcher from Clear Creek High School in Houston. The 6-foot-1 righty was a 2011 First Team All-County and Honorable Mention District 24-5A after compiling a 3-1 record and a 1.58 ERA in 40 innings as a junior. He helped his team to an 18-11 record as a junior and was part of a district champion team as a sophomore.

Ramirez on Griggs: "Tanner is a wiry right-handed pitcher with a loose and quick arm. He fits the mold we look to fill as a young and talented pitcher with his best days ahead of him."
 

Brandon Guilford

2B • 5-10 • 180

McKinney, Texas/Frisco Heritage HS

 

Brandon Guilford is a 5-foot-10 second baseman from Frisco Heritage High School. As a junior, he hit .305 and stole 11 bases to lead the team in both categories while also leading in doubles. He also earned varsity letters in football during the last two years.

Ramirez on Guilford: "Brandon will add another talented athlete to our program. He has the versatility to play as both second baseman and an outfielder on the baseball field, and was a wide receiver for the Frisco Heritage High School football team."
 

Zacarias Hardy

OF • 6-1 • 182

Dallas, Texas/Keller HS

 

Zacarias Hardy is a 6-foot-1 outfielder from Keller High School. The 2012 senior displays a strong arm from the outfield and is a threat on the bases. He is a right-handed hitter who had nine doubles, four triples and two home runs while hitting at a .485 clip last season. He also helped his team to bi-district championship.

Ramirez on Hardy: "Zacarias is a very athletic player with plus, plus arm strength from the outfield position. He is a very high character young man and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Islanders Baseball family."

Nolan Holland

RHP • 6-1 • 210

Spring, Texas/Klein Oak HS

 

Nolan Holland is a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher from Klein Oak High School in Spring. During his junior campaign, Holland helped the Panthers to a 28-14-1 record, a bi-district championship and a regional finals spot by pitching 49.2 innings and striking out 46 batters to go along with a 4.51 ERA. He was the MVP of the team as a sophomore while being named first team all-district and Honorable Mention All-Houston as a junior.

Ramirez on Holland: "Nolan is a strong-bodied right-handed pitcher with a powerful fastball. He shows the ability to pitch with his fastball right away at the Division I level. 
 

Brad Lamberti

C • 5-10 • 190

Altoona, Iowa/Des Moines Area CC


Brad Lamberti is a 5-foot-10 junior college transfer at catcher who will come to the Island by way of Des Moines Area Community College. At Des Moines, Lamberti hit .357 with six homers and 34 RBI while fielding at a .977 clip behind the plate. He was named second team all-conference after helping lead his team to a 49-11 mark and an ICCAC Conference Championship. In high school, he was part of the first team in Southeast Polk High School history to go to state and was All-State, all-conference and all-district as a junior and senior.

Ramirez on Lamberti: "Brad will bring a ton of experience and winning expectations into our program as he comes from Des Moines Area Community College, one of the top junior college programs in the country. His ability to provide offensive production from the catcher position and major arm strength will make him an extremely valuable asset to our program."
 

Dominic Lopez

3B • 6-0 • 200

Corpus Christi, Texas/John Paul II HS

 

Dominic Lopez is another local product, as the 6-foot tall third baseman comes from John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi. Lopez was a key part in the Centurions' run of back-to-back State Championships in 2010 and 2011, being named Second Team All-State during the 2011 season. During his three seasons at John Paul, the Centurions have won 30 games each season, with a high of 36 last year.

Ramirez on Lopez: "Dominic is a strong left-handed hitter that can play both corner infield positions. He brings more local flavor to our program and should provide a power threat from the left side of the plate."


 

Justin Meza

RHP • 6-0 • 160

Corpus Christi, Texas/Alvin CC


Justin Meza is currently at Alvin Community College after spending his freshman season at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. During the 2011 campaign, Meza amassed a 4-3 record with a 4.96 ERA as a freshman for the Islanders. In just his second collegiate start, Meza picked up the win against No. 6 Texas after tossing 5.1 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven. For the season, he struck out 98 batters in 85.1 innings for a 10.34 k/9 average.

Ramirez on Meza: "Justin has already shown he is a major impact player in the Southland Conference, posting the second-most strikeouts in the league as a freshman last season. We look forward to welcoming him back into our program."
 

Jakob Silva

2B/SS • 5-8 • 165

Corpus Christi, Texas/John Paul II HS


Jakob Silva is a 5-foot-8 infielder that is also from John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi. The senior-to-be has been a part of two state championships in a row as the Centurions won 36 games in 2011. Silva hit .376 with 47 runs scored, 23 RBI, a .471 on-base percentage and a .466 slugging percentage and was named Second Team All-State as John Paul II defended its state title.

Ramirez on Silva: "Jakob is a very gifted middle infielder coming to us from John Paul II High School here in Corpus Christi. He is one of those infielders you have to keep an eye on because at anytime he can make a game-changing play on the defensive side of the ball." 
 

Josh Tate

C • 6-2 • 190

Queen Creek, Ariz./Yavapai College


Josh Tate is a 6-foot-2 catcher from Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. The Bears backstop helped his team to a 42-20 record during the past year. Tate hit .270 and started 16 games while picking up eight RBI as a freshman. In high school, Tate played at Basha High School in Prescott, Ariz. and hit .330 with 17 RBI as a senior. He also threw out 80 percent of base runners trying to steal and was named Honorable Mention All-Region as a senior.

Ramirez on Tate: "Josh is one of the top defensive and throwing catchers I saw all year. Our goal in recruiting is to excel defensively in the middle of the field, and Josh fits perfectly into our plans. He also competes at Yavapai Community College, one of the nation's best junior college programs in one of the toughest leagues."
 

Zach Taylor

INF • 6-0 • 185

Georgetown, Texas/Angelina College

 

Zach Taylor is a 6-foot-0 infielder and two-year starter for Angelina College. He hit .380 during his first year with the Roadrunners and helped his team to a regionals appearance while being named first team all-conference. In high school, the Georgetown native played at Georgetown High School, batting over .400 his final two years and helping his team to three district championships.

Ramirez on Taylor: "Zach is a very talented and hard-nosed overall baseball player. His ability on offense while playing the shortstop position at a very high level is exactly what we where looking for in this recruiting class. He is a natural leader on the field and his intangibles are off the charts."