Mesa baseball team adds 10 more players

Colorado Mesa baseball coach Chris Hanks added 10 more baseball players to the Mavericks’ recruiting class, including a Division I transfer.

Six of the newcomers are college transfers, including left-handed pitcher Nevin Wilson, who transferred from Vanderbilt University.

Hanks said Vanderbilt’s coach told Wilson he didn’t figure into the Commodores’ plans to start, and Wilson was given permission to go elsewhere.

“This was an out-of-the-blue thing,” Hanks said. “It’s closer to home, and I think he liked our facilities.”

The junior looked at the University of Tampa, St. Leo (Fla.) University, UC-San Diego and Colorado Mesa, Hanks said.

Wilson was drafted out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 44th round of the 2011 draft. He opted to go to Vanderbilt, where he was the past two years.

Wilson’s fastball registers in the upper 80s and low 90s for miles per hour, and Hanks said Wilson is a great kid, adding, “I think he’ll be very popular on the team.”

Colorado Mesa lost two starting pitchers and another senior who had three starts from a team that advanced to the NCAA South Central Regional. Wilson is one of six pitchers in Mesa’s recruiting class. Five of them were starters at their previous school.

“We’ll pitch them all in the same capacity all fall,” Hanks said. “They will all throw the same number of innings. What we try to do is create a level playing field in terms of opportunity. We want the numbers to tell a story and help us decide if they are a starter or a reliever.”

Freshman Daniel Arrellano was an All-San Diego Central League pitcher with 258 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings during his final two years of high school. He pitched two no-hitters in his final three outings.

“Daniel has some big upside,” Hanks said. “We’ve been recruiting Daniel since last September. He had a fantastic senior year.”

Matt Delay is a transfer from the College of Central Florida. The right-hander struck out 23 batters in 36 2/3 innings in 12 appearances last season. Delay went to the University of North Florida out of high school but didn’t play for two years.

David Johnson is from Parker and played the past two years at Colby (Kan.) Community College. He was 9-1 with a 4.07 ERA and 50 strikeouts last season.

“The Colby coach told us Dave was their big-game pitcher,” Hanks said.

Ryan Reno is a transfer from Northeastern Junior College, where he was 11-1 with a 2.69 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched. The Plainsmen were nationally ranked this past season.

“He’s a soft left-handed pitcher with impeccable control,” Hanks said.

Rob Kovach is a junior relief pitcher out of Monterey Peninsula (Calif.) College. He had 41 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.

“He’s a high energy, arm-strength kid,” Hanks said. “He’s a shade bit wild.”

The Mavs also added two infielders, a catcher and an outfielder.

Junior outfielder Tanner Renner is the only college transfer among the position players who signed with Mesa. Renner is a transfer from Southern Illinois University. He played in 32 games and made 16 starts for the Salukis.

Catcher Jake Druce led Bingham High School to a Utah state title in the spring and was ranked the 13th-best player in Utah by Mountain West baseball. He also can play first base.

Connor Woods played second base for his father at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. He hit .324 with four doubles and one home run last season.

Antonio Diggs comes from Goodyear, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. He is playing football for the Mavericks as well.

His father is the manager for the Milwaukee Brewers’ advanced rookie team, the Helena Brewers, which is in Grand Junction this weekend to play the Grand Junction Rockies.

The 2013-14 recruiting class includes six players from the early signing period in November.

Bayfield High School graduate Clay Miller was one of the early period recruits. The left-handed pitcher was drafted in the 35th round by the Kansas City Royals, but he decided to stick with his commitment to Mesa and is taking classes this fall.

Mesa begins fall practice Sept. 5.


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