Tech Baseball Inks Fourth-Straight Top 25 Signing Class

LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech baseball announced its 2017 early signing class, which inks 13 future Red Raiders to national letters of intent and ranks as the No. 21 recruiting class in the country.
 
After winning the 2016 Big 12 Championship and making their second College World Series appearance in three years, head coach Tim Tadlock and his coaching staff put together their fourth-straight top-25 ranked recruiting class (Perfect Game), which features signees from five different states. All four of Tadlock and his staff’s signing classes have earned top-25 rankings.
 
In each of the four states outside of Texas, the Red Raiders snagged the top-ranked or No. 2 players in their respective states in Cordell Dunn (No. 1 in Mississippi), Gabe Holt (No. 2 in Georgia), Trevor Rogers (No. 1 in New Mexico) and KC Simonich (No. 1 in Illinois), who is also joined by Illinois standout and teammate Ryan Sublette. Not only is Rogers the top prospect in New Mexico, but he is also No. 1 LHP in the country by Perfect Game.
 
Tech was equally impressive inside the state’s borders, signing eight from Texas. The 2017 class is a strong mix of position players and pitchers including: Clayton Beeter, Nicholas Candelari, Braxton Fulford, Richard Gilbert, Parker Kelly, Cody Masters, Kenneth Waller and Kurt Wilson.
 
“Our 2017 class has a chance to impact Texas Tech baseball right away,” Tadlock said. “The combination of pitching and position players that could step in and play right away is what we are looking for.
 
“For our program to be in position to get these guys to campus is a testament to our coaching staff, our academic staff led by Felicia Martin, and our administration. We are fortunate to have who I know is one the hardest working recruiting coordinators in the country in J-Bob Thomas and a pitching coach in Ray Hayward who is one of the more respected men in all of baseball. Matt Gardner and Joseph Hughes are also two people who have helped bring this class together, who bring a lot to the table every day.”
 
The high school standouts that inked NLI’s with the Red Raiders during the early signing period will join the Texas Tech baseball program in the fall of 2017.
 
Clayton Beeter
Clayton Beeter – RHP, 6-2, 205, R/R, Colleyville, Texas/Birdville
 
-        Son of Lana and Mike Beeter
-        Plays for coach Vance Bonner at Birdville High School, who played for coach Tadlock at Hill Junior College in 1996
-        Played summer ball for coach Pat Woods and the NTXBC Dirtbags
-        Put together a 4-1 record junior season over 25.2 IP, striking out 45 batters behind a 2.70 ERA (2016)
-        Recorded a .408 batting average over 71 plate appearances, racking up six doubles, three triples, three homers and 28 RBI
-        Area Code tryout participant (2016)
-        Top 500 prospect by Perfect Game
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #125 High School Prospect in Texas
-        Three-time Football letterwinner for coach Lon Holbrook at Birdville HS
-        Two-time All-District QB (Football) – Texas 8-5A
-        Birdville High School Valedictorian
Coach Tadlock on Beeter – “We feel like Clayton has a chance to develop into a power arm in his college career.  He will be one of the finalists at Birdville High School to be the Valedictorian.”
 
Nicholas Candelari
Nicholas Candelari – RHP, 6-3, 180, R/R, Spring, Texas/Klein
 
-        Son of Lory & Jerry Candelari
-        Plays for coach Barry Smith at Klein High School
-        Played summer ball for coach David Evans with Premier Baseball Futures
-        Played in the 2016 WWBA in Jupiter, Florida, for the Premier Evans Futures
-        Struck out 44 batters over 35 IP in junior season, putting together a 3.00 ERA and a 3-2 overall record (2016)
-        First Team All-District – Texas 15-6A (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        17U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2015)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #9 RHP in state of Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #31 High School Prospect in Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #427 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Candelari – “Nick will be able to compete with a plus breaking ball and a fastball that will continue to get better as he goes.”
 
Cordell Dunn
Cordell Dunn – C, 6-0, 190, R/R, Olive Branch, Mississippi/Center Hill
 
-        Son of Schalonda & Cordell Dunn
-        Uncle Keith Dunn played for Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock at Grayson College in 1997
-        Plays for coach Neil Fredrick at Center Hill High School
-        Played for TPL National at the 2016 WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida, where he was named to the All-Tournament Team
-        Batted .300 during junior season with 25 hits, including 10 doubles and one home run, with 18 RBI and 18 runs scored (2016)
-        First Team All-District – Mississippi 1-5A (2016)
-        Mississippi Association of Coaches First Team All-State (2016)
-        Played for Team Mississippi in the 2016 Junior Sunbelt Classic
-        Participated in the East Coast Pro Showcase (2016)
-        WWBA Southeast Qualifier Champion (2016)
-        Hit .385 sophomore year with 25 hits, five doubles, one triple and one homer, along with 20 RBI and 11 runs scored (2015)
-        Mississippi Association of Coaches All-State award winner (2015)
-        Co-Offensive District MVP (2015)
-        Earned All-District accolades (2015)
-        Member of Team USA (2015)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #1 High School Prospect In Mississippi
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #146 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Dunn – “CJ is one of the better catch and throw guys in the south who has a chance to be an impact bat as he develops.”
 
Braxton Fulford
Braxton Fulford – C, 5-11, 185, R/R, Lubbock, Texas/Monterey
 
-        Son of Tammy and Jai Fulford
-        Plays for coaches Kent Meador, Ralph Ramon and Chad Payne at Monterey High School
-        Played summer ball for D-Bat Robertson 17U under Ryan Robertson and Jim Chamblee
-        Hit .305 during junior season with a .419 slugging percentage, 16 RBI and two home runs (2016)
-        Put together a .369 batting average during summer ball behind a .550 slugging percentage, 30 RBI and three homers (2016)
-        Played with DBat Bonesio at the WWBA in Jupiter, Florida (2016)
-        Won the 2016 Don Mattingly World Series
-        Helped his team to a third-place finish at the Connie Mack World Series (2016)
-        Connie Mack World Series All-Tournament Catcher (2016)
-        Two-time Connie Mack World Series 2016 Player of the Game (2016)
-        Lone Star Varsity Preseason Super Team (2016)
Coach Tadlock on Fulford – “Braxton has the ability to catch and throw at a high level and has very good strike zone awareness.”
 
Richard Gilbert
Richard Gilbert – LHP, 6-2, 198, R/L, San Antonio, Texas/Johnson
 
-        Son of Lisa & Bill Gilbert
-        Plays for coach Gorden Gesell at Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas
-        Played summer ball for Ray DeLeon and the Houston Banditos
-        Led the team with 11 wins during junior season, securing an 11-2 overall record along with one save (2016)
-        Put together a 1.93 ERA, striking out 92 batters (2016)
-        Batted .382 with 39 hits, including 11 doubles, three triples and two home runs, with 27 RBI and eight runs scored (2016)
-        2016 State Champions
-        UIL Class 6A All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        First Team All-State (2016)
-        First Team All-District (2016)
-        Earned Academic All-District honors (2016)
-        Express News Super Team & All-Area Team award winner (2016)
-        Team USA participant (2016)
-        Area Code team member for the Texas Rangers Scout Team (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        WWBA South Qualifier Tournament Most Valuable Pitcher (2015)
-        WWBA South Qualifier All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        16U Super25 All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        16U Perfect Game World Series All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2015)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #6 LHP in state of Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #39 High School Prospect in Texas
-        Top 500 prospect by Perfect Game
Coach Tadlock on Gilbert – “Richard has always been a guy that could spin the breaking ball along with good command of the fastball. On any given day, he can pitch with anyone in the country and understands throwing quality strikes.”
 
Gabe Holt
Gabe Holt – SS, 5-11, 160, L/R, Bonaire, Georgia/Veterans
 
-        Son of Christi & Greg Holt
-        Plays for coach David Coffey at Veterans High School
-        Played summer baseball for coach Chad Raley and Team Marucci Elite
-        Batted .364 during junior season with 39 hits, 25 RBI and 39 runs scored (2016)
-        Holds the Veterans High School Single Season records for: plate appearances (145), runs scored (51), hits (47) and stolen bases (29)
-        Named Georgia 4A All-State First Team (2016)
-        Received All-Region & All-Houston County First Team honors (2016)
-        Three-time WWBA World Championship All-Tournament Team (2014, 2015 & 2016)
-        WWBA National Qualifier & SE Qualifier All-Tournament Teams (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American First Team (2016)
-        Region 4A Co-Player of the Year (2015)
-        Two-time First Team All-Middle Georgia (2014 & 2015)
-        Received All-Region & All-Houston County First Team accolades (2015)
-        Perfect Game 17U All-Tournament All-American (2015)
-        Played in the PG National All-American Game in San Diego, California (2015)
-        WWBA World Championship All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        WWBA National Qualifier & SE Qualifier All-Tournament Teams (2015)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2015)
-        Received All-Region & All-Houston Country First Team awards (2014)
-        MaxPreps Underclassmen All-American (2014)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #2 at SS in Georgia
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #10 High School Prospect from Georgia
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #126 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Holt – “We feel like Gabe has a chance to be an impact type offensive player who brings athleticism and speed to impact a game.”
 
Parker Kelly
Parker Kelly – INF, 6-2, 200, R/R, Wichita Falls, Texas/Wichita Falls Rider
 
-        Son of Robbie & John Kelly
-        Plays for coach Josh Bobbitt at Wichita Falls Rider High School
-        Played summer ball for coaches Cameron Bankston and Will Calhoun with the Dallas Tigers
-        Played at the WWBA in Jupiter, Florida, for coach Tommy Hernandez and the Dallas Tigers
-        Batted .420 in junior season with 49 hits, including 11 doubles and three triples, driving in 22 runners while scoring 33 of his own (2016)
-        Recorded a .998 fielding percentage in 130 total chances (2016)
-        Texas Sports Writers Association 5A All-State (2016)
-        Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 5A All-State Second Team (2016)
-        All-District 5-5A (2016)
-        2016 Defensive MVP
-        2016 Team Captain
-        Red River Diamond Dozen Selection (2016)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #5 High School Prospect in Texas at position
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #122 High School Prospect in Texas
-        Top 500 prospect by Perfect Game
Coach Tadlock on Kelly – “Parker is a big, strong infielder who has a chance to develop into an impact bat.”
 
Cody Masters
Cody Masters – CF, 6-2, 195, S/L, Coppell, Texas/Coppell
 
-        Son of Jill and Brad Masters
-        Plays for coaches Kendall Clark and Clint Rushing at Coppell High School
-        Played summer ball for coach Kyle Abbott for Pro Source Abbott
-        Competed in the 2016 WWBA for D-Bat in Jupiter, Florida
-        Posted a .398 batting average during junior season with eight doubles, six home runs, 28 RBI and 42 runs scored (2016)
-        Led all 6A players with nine triples (2016)
-        Named to 7-6A All-District First Team (2016)
-        Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State First Team (2016)
-        Louisville Slugger High School All-American (2016)
-        Texas Sports Writers All-State Selection (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        16U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        15U BCS Finals All-Tournament Team (2014)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #6 CF in state of Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #17 High School Prospect from Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #221 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Masters – “Cody is a switch-hitter who has shown power on occasion and has a chance to develop into an impact offensive player. His two-sport intangibles bring a lot to the table as far as competing and composure within the game. From the first time we saw Cody, we felt like he could make an impact right away.”
 
Trevor Rogers
Trevor Rogers – LHP, 6-5, 190, L/L, Carlsbad, New Mexico/Carlsbad
 
-        Son of Colleen and Mike Rogers
-        Plays for coach Cody May at Carlsbad High School
-        Played summer ball for coach Brian Huie at BNL
-        Posted a 9-2 record junior season behind a 0.70 ERA, striking out 122 batters (2016)
-        Batted .338, while tallying 22 RBI and one home run (2016)
-        2016 State Champions
-        MaxPreps Underclassmen All-American (2016)
-        Baseball Coaches Association All-State Team (2016)
-        National High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Rocky Mountain Region (2016)
-        Participated in the 2016 Area Code Games for the Cincinnati Reds in Long Beach, California
-        Played in the Perfect Game All-America Game (2016)
-        Perfect Game All-American (2016)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #1 LHP Prospect in the country
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #1 High School Prospect in New Mexico
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #3 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Rogers – “Trevor is the definition of a pitcher. He has a three pitch mix with great command. We could throw him in our rotation right now because of his understanding of the importance of locating the fastball and throwing with conviction. He has the ability to go get a 95-96 if needed, but most of the time with Trevor it is about his understanding of working through a lineup to put his team in position to win that day.”
 
KC Simonich
KC Simonich – INF/OF, 6-3, 190, L/R, Lemont, Illinois/Lemont Township
 
-        Son of Annette & Ken Simonich
-        Plays for coach Brian Storako at Lemont Township High School
-        Hit .342 during junior season with an OBP of .425, racking up 39 hits, 37 RBI and 30 runs scored (2016)
-        Played summer ball for Team DeMarini under coaches Jared Koutnik, Pete Flores & Ryan Crowley
-        Played at the 2016 WWBA for coach Andy Stack and the Cincinnati Reds Midwest Scout Team in Jupiter, Florida
-        Played in the 2016 Midwest Scouts Association Game at Kauffman Stadium
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        17U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        16U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #1 at position in state of Illinois
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #6 High School Prospect from Illinois
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #10 at position in the country
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #213 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Simonich – “KC is a corner infielder who could also play all three outfield spots and will impact a game offensively.”
 
Ryan Sublette
Ryan Sublette – RHP, 6-2, 185, R/R, Lemont, Illinois/Lemont Township
 
-        Son of Donna & Robert Sublette
-        Plays for coach Brian Storako at Lemont Township High School
-        Played summer ball for Team DeMarini under coaches Jared Koutnik, Pete Flores & Ryan Crowley
-        Played at the 2016 WWBA for coach Andy Stack and the Cincinnati Reds Midwest Scout Team in Jupiter, Florida
-        Two-time State Champions
-        Illinois State Tournament single-game strikeout record holder (14 K’s)
-        Tossed a 9-1 record junior season, including a no-hitter (2016)
-        Posted a 2.05 ERA with 77 K’s (2016)
-        WWBA Kernels Foundation All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        17U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2016)
-        WWBA Underclassmen World Championship All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        WWBA Kernels Foundation All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-American (2015)
-        WWBA Underclassmen World Championship All-Tournament Team (2014)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #16 High School Prospect in Illinois
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #485 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Sublette – “J-Bob feels like Ryan is a lot like former Red Raider Dominic Moreno with arm angle and potential for his stuff to get better.”
 
Kenneth Waller
Kenneth Waller – LHP, 6-1, 180, L/R, Arlington, Texas/Martin
 
-        Son of Lynne & Rick Waller
-        Plays for coach Curt Culbertson at Martin High School
-        Played summer ball for coach Dave Acton and the Arlington A’s
-        Posted a 6-1 record summer of junior season (2016)
-        Recorded a 0.98 ERA, striking out 76 batters over 46 IP (2016)
-        Area Code Invitee All-Tournament Team (2016)
-        Area Code Invitee All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        Ranked Top 10 Pitcher by Premier Baseball
-        Selected to New York Mets Scout Team
Coach Tadlock on Waller – “Kenneth is a guy we feel like has a chance to come in and compete right away with his ability to command his secondary stuff. He has not pitched much in high school due to a non-throwing injury as a sophomore.”
 
Kurt Wilson
Kurt Wilson – INF, 6-2, 160, R/R, Arlington, Texas/Martin
 
-        Son of Tanya & Lonnie Wilson
-        Plays for coach Curt Culbertson at Martin High School
-        Played summer ball for the Texas Slam under Kurt Kristynik, a Texas Tech alum who also coached current Red Raider John McMillon
-        Hit .468 with the Slam, with six doubles, two triples and one home run, along with nine stolen bases (2016)
-        Batted .341 as a sophomore at Livingston HS, while striking out 130 on the mound between freshman & sophomore seasons
-        Named Newcomer of the Year District 18-5A (2014)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen All-American (2016)
-        2015 East Texas All-Star Game
-        15U WWBA National Championship All-Tournament Team (2015)
-        Perfect Game Underclassmen All-American (2015)
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #4 at position in state of Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #23 High School Prospect in Texas
-        Perfect Game Ranking: #315 High School Prospect
Coach Tadlock on Wilson – “Kurt has the ability to play in the middle of the field and could possibly end up on the mound.”
 
2017 Recruiting Rankings (Perfect Game):
  1. Florida International
  2. Florida
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. Miami
  5. LSU
  6. Southern California
  7. TCU
  8. Arkansas
  9. Auburn
  10. UCLA
  11. Mississippi State
  12. South Carolina
  13. Arizona State
  14. Texas A&M
  15. Clemson
  16. North Carolina
  17. Georgia Tech
  18. Florida State
  19. Kentucky
  20. Michigan
  21. TEXAS TECH
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Virginia
  24. Arizona
  25. Louisville
 

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