THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011
Baseball signs eight players for the 2013 season
The JU baseball team is building its roster for next year, signing eight players for the 2013 season.
The Dolphins went local by adding third baseman Kris Molter (Bishop Kenny HS) as well as outfielders Michael Babb (Bartram Trail HS) and Nathan Koslowski (Episcopal HS).
Brady North (1B/Hillsborough JC) and Zach Gordon (RHP/St. Petersburg College) will come from the junior college ranks, while the Dolphins dove back into the Wisconsin pipeline with signing OF/LHP Josh Baker (Milwaukee, Wis.) and OF/1B Nate Ricci (Madison, Wis.). The class rounds out with right-handed pitcher Jacob Terry from Navarre High School in Navarre, Fla.
“We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the players that have committed to play for us for the 2013 season - both on the field and in the classroom,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “We have addressed most of our needs, but we still need to fill a couple of positions this spring. We have some momentum going on the recruiting side of things over the last several seasons, with four regional appearances in the past six years. Our staff has done a great job of identifying the right type of players that fit the JU environment.”
“I am excited about this class, and once we fill out our remaining recruiting needs in the spring, this class has a chance to earn some national recognition,” JU associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Montez said. “As I’ve stated before, recruiting is a team effort, and with the tireless efforts of our entire staff, especially with the help and direction of our regional recruiting coordinator Tommy Murphy, and our volunteer assistant coach Brian Snyder who did an outstanding job of organizing our campus visits, this would not be possible. We have brought in some great young men, who are solid students and come from great families. They will all be great additions to the JU baseball family.”
Molter (6-1, 185), currently a senior at Bishop Kenny in Jacksonville, hit .300 with seven homers and 19 doubles and 41 RBI in 2011 to earn all-First Coast honors from the Florida Times-Union. He is also the cousin of former Dolphin shortstop Jimmy Howick who suited up for the green and gold from 2009-11.
“Kris is a solid defensive player that can really swing the bat,” Montez said. “He has gap power and should compete right away for playing time in his freshman year. He has a tremendous upside, and I think working with Coach Murphy he will really flourish like his cousin Jimmy did, who now is playing in the Houston Astros organization.”
Babb (6-1, 185) batted .400 with 19 RBI and six home runs as a junior to earn first team all-conference, all-county and all-district accolades. As a junior, he hit .420 at the plate to receive first team all-county and second team all-conference honors.
“Michael is another local product that has a great chance to really develop in our program,” Montez said. “He might be one of the fastest outfielders in the state of Florida where he runs a legit 6.35 60-yard dash.”
Koslowski (5-11, 165) batted .374 as a junior with 20 RBI and only struck out seven times in 91 at-bats. He also drew 14 walks during the season.
“Nathan comes from highly regarded Episcopal High School where head coach Mike Jones has had numerous players play at JU over the last several years,” Montez said. “Nate is a sleek fielding outfielder who should really flourish in our program.”
North (6-3, 225) hit .380 and recorded four home runs in 2011 at Hillsborough. His average was a team-best as well as his RBI and walk totals. North batted better than .350 all four years Gaither High School. He earned first team all-conference honors as a senior and hit the game-winning grand slam to help win districts during his junior season.
“Brady is a left-handed power hitter that can also play solid defense,” Montez said. “He is a student of the game, which should come as no surprise, since his father was a former Division I coach for many years. Brady is also a very good student in the classroom and was also recruited by Miami and North Carolina State among others. He will also be a possible MLB draft pick in next year’s draft.”
Gordon (6-3, 185) struck out 39 batters while pacing St. Petersburg College with 23 appearances in 2011. As a senior, he earned second team all-county and all-conference honors after recording a 6-3 mark in 57 innings at East Lake High School in Atlanta, Ga.
“Zach is going to contribute out of the pen as a long reliever or a spot starter in our mid-week games,” Montez said. “He is a control-type pitcher with a plus upside that can locate three pitches and change speeds. He can be sneaky fast with an 85-89 mph fastball and also has the ability to throw a two-seamer which is a pitch that is a staple in our program.”
Baker (6-3, 200), currently a senior at University School of Milwaukee, hit .532 with 37 RBI and had a 1.48 ERA with 76 strikeouts his junior season. He has been named first team all-conference in each of the last two seasons and conference Player of the Year during his sophomore season. Baker is also a soccer and basketball standout. In soccer, he has recorded more than 20 goals and 10 assists a year, including 22 goals and 12 assists as a senior for conference Player of the Year honors.
“Josh is a multi-talented athlete that excels in not only baseball, but also in soccer and basketball,” Montez said. “As a junior, he was all conference in all three sports and well as an all-state baseball player. He shows gap power and great defensive instincts in the outfield. On the mound, Josh is 85-87 with a solid curveball.”
Ricci (6-0, 190) had a .420 average with 10 doubles, three triples and two home runs in helping Madison La Follette reach the regional finals. For his efforts, he earned first team all-conference, all-area and all-county honors. Ricci also helped the Lancers reach the state finals as a sophomore by batting .388 with six doubles and a home run.
“Nate is a strong physical player that has tremendous bat speed and can hit with power to all fields,” Montez said. “He is has a chance to be very similar to current JU stand out Dan Gulbransen. He is a solid student in the classroom and has a tremendous work ethic both on and off the field. We look for Nate to compete right away as a freshman.”
Terry (6-3, 210) is currently a senior at Navarre High School for Mickey O’Quinn. He also spent time last season playing third baseman and spends his summers with traveling baseball for the Pensacola Pirates.
“Jacob is a natural submarine right-hander pitcher that has arm strength and possesses a plus-curve from down under,” Montez said. “His fastball is in the 84-87 mph range, and with his physical size will only get stronger as he develops in our program. He has a chance to be our closer out of the pen as he gains experience.”
2013 Baseball Signees