Jan. 5, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Rick Jones and the Tulane Baseball program announced their 2013-14 signing class today, highlighted by shortstop Stephen Alemais - the nation's second best shortstop, according to Perfect Game.
In addition to Alemais the Green Wave will be adding six position players - shortstop Hunter Hope, outfielder Grant Brown, infielder Tyler Wilson, catcher/infielder Jake Rogers, infielder Jake Willsey and infielder Garrett Deschamp - and five arms - right-handers J.P. France, Corey Merrill, Zach Flowers and Matt Horton, as well as leftie Sam Bjorngjeld.
"This is an extremely talented and deep class," said Tulane Head Baseball Coach Rick Jones. "With the number of seniors we have this year, we had to be able to secure these players."
"As a staff, we are extremely excited about this group, and we think it is one of the more talented classes we've had in a while," said Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Jake Gautreau. "This took a lot of time and effort, but we've found some great players, as well as some great, young men."
Overall, Tulane's signing class brings in players from Texas, (Wilson, Rogers, Horton and Bjorngjeld), Louisiana (France, Merrill and Deschamp), New York (Alemais), Florida (Hope), Mississippi (Brown), Massachusetts (Willsey) and Delaware (Flowers).
Alemais (6-0, 175 lbs.), from All Hallows High School in New York, N.Y., is ranked as the top prospect in the state of New York, and the second-best shortstop nationally by Perfect Game. Overall, he is ranked as the 78th best prospect by the recruiting service, and he is considered a five-tool player. He is an outstanding defensive talent that should see the field from day one for the Green Wave.
Hope (6-1, 202 lbs.), from William T. Dwyer High School in Jupiter, Fla., is ranked as the 14th best shortstop in the nation, as well as the 30th best prospect in the state of Florida. Overall, he is the 168th best prospect. While he predominately played shortstop in high school, he could see some time at third base for the Greenies.
France, a local product from Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, La., is a very talented right-handed pitcher with an explosive 90 mile per hour fastball. He has a repertoire of three pitches that he routinely throws for strikes, highlighted by a wicked slider. As a junior, he went 8-2 with 108 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings. He also drove in 27 runs during his junior season.
Merrill (6-4, 210 lbs.), another local prospect from Lutcher High School, is the fifth best right-handed pitcher in Louisiana, according to Perfect Game. Merrill throws a fastball that reaches the lower 90s, as well as a curveball and changeup. Coupling that with his tall frame, he should be an imposing figure on the mound at Turchin Stadium. He recorded a 4-2 record and a 2.75 ERA in 2012.
Wilson (5-11, 170 lbs.) is a junior college transfer from Navarro Junior College, where he helped lead the Bulldogs to a 35-17 record by starring in the infield as a freshman. Wilson hit .343 with four homers and 44 RBIs in 2012. Originally from Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas, he led the Rangers to the 2011 25-4A District Championship.
Rogers (6-1, 190 lbs.), a catcher from Canyon High School in Canyon, Texas, is recognized as the third best catcher in Texas by Perfect Game. His versatility should come into play, as he has the ability to play the infield as well. Rogers led the Canyon High School Eagles to the 2012 District 3-4A title, batting .359 with 33 RBIs.
Willsey (5-11, 165 lbs.), from Rivers High School in Chestnut Hill, Mass., primarily played second base in high school, but he is versatile enough to play any position up the middle. He is considered to be a very athletic middle infielder that was recognized as a Top-1000 prospect by Perfect Game.
Deschamp (5-11, 170 lbs.), another junior college transfer, is originally from Denham Springs, La. The infielder helped LSU-Eunice capture the 2012 JUCO National Championship by hitting .293 with, 3 homers, 49 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He starred for Parkview Baptist before heading to LSU-Eunice.
Flowers (6-2, 175 lbs.) is a right-handed pitcher from Salesianum High School in Middleton, Del. He owns a fastball that reaches the upper-80s, and he was recognized as a Top-1000 Prospect by Perfect Game.
Horton (6-3, 215 lbs.) is a right-handed pitcher from The Colony High School in The Colony, Texas. He is ranked as the 59th best right-handed pitcher by Perfect Game, as well as a Top-500 Prospect. He possesses a superb fastball. Horton was named to the All-District 4-4A first team in 2012.
Bjorngjeld (6-5, 200 lbs.), the lone left-handed pitcher in Tulane's class, is from Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas. He is ranked as a Top-1000 Prospect by Perfect Game. His fastball is clocked in the upper-80 mile per hour range.
"This is a class that will benefit Tulane for years to come," added Jones.
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2013-14 TULANE BASEBALL SIGNING CLASS
Name, Position, Previous School (Hometown)
Stephen Alemais, IF, All Hallows High School (New York, N.Y.)
Sam Bjorngjeld, RHP, Clements High School (Sugar Land, Texas)
Grant Brown, OF, Gulfport High School (Gulfport, Miss.)
Garrett Deschamp, IF, LSU-Eunice (Denham Springs, La.)
Zach Flowers, RHP, Salesianum High School (Middleton, Del.)
J.P. France, RHP, Archbishop Shaw (Marrero, La.)
Hunter Hope, IF, William T. Dwyer High School (Jupiter, Fla.)
Matt Horton, RHP, The Colony High School (The Colony, Texas)
Corey Merrill, RHP, Lutcher High School (Lutcher, La.)
Jake Rogers, C/IF, Canyon High School (Canyon, Texas)
Jake Willsey, IF, Rivers High School (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Tyler Wilson, IF, Navarro Junior College (Cedar Park, Texas)