Nov. 19, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University baseball added another round of elite talent as Green Wave head coach Rick Jones announced the signing of high school seniors Carson Blair, Jamie Bruno, Ryan Doiron, T.J. House, J.P. Ramirez, Jeremy Schaffer and Ross Seaton along with junior college transfer Jarrod Parks during the NCAA Early Signing Period.
Five of Tulane's high school signees rate among the Top 165 recruits nationally and all seven are among the country's Top 500 talents by Baseball America. All eight are rated as potential draft picks in 2008 by PGCrossChecker.com.
Among the incoming freshmen to sign National Letters of Intent with the Wave, Ramirez of New Braunfels, Texas (OF, 5-10, 185, Canyon HS) and T.J. House of Picayune, Miss (LHP, 6-1, 185, Picayune HS) bring experience with the USA Jr. National Team, and Houston native Ross Seaton (RHP/OF, 6-4, 225, Second Baptist HS) joins the Team USA pair as a member of Baseball America's Top 100 prospects.
In addition, Tulane added Louisiana natives Doiron (RHP, 6-0, 180, Barbe HS) of Lake Charles and Bruno (1B/LHP, 6-2, 210, Mandeville HS) of Mandeville, as well as Texas natives Jeremy Schaffer (C, 6-2, 205, Bellair Prep) of Bellaire and Carson Blair (INF, 6-2, 190, Liberty Christian HS) of Argyle. Junior college transfer Jarrod Parks (INF, 6-1, 190) of Meridian Community College rounds out the Green Wave's early signing class.
"I'm very excited about the direction we went with this class," Jones said. "Everyone across the country is always excited about their recruiting class this time of year, but the nice thing about this class is not only is it very talented but it also gets us back to the type of recruiting we are accustomed to in that it features top high school players who are also outstanding students, along with a junior college transfer who is a good student as well.
"This class is a little larger than we normally do, but with the new rules, we have to front-load our classes from here on out. You have to look into the crystal ball a little bit and figure out who is going to be back next year with graduation and the Major League Draft. Along with last year's class, which featured a lot of JuCo talent, it puts us back on the level we are at before the storm."
As a junior last season, Ramirez hit .500 with a team-leading 52 hits, 15 doubles and 10 home runs while posting three triples, 39 RBI, a .838 slugging percentage and 44 runs scored. As a sophomore, he hit .575 with eight home runs and 38 RBI while scoring 40 times.
As a member of the 2007 U.S. Jr. National Team, Ramirez hit a combined .395 (17-for-43) with two doubles, six RBI and four stolen bases while helping lead Team USA to the bronze medal at the COPABE Pan Am "AAA" Junior Championship in Ixtapa/Zihuatenajo, Mexico. He was also a member of the Texas Rangers Area Code squad and earned Top Prospect honors at both the Area Code Games and Perfect Game National Showcases.
"J.P. is quite simply one of the best hitters in the country," Tulane associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Mark Kingston said. "He was a key member of Team USA and plays as hard as anyone. He attended most of the major events and always stood out. He has a chance to be as good as any left-handed hitter we've had at Tulane. When you consider that list includes Jake Gautreau, Michael Aubrey, Jason Sparks and Mark Hamilton among others, that is quite a compliment."
A three-time All-Region 8-4A selection, House was twice picked to play in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Futures All-Star Game, and stays in shape during the offseason by participating on the school's swim team where he helped the club win the state championship in 2006.
As a junior last season at Picayune High, House posted a 1.69 ERA and a .128 opponent batting average while leading the region and the Mississippi Gulf Coast area with 115 strikeouts. He averaged 12 strikeouts per game in 2007 and set a school record with 20 in the season finale vs. Poplarville. For his career, House has 13 wins with 250 strikeouts in 171.2 innings of work.
With Team USA last summer, he posted six strikeouts and a .214 opponent batting average in 3.0 innings during qualifying play, and came out of the bullpen to post a pair of punches in the Pan Am Games.
"T.J. is one of the most competitive pitchers we have ever recruited here to Tulane," Green Wave pitching coach Chad Sutter said. "He showed his competitiveness this summer while playing for Team USA as well as one of the best summer programs in the country, the Bill Hood Broncos. His left-handed delivery is smooth and he throws a heavy fastball that reaches into the 90s. His stuff and competitiveness should help him make an immediate impact on our ballclub."
A first-team TAPPS 4-5A member the past three seasons and a two-time first-team all-state honoree, Seaton posted a 1.97 ERA with 108 strikeouts in 73.0 innings of work on the mound last season. He has 15 career home runs, including six as a sophomore and seven as a junior. A member of the Texas Rangers Area Code Team, he earned All-Area Code honors and was a Texas Area Scouts Association All-Star.
"Ross is one of the best two-way players in the country," Sutter said. "He has a fastball that will be consistently in the 90s with a good breaking ball that he will use at any time. Along with that, he will bring us another power bat from the left side at the plate. I look for Ross to be added to the list of great two-way players that Tulane is known for."
As a junior in 2007, Schaffer claimed first-team TSWA all-state and Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston honors, and was named District 20-5A MVP after hitting .442 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI while posing a .977 slugging percentage and a .518 on-base clip.
He helped lead Bellaire to a 32-3 overall record last season, the district title and a runner-up finish in the state championships. Schaffer claimed H5AB/Colt 45/Pro Way "Hitter of the Week for Week 3 of the 2007 season after hitting .615 (8-for-13) with a .1.692 slugging percentage on the strength of two doubles and four home runs, while driving in 10 over a five-game stretch.
Schaffer was selected to play in the Texas Scout Association Game as a member of the South Team and helped Bellaire Off Season advance to 2006 Perfect Game Semifinals.
"Jeremy gives you all the offense you could hope to get from the catching position," Kingston said. "He put up big numbers last spring and continued that pace through the summer and fall. He is a big, strong kid who is solid behind the plate and loves to play. He plays for Rocky Manuel at Bellaire High, so you know he will be tough and know how to win."
While he figures to be more of a pitcher than a position player at Tulane, Doiron hit .381 with 40 hits, seven doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 46 RBI and 20 stolen bases last season as a junior. In 2006, he teamed with current Tulane shortstop Josh Prince to lead Barbe to the state title.
As a member of Louisiana Legends last summer and a member of the Big Timers in the fall, Doiron played in the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., and the Texas High School Association Lone Star Baseball Classic in College Station, Texas. In addition, he was named a Top Prospect at the East Coast Professional Showcase.
"Ryan is a proven winner and that is evident by the success he has had at Barbe High School, which is widely known as one of the best high school baseball teams in the country," Sutter said. "His low 90s fastball and hard slider, along with that winning attitude, is something that jumped out at us while we were watching him this past summer. That combination will allow him to contribute immediately."
As a junior in 2007, Bruno hit .405 with eight home runs and 36 RBI en route to earning All-Metro recognition and was selected by USA Baseball to participate in the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. He was also chosen as a 2008 Under Armour Preseason All-American.
"Jamie brings tremendous power from the left side of the plate," Kingston said. "He can be an impact guy as he continues to mature and evolve as a hitter. He also has potential as a left-handed pitcher and we will explore that facet of his game as well."
Blair played for the Texas Blackhawk Select Team two summers ago where he hit .471 (41-for-87) with 14 doubles, two triples, a homer and 34 RBI while stealing 18 bases and scoring 27 runs.
"Carson was a little under the radar because he missed his junior year due to an ankle injury," Kingston said. "His talent, though, is hard to miss. He is athletic with good arm strength and can really hit. He can play a number of positions and, as he gets healthy, his speed should return to the 6.8 range."
A 2006 graduate of Madison Central High School, helped guide CHS to four consecutive district titles and the North State Championship as a senior. Parks is a two-time all-state, All-Metro and all-district honoree and was named to the Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen and was rated the No. 10 recruit in Mississippi by Prospects Plus.
Parks played summer ball for the Jackson 96ers and helped guide the team to the NABF World Series Championship, where he was a two-time All-World Series Team selection and was named NABF World Series MVP in 2006.
"Jarrod is an established hitter that brings a lot of versatility," Kingston said. "He runs a 6.8 and throws well. He is athletic enough to play the left side of the infield or either outfield corner. He has a solid, simple approach at the plate which allows him to give consistent, quality at-bats. He also is a great team player that plays in a premier program for Coach Rose at Meridian Community College."
Tulane eight commitments during the NCAA's Early Signing Period marked a first for the Green Wave program as every player who made a visit committed to the team.
"We batted 1.000 in recruiting this year," Jones said. "That is a testament not only to our staff, but also to our new clubhouse, our ballpark and the current players who did a great job of selling out program. It's a blue chip class that committed to us."
NOTE: The Tulane Athletic Communications Department would like to thank head coach Rick Jones, associate head coach/recruiting coordinator Mark Kingston and pitching coach Chad Sutter of the Green Wave staff, the head coaches and families of each Early Period signee, Mike Pervel of the St. Tammany News and Jason Becker of InsidePrepBaseball.com for their assistance in compiling the information and pictures used in this release.
2007 Tulane Baseball Early-Period Signees*
|Name||Pos.||B/T||Ht.||Wt.||Cl.||Hometown (High School/Previous School)|
|Carson Blair||INF||R/R||6-2||190||Fr.||Argyle, Texas (Liberty Christian HS)|
|Jamie Bruno||1B/LHP||L/L||6-2||210||Fr.||Mandeville, La. (Mandeville HS)|
|Ryan Doiron||RHP||R/R||6-0||180||Fr.||Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)|
|T.J. House||LHP||L/L||6-1||185||Fr.||Picayune, Miss. (Picayune HS)|
|Jarrod Parks||INF||R/R||6-1||190||Jr.||Madison, Miss. (Madison Central HS/Meridian CC)|
|J.P. Ramirez||OF||L/L||5-10||185||Fr.||New Braunfels, Texas (Canyon HS)|
|Ross Seaton||RHP/OF||L/R||6-4||215||Fr.||Houston, Texas (Second Baptist HS)|
|Jeremy Schaffer||C||R/R||6-2||205||Fr.||Bellaire, Texas (Bellaire HS)|
*based on their classification for the 2009 baseball season