VMI Baseball announces incoming recruiting class

vmi baseballVMI baseball announced its incoming class on Wednesday, a class that will matriculate later this month and begin play in the 2019 season. It includes 16 athletes in all, three of which are Perfect Game top-500 players, while another two earned PG’s top-1000 honor. The group includes a pair of transfers as well.

Capsules on each player, as well as coaching staff quotes, are available below.

Don Goodes, OF, Wapakoneta, Ohio (Wapakoneta)

High School/Personal: Named a top-500 player in the nation by Perfect Game…was Prep Baseball Report’s pick for the #1 outfielder in the state of Virginia before his family moved to Ohio following the 2017 season…the group then named him First Team All-Ohio and Division II Player of the Year in 2018…selected for 2018 Mizuno All-Ohio Senior Series showcase…2017-18 All-USA Ohio Baseball Team…First Team All-League and All-Northwest Ohio…set school records for batting average, slugging percentage, hits, doubles and triples…Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention…WWBA All-Tourney Team…led state of Wisconsin in batting average in 2015…earned high honor roll and academic excellence marks during high school career…father played football at Adrian College and mother both played lacrosse and ran cross country at Siena…intends to major in history.

Coach’s Quote: “Don is a physical left-handed hitting outfielder that was the top-rated outfielder in the state of Virginia when he committed to us. He has a great combination of both speed and power, and is a plus defender in center field. He has a great work-ethic and leadership qualities that we feel will fit well in our locker room.”

Bre Harden, SS/2B, Chesapeake, Va. (Great Bridge)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Great Bridge HS…First Team All-Conference and All-Region…Second Team All-State…All-Tidewater…Perfect Game Underclassman Honorable Mention…WWBA All-Tourney Team…named #10 shortstop and #35 player in Virginia by Prep Baseball Report…named top-25 middle infielder in the state by Perfect Game…intends to major in history.

Coach’s Quote: “Brelon is an athletic middle infielder that possesses the ability to play numerous positions. He projects as a top-to-middle of the order hitter who can provide a very versatile mix of speed and power. Brelon is a player that we saw early in the summer and watched him grow into one of the top players in the Mid-Atlantic region and feel he has a great chance to see a lot of playing time early in his career at VMI.”

Max Harper, 1B/OF, Spotsylvania, Va. (Spotsylvania)

High School/Personal: Class 3A State Player of the Year (2018)…also Player of the Year in District, Region and Area and earned First Team honors at each level…honor roll all four years of high school…named the #3 first baseman in Virginia by Prep Baseball Report…intends to major in economics and business.

Coach’s Quote: “Max is an athlete that we got to know early in the recruiting process. He is a high character player with many leadership qualities that will trend well at VMI and in our locker room. He has a very athletic frame that projects to hit with power. Max can play both first base as well as a corner outfield position. With Max’s hitting ability and raw power, we think he will have an impact on our lineup early on in his career.”

Ryan Huffman, RHP, King William, Va. (King William)

High School/Personal: Top-1000 player in the nation according to Perfect Game…two-time District Player of the Year…all-district at third base twice and as a pitcher once…earned multiple all-region honors at both spots…earned two all-state honors as a pitcher…WWBA All-Tourney Team and #30 RHP in state…red team MVP at the VHSCA Red-Blue All-Star Game…played for RBA West travel program…Salutatorian…father played basketball at Lynchburg and sister was a softball player at Radford…intends to major in mechanical engineering.

Coach’s Quote: “Ryan is another physical arm that we have been able to add to our pitching staff. Ryan carries a physical presence on the mound and attacks the zone with a very good fastball. Ryan is a right-handed arm with a low ¾ slot, a fastball in the mid 80’s, a slider, and a split finger fastball. Ryan projects as a bullpen arm that could see time very early in his VMI career.”

Adam Jewell, RHP, Mechanicsville, Va. (Atlee)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner…played for Hometown Hawks and Richmond Braves travel baseball…named top-1000 player in country by Perfect Game, which also tabbed him #70 player overall in Virginia…named 18th-best RHP in VA by Prep Baseball Report…intends to major in civil engineering.

Coach’s Quote: “Adam comes to us from Atlee High School and the Richmond Braves. Adam is a low ¾ arm slot and has a fastball that is in the mid to upper 80’s. He also features a good changeup, and slider. We saw Adam continue to get better throughout his high school years and believe that he could help us out of the bullpen as well as a potential starter.”

Nathan Light, LHP, Enterprise, Ala. (Enterprise)

High School/Personal: 2018 Perfect Game Preseason All-American SE Region Honorable Mention…went on to go 7-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP…named 10th-best LHP in Alabama by Perfect Game, which also named him to its Rawlings Spring Swing All-Tourney Team…Dothan Eagle Super 12…EHS “Dominate” Award…played legion ball for Post 70, which won the state title in 2017…Honor Graduate…Marine Corps Scholastic Achievement…National Honor Society…intends to major in mechanical engineering.

Coach’s Quote: “Nathan is an athletic left-handed pitcher from Alabama. Nathan throws from a high ¾ slot, typically in the mid 80’s and as his frame continues to fill out, we believe he will throw harder. He has a feel for both his changeup and curveball. Nathan had a great spring season, and we look forward to him stepping in and competing for a starting role on our team.”

Will Lopez, LHP, Henrico, Va. (Henrico)

High School/Personal: Ranked #10 LHP in state by Perfect Game…2018 PG Preseason All-American and All-Region Team…was a Second Team All-Conference honoree as an OF previously…two-time WWBA all-tournament team….Evoshield Canes…played for gold medal winners in 2017 Commonwealth Games…posted a 1.71 ERA in 2017 WWBA PG USA National Championship…competed at 2017 Commonwealth Games…father competed at ISKA and WBA World Tae Kwon Do Championships…intends to major in computer engineering.

Coach’s Quote: “Will is an athlete that we have recruited for a long time through high school, and the travel ball circuit. We watched Will closely over the summer and saw him continually improve every time he took the mound. He sits in the mid 80’s and has an advanced breaking ball. Will has the ability to both start and throw in a closer type role.”

Jake Luchansky, RHP, Hampstead, N.C. (Topsail)

High School/Personal: First Team All-Conference and All-County honoree at Topsail HS…First Team All-Area…Region 2 Powerade State Game Pitcher…NCHSSA Scholar-Athlete and Leadership Conference…National Honor Society…2018 Class President…ranked ninth overall in graduating class of 346…brothers played at Lebanon Valley and Belmont Abbey, while sister was a field hockey athlete at Shippensburg…intends to major in electrical engineering.

Coach’s Quote: “Jacob was one of our first commits to the 2018 recruiting class. We saw Jacob at our winter camp and felt that he could have the potential to develop into a quality pitcher here at VMI. He has a mature approach to pitching, throws a ton of strikes and has the ability to spin a quality slider. We are looking for Jacob to come in and have an opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen as well as potentially starting.”

Jacob Mustain, 1B, Chesapeake, Va. (Hickory)

High School/Personal: Named top-500 player in nation by Perfect Game…#2 1B in Virginia according to Perfect Game and #5 according to Prep Baseball Report…named one of the top-50 1B’s in the nation by Perfect Game…WWBA All-Tourney Team…PG Super-25 All-Tourney Team and MVP.

Coach’s Quote: “Jacob is a left-handed hitting first baseman that has the ability to hit for average as well as power. He has a good approach at the plate, and has the ability to hit to all parts of the field.”

Nate Roach, C, Crownsville, Md. (Cornerstone Christian (CO))

High School/Personal: Three-year letterwinner at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Westminster, Colo…hit .453 with a .544 OBP as a senior…was a First Team All-State and All-Conference honoree and also earned Academic All-Conference honors…two-time team MVP…three-time team captain…school’s male athlete of the year as a senior…played for Thunder Academy travel team…named #20 catcher in Colorado by Prep Baseball Report…also lettered two years in football…father wrestled at the Naval Academy and twin brother has signed to do so.

Coach’s Quote: “Nate is a defensive catcher that we saw after he attended our camp. Nate has really good receiving ability, as well as a plus arm from behind the plate. Nate has the ability to handle a pitching staff, as well as hit for average.”

Zach Sanders, RHP, Newport News, Va. (Woodside)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Woodside…three-time First Team All-Region as a utility player…Second Team All-Region as a pitcher on two occasions…All-State All-Star team in 2018…two-time team captain…2017 Commonwealth Games…Woodside’s 2018 Male Athlete of the Year…Daily Press All-Star…named #20 RHP in VA by Prep Baseball Report…intends to major in psychology and pursue a commission into the Air Force.

Coach’s Quote: “Zach is an athletic right-handed pitcher from Woodside High School. He has a very loose arm action, with a mid 80’s fastball and a four-pitch mix. He has the ability to throw strikes with all four of his pitches. We believe that Zach can help us both out of the bullpen and as a starter.”

Josh Silva, IF, Newport News, Va. (Denbigh)

High School/Personal: Hit .423 as a junior and earned First Team All-Region honors at utility…earned honorable mention Second Team All-Region behind the plate…played in VA Commonwealth Games…suited up for Hampton Roads Hurricanes…four-year honor roll member and ranked ninth overall in high school class…intends to major in biology.

Coach’s Quote: “Josh attended quite a few of our camps and continued to improve his ability each time we saw him. His frame filled out and he developed the ability to hit for power. He is a defensive-minded middle infielder that can play many positions on the field. Josh has a great work ethic and has the ability to help our team in numerous roles.”

Chase Smith, RHP, Williamsburg, Va. (Lafayette)

High School/Personal: Three-year letterwinner…top-500 player in nation (Perfect Game)…#12 RHP in state and #30 player overall in VA (Perfect Game)…#17 RHP in state according to Prep Baseball Report…three-time WWBA All-Tourney Team…two-time all-conference honorable mention selection…First Team All-Region as a utility player…played for Evoshield Seminoles…PG Honorable Mention and High Honorable Mention…posted a 3.10 ERA in the Piedmont Collegiate League this past summer.

Coach’s Quote: “Chase is a strong right-handed pitcher that projects to be a starter here. Chase has a plus fastball that runs into the high 80’s, combined with a good slider that ranges from 75 to 78. He has feel for a changeup as well, and with his combination of pitches, it makes it hard for a hitter to sit on a certain pitch type.”

Reeves Whitmore, IF, Natural Bridge, Va. (Rockbridge County)

High School/Personal: Three-time all-conference honoree at Rockbridge County HS…earned First Team All-Region honors as a senior…holds school record for runs scored, hits and RBI…VBC Eagles…played for Stuarts Draft in the Rockingham County Baseball League…Spanish Honor Society…intends to major in business and economics.

Coach’s Quote: “Reeves is a player that we have seen a ton over the past few years. Reeves is an athlete we have recruited for a long time through our camps, and on the travel ball circuit. He is a corner infielder that has a very good glove, as well as the frame to fill out and project to hit with some power here at VMI and in the Southern Conference.”

TRANSFERS

Jacob Menders, RHP, Broadlands, Va. (Chattahoochee Valley CC/Shippensburg Univ./Mountain View HS)

High School/Personal: Comes to VMI from Chattahoochee Valley CC, where he posted an 11-1 record and a 3.41 ERA, striking out 8.8 hitters per nine innings…was a Second Team All-Region honoree at Shippensburg University, where he spent the 2017 season, and a former First Team All-Conference honoree at Mountain View HS…played for the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox travel program in high school…Eagle Scout…Congressional Service Award…father played baseball at Coast Guard…intends to major in psychology.

Coach’s Quote: “Jacob is an athletic right-handed pitcher that throws from a ¾ arm slot with a fastball in the high 80’s. He has a three pitch mix, and has the experience pitching in college that should make it an easier transition into our program. We believe that he could be both a starter and a reliever in college. Jacob went 11-1 this season and helped lead his team into the Junior College World Series.”

Justin Nase, OF, Disputanta, Va. (Prince George HS/Virginia State)

High School/Personal: Transfer from Virginia State University…hit .357 and stole 24 bases at VSU, where he was selected the team’s Rookie of the Year, as well as the most impactful freshman by a prominent HBCU baseball blog…a former three-year letterwinner at Prince George HS under Mickey Roberts, where he was a three-time First Team All-Conference honoree…also played for Coach Roberts for the Virginia Swamp Things program…on the all-academic team both at VSU and in high school…earned VSU’s Athletic Academic Achievement Award…high school team captain in baseball and volleyball…lettered two years in volleyball and one in track…intends to major in economics and business.

Coach’s Quote: “Justin is coming to us as a transfer from Virginia State. He is an athletic centerfielder that can really run and hits from the left side. He is a plus defender in the outfield and stole 24 bases as a freshman. Justin will have to sit out a year, but we expect him to compete for a starting position in the outfield.”


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