24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head baseball coach Jack Dahm announced the signing of six players to the 2014 recruiting class. The Hawkeyes now have 11 players signed to join the program for the 2013-14 season.
The six-player class consists of Matt Allen (6-1, 170, RHP, Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Tanner Hinkle (5-10, 165, IF/OF, West Des Moines, Iowa), Will Polley (6-5, 230, RHP, River Forest, Ill./Parkland College), Jason Samuelson (5-10, 165, OF, Rochester, Minn.), Jake Sharp (6-1, 225, RHP, Rock Island, Ill./Black Hawk College) and Brandon Shulista (5-10, 180, RHP, Solon, Iowa/Iowa Central CC).
"These six players are going to add a lot of depth to our program," said Dahm. "There are a lot of pitchers that we feel have the opportunity to help us on conference weekends and midweek games. From a position player standpoint, we're adding good athletic guys that can develop into very good players for us."
Dahm now has 11 players committed to join the program in 2013-14. The Hawkeyes signed Zach Burdi (6-3, 195, RHP, Downers Grove, Ill.), Kendall Coleman (6-4, 195, OF, Rockwall, Texas), Will Kenny (6-3, 190, LHP, Fort Dodge, Iowa/Iowa Central CC), Jake Reinhardt (6-2, 180, RHP, West Des Moines, Iowa), and Juan Carlos (JC) Pena (6-1, 185, SS, Syracuse, N.Y.) in December.
Matt Allen (6-1, 170, RHP, Buffalo Grove, Ill., Stevenson High School)
Allen compiled a 7-2 record during his sophomore and junior seasons at Stevenson High School. He went 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA as a junior with 38 strikeouts in 48 innings of work, while also tallying two saves. Following his junior campaign, Allen was selected to the 2012 Northwest Suburban All Star Showcase.
Allen played the 2012 summer season for Top Tier, finishing with a 4-1 record, tossing 33 innings and four complete games. He was elected as team captain heading into his senior prep season.
Dahm on Allen:
"Matt is a strike thrower that has a very good feel for pitching. He is an extremely hard worker that plays in a great high school program. He has an opportunity to help us early in his career."
Tanner Hinkle (5-10, 165, IF/OF, West Des Moines, Iowa, West Des Moines Valley High School)
Hinkle earned second team all-state and first team all-conference honors as a junior at West Des Moines Valley High School after hitting .396 with four home runs, 33 RBIs and 10 steals. Hinkle batted .315 with three home runs and 14 RBIs to go along with 10 steals as a sophomore.
Hinkle also excelled in football and basketball as a prep. He was a second team all-state selection in football, while also earning all-elite western half and 4A "Return Man of the Year" honors. Hinkle was also an honorable mention all-district selection on the hardwood.
Dahm on Hinkle:
"Tanner is a tremendous athlete out of Valley High School and played against some of the best competition in football, basketball and baseball. We believe he will be able to take off as a baseball player when he focuses on the sport. Tanner is a player that can get some playing time early in his career, and we're always excited to get in-state kids who can help our program."
Will Polley (6-5, 230, RHP, River Forest, Ill., Parkland College/Nebraska/Oak Park-River Forest High School)
Polley was a second-team Rawlings/Perfect Game All-Central Region selection in 2011 and was the 125th-best prospect in the state of Illinois by Prep Baseball Report after posting a 2.11 ERA as a senior at Oak Park-River Forest High School. Polley was a four-time all-conference and two-time all-state selection. He earned honorable mention honors on the 2010 Perfect Game Underclassmen Preseason All-America list and led the Huskies to the 2010 Class 4A Regional with a 7-2 record and a 46:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had a 7-1 record with a 2.21 ERA in 2009.
Polley redshirted during his freshman season at the University of Nebraska before transferring to Parkland College for the 2012-13 campaign.
Dahm on Polley:
"Will is a kid we saw a year ago and he wanted to come here from Nebraska, but he had to go the junior college route. He throws a sinker and breaking ball. It's a guy that coach (Chris) Maliszewski saw coming out of high school and tracked him. We feel with him being a little bit older, his experience will help him."
Jason Samuelson (5-10, 165, OF, Rochester, Minn., Rochester Lourdes High School)
Samuelson is a 2013 Under Armour Preseason All-American after hitting .585 with a .660 on-base, 1.029 slugging and a 1.689 OPS as a junior. The 2012 all-state selection batted .524 during his summer legion season with 27 RBIs, 25 runs, 12 doubles, two triples and one home run. Samuelson was an all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior and was an all sub-section honoree as a junior. He was voted team captain as a junior and senior.
Samuelson also starred in hockey, finishing as Lourdes' all-time leading point scorer with over 200 points. Samuelson is a member of the National Honor Society and the honor roll.
Dahm on Samuelson:
"Jason is a good athlete that can really run. He has good speed, but functional baseball speed, as he runs the bases well and is really quick. We've had some hockey players in the past, and one of them was Kurtis Muller, who turned out to be a pretty good player. Hockey players usually bring a little different mentality to the field, which will help him in his transition from high school to college baseball."
Jake Sharp (6-1, 225, RHP, Rock Island, Ill., Black Hawk College/Rock Island Alleman High School)
Sharp was a two-time first team all-conference, three-time first team all-metro and all-area team honoree as a prep at Rock Island Alleman High School. He posted an 8-2 record with a 1.89 ERA as a junior before finishing with a 7-2 record and a 1.98 ERA as a senior. Sharp also led his summer team -- Rock Island American Legion -- to a state championship in 2012.
Sharp was the Arrowhead Conference MVP and a first team all-region honoree as a freshman at Black Hawk College after posting an 8-1 record with a 2.40 ERA. He led the Braves to their 22nd conference championship, as the team finished with a 45-10 record, which included a regional appearance. Sharp is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 2013 with 27 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched.
Dahm on Sharp:
"We were really hoping to get Jake here out of high school, but he went to Black Hawk and continued to get better. We feel Jake will give us depth and will be a little more mature with the junior college experience under his belt. He has played some big games, and that experience will benefit him."
Brandon Shulista (5-10, 180, RHP, Solon, Iowa, Iowa Central CC/Solon High School)
Shulista was a two-time first team all-state, four-time all-conference and all-district selection during his prep career at Solon High School, compiling a 48-4 career record. He earned first team all-conference and all-district honors from his sophomore to senior seasons after earning second team all-conference and all-district distinction as a freshman. Shulista earned the Bob Feller Pitching Award in 2011, which is given to the state's best pitcher in Class 3A and was a 2011 Preseason Louisville Slugger All-American.
Shulista led Solon to four consecutive state tournaments, including semifinal appearances in 2008 and 2009 and to a pair of state titles in 2010 and 2011. He earned tournament MVP honors his junior and senior seasons.
As a freshman at Iowa Central Community College, Shulista went 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 35.1 innings. This season, he is 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 33 innings. Shulista earned second team academic all-region honors in 2012.
Dahm on Shulista:
"We have watched him from his days at Solon, and he just wins. He is a great competitor that throws three pitches for strikes, and he gives a different look than the guys we have in our program. He is experienced and comes with a baseball background. He's a player that will get a lot of time on the mound right away next year."