Nov. 17, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - Iowa Head Baseball Coach Jack Dahm has announced that Nick Day, Andrew Hedrick, Nick Hibbing, Taylor Kaufman, Sasha Kuebel, Derrick Loveless, Ryan Rumpf, Eric Toole, Anthony Torres and Jake Yacinich have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.
"We are very excited about this year's class of recruits," said Dahm. "It is an incredibly deep and talented group that has a chance to make an immediate impact in our program. We were able to fill all of our immediate needs and when you add this group with our returning players we believe the future is very bright for Hawkeye Baseball.
"The credit for this recruiting class has to go to Ryan Brownlee and Chris Maliszewski," added Dahm. "These two have a relentless work ethic on the recruiting trails and they understand what type of student athletes we want representing The University of Iowa as we continue to strive for excellence on and off the field.
"We were very fortunate to sign seven of the top players out of the state of Iowa in this class. This year's senior class is one of the deepest since we have been at Iowa and we are excited to keep them home. It is always a priority to sign the top Iowa players every year."
Day, a native of Solon, IA, is a RHP who can also play the infield and outfield. He has helped lead his high school team to three straight conference titles and three consecutive 2A state semifinal appearances, including the title last season. Day, who was named a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA with 74 strikeouts and batted .471 in 2010 en route to first team all-state, all-district and all-conference honors. He is also a basketball, soccer and track standout, placing second in the state high jump as a junior.
"We are very excited about this year's class of recruits. It is an incredibly deep and talented group that has a chance to make an immediate impact in our program. We were able to fill all of our immediate needs and when you add this group with our returning players we believe the future is very bright for Hawkeye Baseball."
Iowa Head Baseball Coach Jack Dahm
"Nick does just about everything on the baseball field for Solon as he is playing shortstop, 3B, CF and pitcher," said Iowa Hitting Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ryan Brownlee. "With his athleticism, he could play anywhere on the field. He is a grinder type player, who may not get as many accolades as others, but shows up and plays hard every day. Nick has a lot more room for growth. He has a very simple swing and approach at the plate which should help him handle college pitching right away."
Hedrick, who hails from Ankeny, IA, is a LHP who ranks as the fourth best player in the state by Perfect Game USA. As a junior, he went 9-2 with a 0.66 ERA and notched 124 strikeouts. Hedrick was named first team all-state, all-district and all-conference.
"Andrew has the ability to be an impact pitcher throughout his career," said Pitching Coach Chris Maliszewski. "He is a LHP that possesses an above average fastball with very good off speed pitches that he throws for strikes. He had a lot of success last season leading Ankeny High School to the Iowa State Tournament. I am confident that experience will carry over to the University of Iowa."
Hibbing, who hails from Lindenhurst, IL, is ranked the 16th best player in the state by Perfect Game USA. The Lakes Community High School RHP was a Perfect Game Preseason All-American, all-conference, all-district and all-state honoree as a junior. Last March, he was ranked No. 10 in the class of 2011 by Prep Baseball Report. Hibbing holds the school record for lowest ERA over 40 innings (1.09). In addition, he was the starting quarterback for his high school's football team, leading them to its first ever playoff win in 2009.
"Nick is a RHP and very well may be the most projectable pitcher in our recruiting class," said Maliszewski. "He has a power arm with a very good slider. Nick has worked very hard this past summer to put himself in position to have an outstanding career. I expect big things from Nick when he gets on campus. Once Nick gets in our strength program he will make another jump."
Kaufman, who is from Glenwood, IA, is a LHP who can also play first and outfield. He is a three-time all-conference honoree, three-time all-district selection and a two-time all-state honoree. Kaufman was named MVP of the 2010 3A State Championship Game after leading Glenwood to the title. He holds 21 offensive records and 12 pitching records. Kaufman, who also lettered in football, soccer and track, has been named to the honor roll each semester and received the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 and 2009.
"Taylor is an extremely talented LHP that really knows how to pitch," said Maliszewski. "He has such a good feel for what pitch to throw and when to throw it. His baseball IQ is way beyond his years and I anticipate him being able to carry that ability to the collegiate level."
Kuebel, a native of St. Louis, MO, is ranked as the sixth-best player in the state by Perfect Game USA. He is a two-time all-metro honoree and two-time all-state selection. As a freshman, Kuebel was named an underclass all-American by MaxPreps. He has compiled a 17-3 record over the last two years.
"Sasha is a LHP that has had a ton of success with the St. Louis Gamers," said Maliszewski. "He has an above average fastball with outstanding command. His ability to command both sides of the plate, with three pitches, excites me. He'll make an immediate impact at Iowa. Sasha is a very motivated individual, who will only continue to get better. Not only does Sasha have the ability to be a leader on the field but, his personality and perseverance should allow him to be a leader off the field as well."
Loveless, another Solon native, is an outfielder who ranks as the top player in the state of Iowa by Perfect Game USA. He is a two-time first team all-conference honoree and a two-time first team all-district selection. Loveless, batted .528 as a junior last year and was named elite first-team all-state. He holds the Solon High School records for triples in a season (6). Loveless, who was named a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, is the son of former Hawkeye football player Derrius Loveless, has won state titles in three different sports (baseball, football, track).
"Derrick is one of the best baseball and football players in the state," said Brownlee. "He is the kind of high school player we gravitate to because of his athleticism and ability to compete at a high level in other sports. He is starting to play more baseball now, so his swing has smoothed out a lot over the last year and will continue to improve through his college career. He is projected as a right fielder at the Division I level, but will be able to play any of the outfield spots. Derrick has the highest ceiling of any of our incoming position players."
Rumpf, a native of North Liberty, IA, is a RHP who also plays third base for Iowa City West High School. He is a two-time all-conference honoree. Rumpf was named first team all-district and first team all-state last year after batting .430 and going 11-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 97 strikeouts. He holds the school records for wins in a career and wins and complete games in a season.
"Besides Ryan's physical talent his best attribute is his competitiveness," said Maliszewski. "We have been able to track Ryan's progress for a long time since he is from Iowa City. The one thing that stands out is that he welcomes and thrives in adverse situations. He comes from a successful program at West High, which has competed in the Iowa State Tournament the last two years. We are very excited to have Ryan in our program."
Toole, who hails from Council Bluffs, IA, is the brother of former Hawkeye standout Justin Toole. The Lewis Central High School outfielder is a three-time all-state, all-city, all-conference and all-district honoree. A preseason all-American as a junior, he was named an IHSBCA `Super Team' Outfielder. He holds school records for stolen bases and triples in a season and career batting average.
"There is also a lot of comfort and excitement in signing Eric because we have such a great relationship with his brother Justin and the family," said Iowa Hitting Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ryan Brownlee. "He is another do-it-all player at Lewis Central, as he is one of their best baseball, football, basketball and track athletes. Eric profiles as a center fielder at our level, but has good enough feet and hands to play the infield."
Torres, a native of San Diego, CA, is an athletic catcher from La Jolla Country Day School. A two-time San Diego County All-Academic team member, Torres is a two-time all-conference selection and two-time team MVP. He was named the 2010 Coastal Conference Player of the Year after batting .505, a school record. Torres is also a four-year football letterwinner and has been a member of his high school's honor roll each semester.
"Anthony has above average receiving and throwing skills, with a simple swing and has produced at a high level for La Jolla Country Day," said Brownlee. "He has great leadership skills behind the plate, which is one of the attributes we look for."
Yacinich, who hails from Des Moines, is an infielder from Downling Catholic High School. He is a two-time all-conference and all-district honoree. Yacinich was named to the all-state team after batting .434 last year and leading his team to a conference title. The football and track standout is a four year honor roll student.
"Jake has great baseball aptitude because he comes from a great baseball family," said Brownlee. "He has the ability to play anywhere on the infield. Jake is another player whose best days are ahead of him because he will continue to add strength once he gets to school. He has a very fundamentally sound left-handed swing at the plate and above average ability to hit in situations."