Nov. 28, 2011
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "Head coach Jack Dahm, Ryan Brownlee and the coaching staff at Iowa seem to be smiling a lot lately."
Jerry Ford, President of Perfect Game had that to say and a lot more positives about the UI baseball program's 2012 recruiting class -- one that ranks as one of the best the program has had in many years. The Hawkeyes signed seven prep standouts -- Ryan Borucki, Blake Hickman, John Martsching, Calvin Mathews, Devin Pickett, Nick Roscetti and Trevor Kenyon.
Borucki, a left-handed pitcher from Mundelein, Ill., finished 7-1 as a junior with a 1.20 ERA and 57 strikeouts en route to all-conference, all-Lake County and all-academic honors. He helped lead his team to a 4A sectional championship in 2010 and a regional championship in 2011.
"Ryan performed well at the Area Code Games and threw 90 mph at our tournament in Georgia for Top Tier," Ford said. "He projects to throw harder and has a good breaking ball."
Hickman, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound catcher out of Simeon High School in Chicago, is a two-time White Sox Midwest Area Code Team selection (2010, 2011), a two-time White Sox and USA Baseball Breakthrough Series selection (2009, 2010) and a two-time USA Baseball Tournament of Stars selection (2010, 2011).
"Hickman already looks like a big leaguer," said Ford. "His size, athleticism and raw tools always stand out. Blake has a high ceiling and should hit for power."
Martsching is a three-time all-conference and all-district and two-time all-state honoree for Davis County High School in Bloomfield, Iowa. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound shortstop and pitcher, holds the record for single-season doubles and hits, and career doubles, hit, runs and batting average at DCHS. He has led his team to three-straight conference titles and a state championship in 2011.
"Martsching is an athletic player with a great feel for the game," said Ford. "He could develop in many ways, but he's a solid middle infielder and a very good hitter. John also throws upper 80s on the mound and knows how to pitch."
Mathews is a teammate of Martsching at Davis County. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-handed pitcher was named first team all-conference and first team all-district as a freshman after batting .381 with one home run and 30 RBI and compiling a 9-1 record on the mound with a 0.94 ERA and 10 strikeouts. Mathews holds the school record for lowest career ERA, career wins and conference wins, and career wins and single season home runs.
"Mathews might be the prized recruit in this class for the Hawkeyes," Ford said. "He can easily throw in the low 90s and can really pitch. We could easily see Calvin ending up as one of the top pitchers in college baseball."
Pickett, a native of Flossmoor, Ill., is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound infielder at Marian Catholic High School. He was a third team All-American by Perfect Game as a junior. Last season, he led his team to a third place finish at the state championship, its best in school history.
"Pickett has a good athletic body and is very good defensively," said Ford. "The ball comes off his bat hard and he projects to hit for power. Devin is another future Hawkeye with a very high ceiling."
Roscetti is a two-time all-conference and all-area honoree. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound infielder led Williamsville High School to a conference championship as a junior after hitting .465 with 25 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and a .574 on-base percentage. He also pitched 54 innings, compiling a 6-3 record, 68 strikeouts and a 1.81 ERA.
"Roscetti could end up being the biggest surprise in this class," Ford said. "He is a good athlete and has a good feel for the game. He does everything well and projects physically."
Kenyon, the brother of former Hawkeye pitcher Zach Kenyon, was a three-time first team all-conference and first team all-district honoree, and a two-time first team all-state honoree at Davenport High School. He is currently a sophomore at Black Hawk College.
"Trevor can hit and should add to this talented recruiting class," said Ford.
The Hawkeyes open the 2012 season against Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla.