FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback baseball program and head coach Dave Van Horn announced the signing of 19 student-athletes this week to National Letters of Intent or as committed walk-ons for the 2021 season.
Van Horn, who is entering his 18th season as the Arkansas skipper, along with second-year pitching coach Matt Hobbs and third-year hitting coach and recruiting coordinator Nate Thompson, brought together what might be one of the program’s best recruiting classes in recent history.
Rated as the No. 3 class in the country according to Baseball America and Perfect Game, the Razorbacks added 11 pitchers and eight position players. Nine of the signees came from inside Arkansas’ borders, two are from the junior college ranks and eight are considered the top player of their position in their respective state. The top-three ranking is also the program’s highest since 2017 when the class consisted of this year’s juniors Casey Opitz, Heston Kjerstad and Casey Martin.
From the Skipper – Dave Van Horn
“To say we have a great class is an understatement,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “It’s a highly touted class, but it’s been quite a process to get all of these players together. We feel good about who we have coming in and it’s a good assortment of position players and power arms. Nate Thompson and Matt Hobbs have been huge in putting this class together. I’ve been fortunate in my time at Arkansas to have some really good coaches and those two are right at the top as coaches and as recruiters.”
Ethan Bates | INF/RHP | L/R | 5-11 | 175 | Hot Springs, Ark. (Lakeside HS)
The No. 226 ranked prospect in the nation according to Perfect Game … Named a high honorable mention for the 2019 Perfect Game Preseason Underclassman All-America Team … Named to the All-Tournament Team for the 2018 WWBA Underclass World Championship, the 2019 PG 17U World Series, the 2019 WWBA World Championship and the 2019 WWBA 17U Elite Championship … Named the 2019 Sentinel Record All-Garland County Baseball Player of the Year … Finished his junior season with 29 hits allowed on the mound, along with just two home runs and 90 strikeouts …Member of the Rawlings Arkansas Prospects – Platinum Travel Team.
Jalen Battles | INF | R/R | 6-2 | 185 | San Antonio, Texas (McClennan CC/James Madison HS)
Currently a sophomore at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas … Hit .320 as a freshman in 57 games played, while hitting six home runs, 42 RBIs, scoring 60 runs and stealing six bases … All six of his home runs came in conference play as he helped McClennan reach the Region V finals of the NJCAA Tournament … Finished with the highest average (.320) on the team, fourth-highest slugging percentage (.532) and totaled the most hits (65), doubles (17) and runs scored (60) … Named second-team all-conference … Receiving NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Honorable Mention recognition … Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 34th round of the 2019 MLB Draft … In high school, was an all-district selection and was also named first team all-district in football and basketball … Named James Madison’s Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Michael Brooks | INF | R/R | 5-11 | 175 | Wellington, Fla. (Palm Beach Central HS)
Ranked the No. 84 player in the nation according to Perfect Game … Hit .457 (37-for-81) as a junior at Palm Beach Central with 20 runs scored, 31 RBIs, 10 doubles, 1 triple and six home runs … Named to the 2019 and 2018 9A-9 All-District Team … Helped his team reach the Florida 9A State Semifinals in 2019 … Named a 2019 Perfect Game All-American … Competed in the 2019 PG National Showcase, as well as the 2018 and 2017 Junior National Showcase … Named to the 2017, 2018 and 2019 PG Preseason Underclassmen All-America Teams.
Tyler Cacciatori | RHP | R/R | 6-5 | 200 | Sheridan, Ark. (Sheridan HS)
Top 500 player in the nation by Perfect Game … No. 1 pitcher in the state of Arkansas and No. 2 overall prospect in his class by Prep Baseball Report … 2019 PG Preseason Third Team Underclassman All-American … Also named a High Honorable Mention on PG Preseason Underclassmen All-America Teams in 2017 and 2018 … Competed in the 2018 PG Junior National Showcase and was named a top prospect … Threw a no-hitter as a freshman against El Dorado and helped lead Sheridan to a 33-5 record in 2017 to win the Class 6A State Championship … Won the state title again in 2019 as a junior … Went 3-0 this summer with the Arkansas Prospects travel team and generated a 1.13 ERA … Named to 2019 5A All-State team.
Jackson Cobb | INF | L/R | 5-11 | 170 | Texarkana, Texas (Pleasant Grove HS)
A top-500 player in the nation according to Perfect Game and a High Honorable Mention for the 2019 PG Preseason Underclassman All-America Team … Named to the All-Tournament Team in the 2018 PGBA 16U Invitational and the 2019 PG 17U World Series … Named a Honorable Mention for the 2019 Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State Team in Class 4A.
Ryan Costeiu | RHP | R/R | 5-11 | 175 | Concord, Calif. (Sacramento City CC/De La Salle HS)
Made 17 appearances last year for Sacramento City CC, 15 being starts, throwing 75.2 innings and building up a 4.64 ERA with five wins and two saves … Also struck out 87 batters, which was the fourth-most in the California Community College Athletic Association … His innings pitched was also the seventh most and earned run totals were third-lowest … Helped lead Sacramento City CC to a 35-15 record with 16 wins in league play to finish in a tie for third in the Northern California Conference of the CCCAA … As a senior at De La Salle HS in 2018, he had a 1.24 ERA over 16 games, 14 starts, with 10 victories and 63 strikeouts in 73.2 innings … Named to 2018 San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro First Team along with future teammate Patrick Wicklander.
Hunter Cramer | INF | R/R | 6-2 | 180 | Conroe, Texas (Oak Ridge HS)
An invitee to the Perfect Game 2019 National Showcase … Also named a high honorable mention for the 2018 and 2019 PG Preseason Underclassman All-America Teams … Named to all-tournament teams in 2018 WWBA 16U National Championship and 2019 WWBA 17U West National Championship.
Clayton Gray | OF | L/R | 5-11 | 170 | Cabot, Ark. (Cabot HS)
Ranked as the top player in the state of Arkansas by Perfect Game and No. 197 overall in the nation … Ranked as the No. 30 outfielder in the country … Named a 2018 Perfect Game Underclass All-American and played in the 2019 PG National Showcase … Also named a 2018 High Honorable Mention for the PG Preseason Underclassman All-America Team and 2nd Team 2019 Underclassman All-American … Named to 2019 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps Team … Batted .308 and scored 21 runs for the Arkansas Prospects last summer … Has hit .325 throughout his high school career, including a career-best .420 batting average last year as a junior, totaling 34 hits with 19 RBIs and 30 runs scored … Named to 2019 6A All-State Team … Reached semifinals of Class 6A State Tournament … As a freshman, he batted .273 with a home run and 24 RBIs, helping Cabot win the Class 6A State Championship.
Nick Griffin | LHP/OF | L/L | 6-4 | 175 | Monticello, Ark. (Monticello HS)
Ranked as top left-handed pitcher in Arkansas by Perfect Game and No. 86 player in the nation … Ranked as sixth-best player in his class by Prep Baseball Report … Competed in 2018 Junior National Showcase and PG Underclass All-American Games … Also played in 2019 PG National Showcase … Named to All-Tournament Team for 2018 PG West MLK Championship and 2018 15U BCS National Championship … Named to Arkansas 4A All-State Team in 2019 … Participated in the 2019 Future Stars Series, facing 14 batters and striking out five.
Tink Hence | RHP | R/R | 6-1 | 175 | Pine Bluff, Ark. (Watson Chapel HS)
Ranked as top right-hander in Arkansas by Perfect Game and No. 60 player in the nation … No. 58 on Baseball America’s Top 100 high school draft prospects … Was a 2nd Team PG Preseason Underclassman All-American in 2019 … Was named to nine all-tournament teams in the last four years including at the 2019 WWBA World Championships, the 17U World Series, as well as the 2018 PGBA 16U Deep South Wood Bat Championship, WWBA World Championship and 17U PG World Series … Participated in the 2019 Future Stars Series, pitching two innings at Fenway Park and striking out three of the nine batters he faced without issuing a walk … Named to 2018 Class 5A All-State Team … Had a 0.64 ERA as a sophomore over 14 appearances and 43.2 innings pitched, while striking out 61 batters and allowing only four earned runs.
Matthew Magre | LHP | L/L | 6-1 | 195 | Fayetteville, Ark. (Fayetteville HS)
A 2018 and 2019 PG Preseason Underclassman All-American … Named a top prospect of the 2018 National Indoor Showcase … Named to 2019 6A All-State Team and helped Fayetteville High reach the 6A State Tournament Quarterfinals.
Robert Moore | INF | S/R | 5-9 | 160 | Leawood, Kan. (Shawnee Mission East HS)
Ranked as No. 1 player in the state of Kansas and No. 20 player in the nation by Perfect Game … A Preseason Underclass First Team All-American and competed in the 2019 Perfect Game All-American Classic … Also competed in the 2017 and 2018 Junior National Showcase, as well as the 2019 National Showcase … Played for the 15U USA National Team in the summer of 2018 … Named a 2019 Class 6A Second Team All-State player … Played in first-ever High School All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star Weekend in Cleveland … Collected two hits in three at-bats in the game, lining a ball to the opposite field and smashing a hard grounder up the middle for an RBI in the seventh inning … Batted .392 as a high school sophomore and voted second-team all-state by the league coaches … A member of USA Baseball’s national development team … Is the son of current Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
Louis Stallone | RHP | R/R | 6-9 | 225 | King’s Park, N.Y. (Saint Anthony’s HS)
A 2019 PG Preseason Underclassmen All-America High Honorable Mention … Named to the All-Tournament Team at 21 16U Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational and 2018 15U BCS National Championship … Won the 2019 PG 16U Coastal Summer Championship with Team Elite 16U American.
Gabriel Starks | RHP | R/R | 6-0 | 175 | Pine Bluff, Ark. (Watson Chapel HS)
Standout right-hander and teammate of fellow signee Tink Hence at Watson Chapel HS … Posted a 1.52 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 50.2 innings last year as a junior … Earned 5A Central Player of the Year and All-State honors in 2019 … Ranked No. 259 in the nation according to Perfect Game and was a High Honorable Mention for the 2019 PG Preseason Underclass All-America Team … Named to 5A State All-Tournament Team as a junior … Part of Arkansas Sticks travel team.
Heston Tole | RHP | R/R | 6-6 | 210 | Wichita Falls, Texas (IMG Academy)
Played in Perfect Game Junior National Showcase in 2017 and 2018 … Named PG Preseason Underclassman All-American in 2017, 2018 and 2019 … Won the 2019 PG High School Showdown with IMG Academy Ascenders … Batted .412 and boasted a 2.43 ERA as a freshman at Bowie High School before transferring to IMG Academy in 2017.
Cayden Wallace | UTL | R/R | 6-1 | 205 | Greenbrier, Ark. (Greenbrier HS)
Top infielder in Arkansas according to Perfect Game and No. 19 player in the nation … 2019 Perfect Game All-American and Under Armor All-American … Played in the 2019 PG National Showcase and the 2017 and 2018 Junior National Showcase … Hit .343 over the summer with the Arkansas Prospects travel team, helping them to a fifth-place finish at the PG WWBA National Championship that involved 372 teams … Finished second at the 2019 Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby … Named First Team All-Arkansas Preps in 2019 … Hit .514 as a junior at Greenbrier with 22 RBIs, 38 hits, including six home runs … Was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette River Valley and Ozark Edition Player of the Year … Helped Greenbrier to back-to-back state semifinals appearances in 2017 and 2018 … Named 2019 5A All-State player as a junior.
Zac White | INF | R/R | 5-11 | 170 | Little Rock, Ark. (Joe T. Robinson HS)
Batted .506 for Joe T. Robinson as a junior with 33 RBIs, four home runs, four triples, 11 doubles and a .571 on-base percentage … Also slugged 1.47 with 24 stolen bases … Is the great grandson of Harold “Greasy” Rees, who played football at Arkansas and grandson of John Rees, who played football for the Razorbacks from 1968-70 … His uncle, John Aaron Rees played for Arkansas from 2005-2008 and his father David played golf at Arkansas in the early 1990s … Is also the younger brother of current Arkansas freshman receiver John David White.
Jaxon Wiggins | RHP | R/R | 6-5 | 205 | Roland, Okla. (Roland HS)
Ranked No. 125 in the country according to Perfect Game … Was a 2nd Team Preseason Underclassman Perfect Game All-American in 2019 … Named to the All-Tournament Team in the 2019 PG 17U World Series … Also a standout basketball player at Roland High School.
Masyn Winn | INF/RHP | R/R | 5-11 | 180 | Kingwood, Texas (Kingwood HS)
Ranked as the No. 17 player in the nation and top player at his position in Texas according to Perfect Game … Was a PG Preseason All-American in 2017, 2018 and 2019 … Participated in the Junior National Showcase in 2018 and the PG National Showcase in 2019 … Named to the all-tournament team at the 2019 WWBA World Championship … Hit .417 at Kingwood High as a junior with nine doubles, eight home runs, 46 RBIs and a .558 on-base percentage … Also went 13-0 on the mound with a 0.67 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 76.1 innings … Tied for first among 6A players in wins, fourth in RBIs and tied for fourth in home runs … Was named the 22-6A MVP and selected to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association 6A All-State Team … Nationally was selected to the All-USA Baseball Second Team and the MaxPreps Underclass All-American Team … Member of the 2017 USA Baseball 15U National Team that was named co-champions of the COPABE Pan American ‘AA’ Championships … He led Team USA in batting average (.522), runs scored (11) and walks, while pitching five innings allowing only five hits.
Nate Wohlgemuth | RHP | R/R | 5-11 | 195 | Owasso, Okla. (Owasso HS)
The top-ranked pitcher in the state of Oklahoma according to Perfect Game … Ranked No. 42 overall in the country … Participated in the 2017 Junior National Showcase and the 2019 PG National Showcase … A Preseason Underclassman All-America First Teamer in 2018 and 2019 … Was one of 80 prospects selected to take part in the Prospect Developmental Pipeline League, sponsored by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball … Tossed six scoreless innings and struck out 12 in the 2019 Class 6A regional opener against Union … Went 4-3 as a junior and had a 3.47 ERA while being named Second Team All-World by the Tulsa World … Had an 8-0 record as a sophomore at Owasso High School, leading the Rams to the Class 6A state semifinal … Finished with 48.2 innings pitched, a 1.23 ERA and 72 strikeouts … Also played for Team USA in the WBSC U15 Baseball World Cup in Iwaki, Japan.