CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State baseball head coach Pat Casey announced Tuesday that 12 players have signed national letters of intent to join the program starting with the 2014 season.
Eleven of the 12 players hail from the high school ranks, with the lone junior college signee, infielder Justin Bohn, coming from Feather River Junior College.
Of the 11 high school signees, six are listed as pitchers. They are right-handers Tanner Draper (West Jordan, Utah), Chandler Eden (Yuba City, Calif.), Kevin Flemer (El Cerrito, Calif.), John Pomeroy (Mossyrock, Wash.) and Jake Thompson (Florence, Ore.). The lone left-handed pitcher is Lafayette, Calif., native, Trent Shelton. Draper also adds outfield to his position list.
Position players joining the Beavers are: catcher Mason Fishback (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), catcher/first baseman Logan Ice (Puyallup, Wash.), first base/outfielder Billy King (Anacortes, Wash.), utility player Tyler Mildenberg (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and infielder Trevor Morrison (Bothell, Wash.).
"I think with every class you are trying to accomplish a goal," Casey said. "You look at classes two years at a time. You look at the '13 group this year and the '14 group next year. In this class, we got some really good athletes. We've signed some guys who can play more than one position. I feel that was vital for us. From a pitching standpoint, we'll see some heavy losses with the draft and graduation so we felt we needed to be strong with pitching. We did a great job with that. We got some of the best pitchers on the West Coast.
"When you combine those two things, it makes you feel very good about this class. The main thing is, we've signed the guys we wanted. We have signed players who fit into what we're doing. We have signed players who we feel will be great student-athletes and who will eventually be professional athletes. And we're excited about. We are very happy about the athleticism in this class."
Seven of the Beavers' 11 high school signees played at the 2012 Area Code Games in Long Beach, believed to be among the most in the nation. Ice, King, Morrison and Pomeroy were teammates with the Kansas City Royals team, while Eden and Flemer played for the Oakland Athletics Area Code team. Draper was the lone player on the Cincinnati Reds team.
Bohn (pronounced Bone) will come to the program as junior. He batted .413 with 17 doubles, seven triples and three home runs as freshman. He was named the 2012 Golden Valley Conference Player of the Year after the season and was a first-team All-American.
Draper enters his senior season as a two-year letterwinner at Riverton High School. The right-hander went 8-2 with a 1.84 earned run average in 2012 and was an all-state and all-region selection. He's also been strong offensively, collecting seven doubles, a triple, one home run and 10 RBI as a junior, one season after batting .300 as a sophomore. Draper is rated as the nation's No. 254 player by Perfect Game USA.
Eden is rated as the nation's No. 98 player by Baseball America after an outstanding 2012 season that saw him go 7-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Eden struck out 63 in 51 2/3 innings in nine appearances on the mound while opponents batted .169 against him. He was named an all-area selection after the season.
Fishback is a catcher at Rancho Cucamonga High School who batted .250 as a junior with two home runs. He's a three-year letterwinner and batted .477 with six home runs as a freshman.
Flemer is the brother of former California pitcher Matt Flemer and is a three-year letterwinner at St. Mary's High School in El Cerrito. He was a first-team all-league selection both his sophomore and junior campaigns and was named the pitcher of the year both seasons. He went 10-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 2012 and 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in 2011.
Ice hails from Puyallup's Rogers High School and is rated as the nation's No. 230 prospect by Perfect Game USA. He was a first-team all-league selection as a junior after batting .385 with 12 doubles and one home run.
King, a left-handed first baseman and outfielder, will come to Oregon State from Anacortes High School where he was an all-state selection his junior season after batting .516 with 11 doubles, one home run, 23 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases. He was honorable mention all-state in 2010 after batting .402 with eight doubles, one home run and 18 RBI.
Mildenberg is a utility player from Huntington Beach's Marina High School. He's a three-year letterwinner who batted .342 with five doubles, one home run and 11 RBI and was subsequently named to his league's second team. Mildenberg opened his high school career with a .290 average as a freshman.
Morrison signed his NLI out of Bothell's Archbishop Murphy High School where he is a three-year letterwinner. He earned first-team all-state honors as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore. In 2012, he batted .506 with 10 doubles, five triples, three home runs and 24 stolen bases. A year earlier, he batted .381 with five doubles and 14 stolen bases.
Pomeroy will come to OSU from Mossyrock High School, where he is a three-year letterwinner. He's rated as the No. 143 high school prospect by Perfect Game and is just outside of Baseball America's top 100. He went 9-3 as a junior, posting a 2.43 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.
Shelton, the lone left-handed pitcher in the class, will join the program from Campolindo High School in Lafayette, Calif. He was an all-league selection after both his sophomore and junior seasons. Shelton went 9-1 with a 1.04 ERA in 13 games in 2012 and 7-2 with a 1.97 ERA in nine games in 2011.
Thompson is the OSU signee who will travel the shortest. He hails from Florence's Siuslaw High School where he was league MVP his sophomore season. He went 6-2 with a 1.35 ERA in 10 games in 2012. Thompson is a three-sport standout as he has also lettered in football and basketball while at Siuslaw. He was an all-league selection at quarterback in 2010 and in basketball in both 2010 and 2011.
Said Casey on the satisfaction he and his staff have after signing a future group of student-athletes: "It's great because there's a lot of work put into it. Every guy we recruit has an opportunity to go to other schools, and most of the time, it's to one or two other schools in our conference. So we're competing, we think, with the best schools on the West Coast and in the country. We really believe these guys can go anywhere they want in the country and their signing with us is something to be proud of - it's very similar to winning a game by striking a guy out in the ninth up one run. The hard work pays off.
"Our coaches - Coach Bailey, Coach Yeskie and Coach Jenkins - along with our athletic department - from our athletic trainer, to academics, to strength and conditioning and administrators - do an outstanding job in getting us such a quality recruiting class. We really feel like we met the needs we have."