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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball’s recruiting class officially announced

Sofia Moraga
Jay Johnson, head coach for Arizona’s baseball team, talks about what he expects for the upcoming season during a press conference held this Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Arizona baseball’s highly lauded 2020 signing class was officially announced by Head Coach Jay Johnson as the team landed a top-25 recruiting class, according to nationally respected outlets in Perfect Game and Baseball America for the third consecutive year despite not making the NCAA tournament since 2017. 

“We are very excited about this recruiting class,” Johnson told Arizona Athletics. “It has a great blend of talented pitchers and hitters, and I believe this group matches extremely well with the players currently on our roster in regards to ability and chemistry. The 2020 class positions us well for a strong future. This group also brings a high level of character to our program that will represent the University and the team in a first-class manner on and off the field.”

This class is comprised of five pitchers, four position players and another two players who are listed as both.

Jacob Berry – 1B/3B: 

Berry comes from Queen Creek High School right here in Arizona. He has hit for a combined .357 average with nine home runs and 64 RBIs across his first three years playing varsity baseball. According to a report on Perfect Game, Berry is a legit switch-hitter with tools from both sides of the plate. His strength is also evident from both sides, while he also has good arm strength as a fielder. 

Kyle Casper – OF/LHP:

Casper his showcased his best ability at the plate combing for a .379 batting average with 23 doubles and 64 RBIs in his first three years playing varsity ball at Valhalla High School in California. He did not fare quite as well on the mound throwing for a 6.42 ERA over 17 appearances. He profiles best as a center fielder with good arm strength, according to a report on Perfect Game. He has quick hands and creates bat speed at the plate, and projects as a player who should only continue to improve his overall game. 

Riley Cooper – LHP:

There are no high school statistics or profiles from Perfect Game on Cooper, so let’s take a look at what coach Johnson had to say about him to Arizona Athletics:

“Riley is one of the more polished left-handed pitchers on the West Coast and is a great competitor and a winner. I believe he has the ability to be a high-level contributor here; his ability to mix pitches and keep hitters off balance gives him a chance to have a lot of success at Arizona.”

RELATED: An early look at the Wildcats highly touted freshman class and the release of the fall schedule

Chase Davis – OF:

The top player in this class, Davis is a top-10 prospect according to Perfect Game. He looks the part of a professional athlete standing in at 6-foot-1, 211 lbs. He is an all-around player with great arm strength in right field paired with big strength and power at the plate. He was named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic where we have seen some notable MLB players play in including Javier Baez, Alex Bregman, Kris Bryant, Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Correa among others. 

Ryan Kysar – RHP:

Kysar struggled in his first year of varsity baseball during his sophomore year at Valencia High School in California throwing to the tune of a 4.86 ERA across 12 appearances. However, he improved the following year lowering his ERA to 1.43 in his junior season, though his innings pitched did decrease from 36 IP to 14.2 IP. He is a hard-throwing pitcher with an upper 80s fastball, according to Perfect Game and has topped out in the 90s. His best pitch is his curveball, which has led to a good ability to throw for strikes with it. He also works quickly and aggressively.

Mason Millett – RHP:

Millett is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound prospect who will be transferring from Pima Community College with two more years of eligibility. He began his collegiate career with Gonzaga as a freshman in 2018 before transferring to Pima. He attended Boulder Creek High School where he posted a 0.78 ERA as a senior after returning from an injury as a junior.  

TJ Nichols – RHP/INF:

Nichols is coming off a very impressive junior campaign at Oakmont High School in California, both at the plate and on the mound. He posted a 0.24 ERA across 57.2 innings pitched with a 9-1 record and 57 strikeouts as a pitcher, while hitting for a .523 average at the plate.

“I could not be more excited to add TJ to our program,” coach Johnson told Arizona Athletics. “He is exactly what we are looking for in both ability and character. His fastball is up to 95 mph with swing-and-miss off-speed stuff, and he has the athleticism and drive to compete as a position player as well. TJ makes everyone around him better and will be a mainstay in our program in the coming years.”

Javyn Pimental – LHP:

Pimental is Perfect Game’s No. 1 ranked pitcher in Hawaii. There is not too much out on him, but coach Johnson told Arizona Athletics that Pimental is an “extremely athletic left-handed pitcher with tremendous upside,” whose best days are ahead of him here in Tucson with the Wildcats.

Chase Silseth – RHP:

Silseth comes to Arizona from the College of Southern Nevada. He has a simple delivery with quick arm speed, according to Perfect Game. He has a true fastball with a reliable curveball. Coach Johnson told Arizona Athletics he expects him to be a key part of the 2021 pitching staff.

Daniel Susac – C:

Susac possesses a big and athletic build at 6-foot-3, 215 lbs. He is one of the rare catchers who is better at throwing from his knees than out of a crouch, according to Perfect Game. Coach Johnson expects him to be a great offensive and defensive player here at Arizona.

Nick Yorke – INF:

“He has a complete skill set that includes hitting ability (both for average and power), plus defense, a tenacious attitude, and a will to win,” Coach Johnson told Arizona Athletics. “He often shows up as the best player on the field no matter who he is competing against, and we can’t wait to get him to Arizona.”

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