Originally Published: Dec 18, 2009 4:5 PM CDT
ORU Media Relations
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oral Roberts University head baseball coach Rob Walton recently announced the signing of eight future student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent.
Among the recruits are five junior college signees and three high school players. The 2010 class includes: 1B/LHP Art Charles (Bakersfield College), 1B/P Brad Fisher (Jenks (Okla.) HS), RHP Alex Gonzalez (Boca Raton (Fla.) Community HS), OF Brandon King (Fresno City College), RHP Aaron Kurcz (College of Southern Nevada), RHP Joey Perez (Corpus Christi (Texas) John Paul II HS), INF Joe Ramirez (Bakersfield College) and INF Cam Shiller (Yavapai College).
“I’m really pleased with our fall class,” said Walton. “(Assistant coach) Ryan Neill did a great job of identifying several high ceiling kids including a few power arms. The entire class will have a chance to have an immediate impact on the field, especially the pitchers.”
Art Charles * 6-6 * 235 * 1B/LHP * Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield College)
Spent last season at Bakersfield College, batting .244 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 39 games ? did not pitch ? teammate at Bakersfield of fellow signee Joe Ramirez ? 2008 graduate of Ridgeview High School ? earned all-league and all-area honors in high school ? also named league MVP ? chose ORU over Long Beach State, Cal State-Northridge, UC-Santa Barbara and Hawaii ? says Walton: “Art’s a good looking athlete, a left-handed hitter and pitcher who could give us a lot of options. He can play first base, both corner outfield positions and he might help us on the mound. He’s a middle-of-the-order power bat and he can pitch at 88-90 miles an hour on the mound. He is also a surprising runner. We’ve had him clocked at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash, which is outstanding for a kid his size.”
Brad Fisher * 6-6 * 230 * P/1B * Tulsa, Okla. (Jenks HS)
Highly regarded and recruited athlete ? one of three high school players to sign early with ORU ? helped lead Jenks to a 2008 regional championship ? earned all-metro and all-conference honors as a junior ? hit a walk-off home run against Union HS in the state tournament as a senior ? chose ORU over Arkansas, Kansas, LSU, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Stanford ? says Walton: “I’m really excited to be able to sign a local kid like Brad. He’s very projectable on the mound as he’s already pitching into the upper 80s. With a little refinement he could have a solid impact as a freshman. His best days are in front of him and that’s pretty exciting.”
Alex Gonzalez * 6-2 * 190 * RHP * Delray Beach, Fla. (Boca Raton Community HS)
Currently a senior at Boca Raton Community HS ? coached by former ORU assistant coach Justin Timmerman ? earned all-district honors as a junior after posting a 4-3 record in 54 innings pitched with a 1.43 ERA ? helped lead Community HS to a district championship ? chose ORU over UNC-Greensboro, College of Charleston and Western Kentucky ? says Walton: “Alex is a really good sign for us. He has a chance to be a strong command/control guy for us, similar to what Sean Sorrow was a few years back. But Alex has a higher ceiling than Sean did, mainly because of his size. He has a chance to be in our starting rotation as a freshman.”
Brandon King * 5-11 * 190 * OF * Hanford, Calif. (Fresno City College)
Named All-Northern California and first-team All-Central Valley Conference as a freshman after batting .386 with 11 doubles, four triples and 27 RBI in 41 games ? also scored 45 runs and stole nine bases in 10 attempts ? did not commit an error in 57 chances in the outfield ? owned a .470 on-base percentage ? helped lead Fresno City to a 33-14 record ? 2008 graduate of Hanford High School ? 2-time league MVP ? set school records for career hits and single-season home runs ? chose ORU over New Mexico State, Cal State-Fullerton and Long Beach State ? says Walton: “Brandon is a tremendous athlete. He has pretty much every tool you want in a baseball player. He has pull power, he uses the entire field when he hits, he has a great arm from the outfield and though he’s probably just an above-average runner he has such good base running instincts that he should be able to steal a lot of bases for us. Brandon is really an exciting player.”
Aaron Kurcz * 5-11 * 165 * RHP * Las Vegas, Nev. (College of Southern Nevada)
Spent 209 season at Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. ? appeared in 21 games for the Falcons, going 3-4 with an 8.10 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 33.1 innings ? 2008 graduate of Durango High School in Las Vegas ? named all-conference as both a pitcher and outfielder ? also lettered in soccer and cross country ? chose ORU over Hawaii, UNLV, New Mexico and UCF ? says Walton: “I’m very excited to add Aaron to our pitching staff for next season. He has an electric arm, especially for a little guy. Aaron pitches between 91-94 miles an hour; the ball just explodes out of his hand. He has what we call “easy gas”. He clearly has the talent to be in our starting rotation, even though he lacks a third pitch. If he can add a little weight and strength he’s going to be a fun guy to watch.”
Joey Perez * 6-3 * 210 * RHP * Portland, Texas (John Paul II High School)
Currently a senior at John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi, Texas ? coached by Steve Castillo, father of former ORU All-American David Castillo ? projects as a pitcher in college despite showing significant success as a hitter in high school ? named 2nd-team All-State as a junior after batting .451 and leading South Texas with 14 home runs ? also collected 61 RBI and a .918 slugging percentage ? earned all-district and All-South Texas honors as well ? helped lead John Paul to a 30-8-1 record and a district championship ? says Walton: “Joey is a big kid who comes to us as a two-way guy. At the plate he has light-tower power. On the mound he throws in the upper 80s and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was throwing in the 90s by the time the season began in 2011. Joey is a competitive kid and a good athlete. I like him a lot.”
Joe Ramirez * 5-9 * 175 * INF * Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield College)
Currently a sophomore at Bakersfield College ? batted .314 with 14 doubles, one home run and 25 RBI in 41 games as a freshman ? teammate of fellow signee Art Charles at Bakersfield ? 2008 graduate of Bakersfield’s Centennial High School ? two-time all-area selection and four-time all-conference pick ? also lettered in football ? says Walton: “Joe is a baseball player, a hard-nosed kid who plays bigger than his size. He’s a lot like Juan Martinez was for us. He knows how to do all the little things. He has good discipline at the plate. He can drive in runs and lay down a bunt when you need him to. Joey is a valuable player, the kind of guy you need on your team in order to be successful.”
Cam Schiller * 6-1 * 180 * INF * Prescott, Ariz. (Yavapai College)
Currently a sophomore at Arizona’s Yavapai College ? teammate at Yavapai of current ORU third baseman Brett Sowers ? switch hitter batted .363 with 16 doubles and 34 RBI in 58 games for the Roughriders ? also stole 14 bases ? named 2nd-team all-region and all-conference ? 2008 graduate of Prescott High School ? batted .625 with seven home runs and 44 RBI in 27 games as a senior for the Badgers ? says Walton: “Cam is a projectable middle infielder with good tools and very good hands. He can play multiple positions around the infield. He’s a switch-hitter and could be potentially a middle-of-the order guy. He will have a major impact for us at either second base or shortstop.”
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.