Baseball Inks 11 During Early Signing Period
Nov. 15, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.- Second-year head coach Andy Lopez continued the process of returning the Arizona baseball program to the national spotlight with an 11-member early signing period recruiting class.
'The foundation of our second recruiting class here at Arizona is in place,' Lopez said. 'The high caliber players that signed with us are an indication that we're moving in the right direction towards getting Arizona baseball back on top.'
Lopez's second class includes players from California, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Massachusetts.
Highlighting the class is outfielder/pitcher Delmon Young from Camarillo, Calif. Rated as the top high school player in California, he is also ranked second nationally by Baseball America. The CalHiSports 2002 Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year, Young hit .542 with 17 home runs, 56 RBI and 55 runs scored as a junior at Camarillo High School.
On the mound, the right-hander tossed 6.1 innings of four-hit ball in the CIF Southern Section Division I semifinals against Long Beach Poly. He finished 2002 with a 5-1 record and a 1.67 ERA. He also had three saves and struck out 51 hitters in 46 innings.
As member of the USA Junior National Team, Young demolished the offensive record book. In 39 at bats at the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada, he had 20 hits for a team-leading .513 average. He hit nine home runs in eight games and drove in and scored 18 runs each. He also tossed one inning of relief and struck out two of the four batters he faced. Young is the younger brother of current major leaguer Demitri Young. Delmon is the son of Larry and Bernell Young of Camarillo, Calif.
Joining Young at Arizona next season will be 2002 USA Junior National teammates Jeff Allison (Peabody, Mass./Veterans Memorial HS) and Bryan Opdyke (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills HS).
Allison, one of Team USA's top two pitchers last season, went 1-1 at the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada. He struck out 17 batters against only four walks in 14 innings pitched at the championships. Against Venezuela, Allison tossed a complete game four-hitter in which he struck out 10 and allowed just one earned run in eight innings pitched.
The 6-foot-2 righthander is listed by The Perfect Game and Baseball America as the No. 6 prospect nationally and the top prospect out of Massachusetts. Allison is the son of Bob Allison and the former Noreen Allison of Peabody, Mass.
Opdyke, a local product out of Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, is a 6-foot-2, 195 pound catcher that is listed by The Perfect Game/Baseball America as the 65th-best prospect nationally and No.3 in the state of Arizona. As one of two catchers on the USA Junior National team, Opdyke went 1 for 5 with a double, a run scored and a RBI at the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada. Opdyke is the son of Brad and Cindy Opdyke of Tucson, Ariz.
Fellow Arizonan Donald Veal (Hereford, Ariz./Buena HS) will join Opdyke in an Arizona uniform next season. The 6-foot-2 southpaw is listed by The Perfect Game/Baseball America as the top prospect in the Grand Canyon state and the No. 43 player nationally. Veal was named to the Arizona Daily Star's All-Southern Arizona team as a junior in 2002. Veal is the son of Donald and Tanya Veal of Hereford, Ariz.
Coach Lopez and his assistants also received letters from a pair of top prospects out of Texas. Right-handers Matt Nachreiner and Adam Miller will both leave the Lone Star State and pitch for the Wildcats next season.
Nachreiner (Cedar Park, Texas/Round Rock HS) is rated by The Perfect Game/Baseball America as the fifth-best prospect out the state of Texas this season and the 49th-best prospect in the nation. The 6-foot-2 righty went 6-2 on the mound for Round Rock High School last season. He posted 76 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched, tallied a 1.58 ERA and a save in 11 appearances. Nachreiner is the son of Mark Nachreiner and Lori Rossen.
Miller (McKinney, Texas/McKinney HS) will join fellow Texan Nachreiner in Tucson next season. The right-hander was ranked among the top 5A pitchers in the state in ERA (1.68), strikeouts (72), strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.1 to 1) and saves (2). The Perfect Game/Baseball America lists the 6-foot-4 Texan as the 20th-best prospect in Texas and the No. 170 recruit nationally. Miller is the son of Gary and Rhonda Miller of McKinney, Texas.
Hailing from California are Arizona recruits Jason Donald (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan High School) and Bill Rhinehart (Citrus Heights, Calif./Casa Robles High School).
Donald, a 6-foot-1 infielder, hit .468 for Buchanan High School as a junior and was named to the Fresno Bee's All-Star team. Rated as the 84th-best prospect in the nation by The Perfect Game/Baseball America, he is also ranked by the publication as the 13th-best high school player in the state. Donald is the son of Tom and Debbie Donald of Clovis, Calif.
Rhinehart, a left-handed outfielder from the Sacramento area, was named to CalHiSports all-state team as a junior last season and teamed with Donald at the California Baseball Coaches Association North-South Baseball series this past summer. Rhinehart is listed as the 99th-best player in California by The Perfect Game/Baseball America. Rhinehart is the son of Bill and Syndi Rhinehart of Citrus Heights, Calif.
Also signing with Arizona during the early signing period is right-handed pitcher Mark Melancon (Mel-an-son). Hailing from Golden, Colo., Melancon is rated as the top prospect out of the state by The Perfect Game/Baseball America. He garnered honorable mention 5A all-state honors by the Denver Post after his junior season and was named second team all-league, as well. Melancon is the son of David and Cherry Melancon of Golden, Colo.
In addition to signing nine high school recruits, Lopez and staff also received commitments from a pair of junior college players during the early signing period as well.
Right-hander Koley Kolberg (Coppell, Texas/Navarro CC/Coppell HS) will finish his second season at Navarro CC in Texas in 2003 before heading west to Tucson. Kolberg has twice been drafted by the Boston Red Sox. He was a 20th-round selection in the Major League draft in 2001 and a 38th-round pick in 2002, but opted not to sign either time and attend school. He was named first team All-Region XIV after his first season at Navarro. Kolberg is the son of Jeff and Donna Kolberg of Coppell, Texas.
Joining Kolberg from the JuCo ranks in the recruiting class is right-handed pitcher Damian Salcedo (El Paso, Texas/El Paso CC/Franklin HS). The 5-foot-9 righty went 5-2 with a save in 2002. He posted a 3.32 ERA in 62.1 innings pitched with 70 strikeouts for the 2002 Region V champions. Salcedo is the son of Joe Salcedo of Plano, Texas, and Mary and Raul Hernandez of El Paso, Texas.
2002 Arizona Baseball Early Signing Period Recruiting ClassName Pos. Hometown/School(s)Jeff Allison RHP Peabody, Mass./Veterans Memorial HSJason Donald SS Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HSKoley Kolberg RHP Dallas, Texas/Navarro CC/Coppell HSMark Malancon RHP Golden, Colo./Golden HSAdam Miller RHP McKinney, Texas/McKinney HSMatt Nachreiner RHP Cedar Park, Texas/Round Rock HSBryan Opdyke C Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills HSBill Rhinehart OF Citrus Heights, Calif./Casa Robles HSDamian Salcedo RHP El Paso, Texas/El Paso CC/Franklin HSDonald Veal LHP Hereford, Ariz./Buena HSDelmon Young OF/RHP Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS