Arizona State Baseball Inks 12 Players During Early Signing Period

Nov. 18, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State head baseball coach Pat Murphy and recruiting coordinator Jay J. Sferra announced the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA early signing period for the 2006 season. The class is made up of eight high school players and four junior college transfers.

The class includes seven players listed among the top 100 prospects in the nation and four players who played in the 2004 AFLAC All-American Baseball Classic. The seven top 100 prospects, as decided by Baseball America/Perfect Game and TeamOneBaseball.com, are the most among all Division I schools and include six players being ranked in the top 50 in the nation. Of the 100 players on last year's Baseball America top 100 high school prospects, 56 players enrolled in college this fall, including current ASU freshmen Seth Garrison, Drew Bowman and Andrew Romine.

Arizona State secured commitments from players from five different states, including five from Arizona, to make up the impressive class that has already been billed as one of the best in the nation. Under the direction of Sferra and assistants Tim Esmay and Jack Krawczyk, the Sun Devil Baseball coaching staff assembled the class with eight pitchers (4 RHP, 4 LHP), two infielders, one utility player and one catcher.

'This is another quality class that we are real excited about and really think they will be a great addition to the Sun Devil family,' said 11th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'It is a great mix of extremely talented high school prospects and four junior college players that are proven winners and solid ballplayers.'

Arizona State's five in-state commitments, which include three players from Scottsdale's Horizon High School, include LHP/1B Ike Davis (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral HS), infielder Matt Hall (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS), utility player CJ Retherford (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton HS/South Mountain CC), RHP Matt Trink (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS/Yavapai CC) and LHP Jeff Urlaub (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS).

'It is our number one goal to go out and recruit in our own backyard and get the best players from the state of Arizona each year,' said Sferra, who has assembled top 10 recruiting classes in each of the last five years. 'Arizona is a great baseball state and it will keep getting better. We want these kids to grow up wanting to play for the Sun Devils and following in the footsteps of players like Ike Davis, Jeff Urlaub and Matt Hall.'

ASU's seven out-of-state signees include top rated prospects from Utah, Texas, California and Illinois. RHP Michael Bowden (Aurora, Ill./Waubnosie HS), RHP Jeff Lyman (Alamo, Calif./Monte Vista HS), LHP Mark Novak (Joliet, Ill./Parkland CC), catcher Preston Paramore (Allen, Texas/Allen HS), LHP Mark Pawelek (Springville, Utah/Springville HS), infielder Brett Wallace (Sonoma, Calif./Justin-Siena HS) and RHP Ryan Zimmerman (Hyrum, Utah/Southern Utah/Salt Lake City CC) have all signed to play for the Sun Devils beginning with the 2006 season.

'We addressed a lot of our concerns and feel like we got all the players that we wanted,' added Murphy. 'With the current landscape of college baseball and the draft, you never really can judge a class until the kids arrive on campus, but right now we are very happy to have these players committed to play in the Maroon and Gold.'

While highlighted by several top players from around the nation, the 2006 class includes a number of marquee players. Four of the signees (Ike Davis, Jeff Lyman, Preston Paramore, Brett Wallace) all played in the prestigious AFLAC All-American Baseball Classic last summer in Aberdeen, Md. Davis (Arizona), Pawelek (Utah) and Bowden (Illinois) were all rated by Baseball America/Perfect Game as the top high school prospect in their respective states.

Davis (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is one of ASU's highest profile recruits during the Murphy era (1995-P) and is the son of former MLB pitcher Ron Davis (Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs). The two-way player (LHP/1B) starred the last two summers for the USA Baseball program, winning a gold medal in 2003 with the Youth National Team and playing in the 2004 world championships in Taiwan with the Junior National Team. He is rated as the No. 12 high school prospect in the nation (BA/PG) and the No. 2 high school first base prospect. Davis has led Chaparral to back-to-back 4A state championships and is a two-time first-team All-State selection by the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune.

'I chose ASU because I liked the campus, I've been hanging around the players at ASU, and they're really cool. It just seemed like a good place to go to college,' said Davis in an interview with DevilsDigest.com. 'The coaches are really cool too, especially coach Sferra. Coach Murphy doesn't lie to you; he's like my dad in a certain way. I've been going to games since I was 14, and I just want to win a national championship in my home state.'

Bowden (Aurora, Ill.) is rapidly rising as one of the top pitching prospects in the nation after a strong showing at several showcases over the summer. The hard-throwing right-hander is rated as the No. 24 prospect in the nation (BA/PG) and is listed as the No. 11 high school RHP prospect in the nation by TeamOneBaseball.com.

Hall (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is described as a slick-fielding middle infielder that has seen his stock rise as a top prospect over the last few months. After solid performances in the Perfect Game National Showcase and the Area Code Games, Baseball America/Perfect Game ranks Hall as the No. 41 high school prospect in the nation. TeamOneBaseball.com lists him as the No. 10 high school middle infield prospect in the nation.

Lyman (Alamo, Calif.) is a 6-2, 200 power pitcher with a four-pitch arsenal. He is rated as the No. 44 prospect by BA/PG and is 15-2 in his last two seasons at Monte Vista HS. He struck out two in one inning of work in the AFLAC Classic and is the No. 7 prospect in the state of California.

Wallace (Sonoma, Calif.) is a 6-1 power hitter that is likely to play first or third base for the Sun Devils. Rated as the No. 66 overall and No. 4 third base prospect in the nation by TeamOneBaseball.com, Wallace hit .526 (41-for-78) with 41 runs, 11 home runs and 34 RBI for Justin-Siena High School last season. He has hit a school record 20 career home runs heading into his senior season.

'I've always wanted to go to Arizona State,' said Wallace in an interview with the Napa Valley Register. 'Every baseball player wants to go to Arizona State. They made me a great offer and showed me that they'd really like me to be a part of the family. The vibe you get from that program, you know it's something special. It feels good.'

Paramore (Allen, Texas) is the top-rated catcher in the nation and the No. 26 high school prospect in the nation (BA/PG). The 6-3, 210 switch-hitter batted .371 (36-for-97) with four home runs and 23 RBI while being named the District 9-5A Offensive MVP. He is the three-time offensive MVP for Allen High School.

Trink (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is one of four signees to come from the junior college ranks. The Horizon High School product was the 2003 5A All-Tribune Pitcher of the Year and a first-team 5A All-State selection during his senior season for the Huskies. Trink went 4-3 with a 3.59 ERA for Yavapai CC last season and was drafted in the 39th round (1167 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was also selected by the Blue Jays in the 36th round following his senior season at Horizon.

Pawelek (Springville, Utah) is listed as the top prospect in the state of Utah and the No. 19 high school prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com). The 6-2, 185 left-handed pitcher is rated as the No. 3 LHP prospect in the nation and was named a Nike All-Star at the prestigious Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. in August.

Retherford (Chandler, Ariz.) is a scrappy 5-11 utility player that is currently playing at South Mountain CC in Phoenix. A two-time all-state pitcher in 2002 and 2003 for Hamilton High School, Retherford also played for Subia in the 2004 Connie Mack World Series and was named to the all-tournament team. He hit .313 (51-for-163) with 41 runs, 11 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 12 stolen bases for SMCC last season. He was also 7-2 with 75 strikeouts in 92.0 IP and ranked ninth in the ACCAC in ERA. Retherford was named second-team all-ACCAC as a designated hitter and second-team all-region.

Zimmerman (Hyrum, Utah) is currently attending Salt Lake City CC after a solid season in 2004 at Southern Utah University. He was a second-team All-Mid-Con Conference selection going 7-4 with one save a team-leading 4.52 ERA for the Thunderbirds. He was a three-time Mid-Con Pitcher of the Week and was named to the Mid-Con All-Tournament team. The 5-11 right-hander also played quarterback on the Southern Utah football team, throwing for seven touchdowns and 1,248 yards.

Urlaub (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is the third player to hail from Horizon High School. The 6-1, 155 left-handed pitcher is ranked as the No. 373 prospect in the nation and the No. 10 prospect in the state of Arizona. He was named first-team 5A All-State last season by AzBCA, Arizona Republic (Utility) and the East Valley Tribune. He is also listed as the No. 45 high school LHP prospect in the nation by TeamOneBaseball.com.

Novak (Joliet, Ill.) could be a familiar name to Sun Devil fans, as he re-inked an NLI after having Tommy John surgery over the summer. After signing with ASU last November, Novak earned first-team all-conference honors after going 5-4 with a 3.48 ERA for Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.). He played his freshman season at Mesa CC.

Arizona State Baseball Signees:

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T Hometown (High School/College)
Michael Bowden RHP 6-3 210 R/R Aurora, Ill. (Waubnosie HS)
Ike Davis LHP/1B 6-4 194 L/L Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral HS)
Matt Hall INF 6-2 171 R/R Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS)
Jeff Lyman RHP 6-2 200 R/R Alamo, Calif. (Monte Vista HS)
Mark Novak LHP 6-0 190 L/L Joliet, Ill. (Joliet Township/Mesa CC/Parkland College)
Preston Paramore C 6-3 210 B/R Allen, Texas (Allen HS)
Mark Pawelek LHP 6-2 185 L/L Springville, Utah (Springville HS)
CJ Retherford UTL 5-11 190 R/R Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS/South Mountain CC)
Matt Trink RHP 6-1 175 R/R Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS/Yavapai CC)
Jeff Urlaub LHP 6-1 155 L/L Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS)
Brett Wallace 3B 6-1 205 L/R Sonoma, Calif. (Justin-Siena HS)
Ryan Zimmerman RHP 5-11 175 R/R Hyrum, Utah (Mountain Crest/S. Utah/Salt Lake City CC)

Arizona State Recruiting Class Notes:

  • Four AFLAC All-Americans (Davis, Lyman, Wallace, Paramore).
  • 12 players from five different states (Arizona, Utah, California, Texas, Illinois).
  • Five (5) players from the state of Arizona, including three from Horizon High School.
  • Class is made up of eight (8) high school players and four (4) junior college transfers.
  • Players rated as top 10 prospects from states of Arizona, Utah, Texas, California and Illinois.
  • Top-ranked prospects from Arizona (Ike Davis), Utah (Mark Pawelek) and Illinois (Michael Bowden).
  • Seven (7) top 100 players as ranked by Baseball America/Perfect Game and TeamOneBaseball.com.
  • All eight high school recruits are ranked in the top 15 in their respective state and in the top 400 nationally.
  • Class is made up of eight (8) pitchers, two (2) infielders, one utility player and one catcher.
  • Rated by StudentSportsBaseball.com as the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

    High School National Rankings:

    Bowden: Baseball America (24 overall, #1 in Illinois) TeamOneBaseball.com (36 overall, #11 RHP)
    Davis: Baseball America (12 overall, #1 in Arizona) TeamOneBaseball.com (32 overall, #2 1B)
    Hall: Baseball America (41 overall, #4 in Arizona) TeamOneBaseball.com (61 overall, #10 INF)
    Lyman: Baseball America (44 overall, #7 in California) TeamOneBaseball.com (77 overall, #26 RHP)
    Paramore: Baseball America (26 overall, #3 in Texas) TeamOneBaseball.com (28 overall, #1 C)
    Pawelek: Baseball America (74 overall, #1 in Utah) TeamOneBaseball.com (19 overall, #3 LHP)
    Urlaub: Baseball America (373 overall, #10 in Arizona) TeamOneBaseball.com (#45 LHP)
    Wallace: Baseball America (69 overall, #12 in California) TeamOneBaseball.com (66 overall, #4 3B)

    Ike Davis, 1B/LHP, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-4, 194, L/L (Chaparral HS):
    - No. 12 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 1 Arizona High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 2 High School 1B prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/8/2004)
    - No. 32 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - 2004 AFLAC All-American -- Aberdeen, Md. (Game MVP with HR to lead West to victory)
    - Son of former MLB Pitcher Ron Davis (Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs) -- 481 career games
    - 2003 USA Baseball Youth National Team (.464, 13-for-28, 7 2B, 10 RBI) -- Gold Medal in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    - 2004 USA Baseball Junior National Team (.316, 6-for-19, 2 2B, 6 RBI; 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 10 K)
    - 2004 Perfect Game National Showcase (Tropicana Field) - No. 6 prospect
    - Junior: .425, 3 HR -- Chaparral went 31-2 and finished 12th in Baseball America poll -- won State 4A Championship
    - Sophomore: .557, 3 HR -- Chaparral went 32-3 and finished 13th in Baseball America poll -- won State 4A Championship
    - 2004 All-Tribune 4A Pitcher of the Year (East Valley Tribune)
    - 2004 Arizona Republic 4A First-Team All-State (P)
    - 2004 AzBCA 4A First-Team All-State (LHP/1B)
    - 2003 Arizona Republic First-Team All-State (utility)
    - 2003 Arizona Republic 4A First-Team All-State (INF)
    - 2003 All-Tribune 4A-2A Player of the Year
    - 2003 Arizona Mr. Baseball (first sophomore to ever win the award)

    Jeff Lyman, RHP, Alamo, Calif., 6-2, 200, R/R (Monte Vista HS):
    - No. 44 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 77 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 26 High School RHP prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/9/2004)
    - No. 7 California High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - 2004 AFLAC All-American (1.0 IP, 2 K) -- Aberdeen, Md.
    - 2004 TeamOne National Showcase #9 prospect (Las Vegas)
    - 8-1, 86 K, 1.94 ERA as a junior, 7-1 as a sophomore (15-2) -- First-Team All-League
    - 2004 First-Team All-State Underclassman (CalHiSports.com)
    - Four-pitch pitcher, 90-91 mph

    Michael Bowden, RHP, Aurora, Ill., 6-3, 210, R/R (Waubnosie HS):
    - No. 24 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 36 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 11 High School RHP prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/9/2004)
    - No. 1 Illinois High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - 2004 TeamOne National Showcase #8 prospect (Las Vegas)
    - 2004 Area Code Games No. 2 prospect (Long Beach, Calif.)
    - No. 6 (BA) and No. 4 (TeamOne) prospect at the 2004 East Coast Professional Showcase (Wilmington, N.C.)

    Brett Wallace, 3B, Sonoma, Calif., 6-1, 205, L/R (Justin-Siena HS):
    - No. 69 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 66 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - No. 12 California High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 4 High School 3B prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/8/2004)
    - 2004 AFLAC All-American (3 SB) -- Aberdeen, Md.
    - holds single-season school records for walks, runs, hits, RBI, HR and slugging percentage
    - holds Justin-Sienna career record with 20 home runs heading into 2005 senior season.
    - Team One National Showcase (Las Vegas) -- Best Power
    - hit .526 (41-for-78), 41 runs, 11 HR, 6 2B, 3 3B, 34 RBI, 20 BB, 1.103 SLG%, .676 OB% in 2004
    - Justin-Sienna went 25-2 in 2004 -- won second straight CIF North Coast Section Class A title
    - 2004 First-Team All-Marin County, Offensive Player of the Year on All-Napa County Team
    - 2004 First-Tam All-State Small Schools (CalHiSports.com)
    - 2004 Team USA Tournament of Stars (Joplin, Mo.)
    - Area Code Games (Long Beach, Calif.)
    - Perfect Game Wooden Bat National Championships (Marietta, Ga.)
    - 2004 Perfect Game/Baseball America Wood Bat Association Fall Championship (Fort Myers, Fla.)
    - 2004 Perfect Game National Showcase (Tropicana Field)
    - Won 2002 National AAU title in Kingsport, Tenn.

    Preston Paramore, C, Allen, Texas, 6-3, 210, B/R (Allen HS):
    - No. 26 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 28 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - No. 3 Texas High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 1 High School Catching prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- Oct. 28, 2004)
    - 2004 AFLAC All-American -- Aberdeen, Md.
    - 2004 Second-Team All-Area (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
    - Hit .371 (36-for-97) with 4 HR, 23 RBI -- 7 SV, 16 K, 0.40 ERA as closer (2004)
    - Named District 9-5A Offensive MVP
    - #20 prospect at 2004 Perfect Game/Baseball America Wood Bat Association Fall Championship (Fort Myers, Fla.)
    - 2004 Perfect Game National Showcase (Tropicana Field)
    - Nicknamed 'Petey'
    - All-District 1B (Fr.) and 3B (So.)
    - Allen HS Offensive Player of the Year (Fr., So., Jr.)
    - Allen HS finished 27-7 in 2004.

    Mark Pawelek, LHP, Springville, Utah, 6-2, 185, L/L (Springville HS):
    - No. 74 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 19 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - No. 1 Utah High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - 2004 TeamOne West Showcase No. 1 Prospect (Tempe, Ariz.)
    - 2004 TeamOne National Showcase #5 prospect (Las Vegas)
    - 2004 Area Code Games -- Nike All-Star
    - Rated as the No. 3 High School LHP prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/8/2004
    )

    Matt Hall, INF, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-2, 171, R/R (Horizon HS):
    - No. 41 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 10, 2004
    - No. 61 High School Prospect (TeamOneBaseball.com) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - No. 4 Arizona High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - Rated as the No. 10 High School middle infielder prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- Oct., 2004)
    - 2004 Area Code Games (Expos)
    - 2004 Team One West Showcase (Tempe, Ariz.)
    - 2004 Perfect Game National Showcase (Tropicana Field)
    - 2004 Sunshine West Showcase (Peoria, Ariz.)

    Jeff Urlaub, LHP, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-1, 155, L/L (Horizon HS):
    - No. 373 High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Nov. 12, 2004
    - No. 10 Arizona High School Prospect (Baseball America/Perfect Game) - Sept. 1, 2004
    - 2004 5A All-Tribune Baseball Team (Utility) -- East Valley Tribune
    - 2004 AzBCA First-Team 5A All-State
    - 2004 Arizona Republic 5A First-Team All-State (Utility)
    - Rated as the No. 45 High School LHP prospect in the nation (TeamOneBaseball.com -- 11/8/2004)

    Matt Trink, RHP, Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-1, 175, R/R (Horizon/Yavapai CC):
    - Drafted in 39th round (1167 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004
    - Drafted in the 36th round (1070 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003
    - Went 4-3, 3.59 ERA, 56 K, 80.1 IP in 14 starts for Yavapai in 2004 (freshman)
    - 2003 5A All-Tribune Pitcher of the Year (East Valley Tribune)
    - 2003 Arizona Republic 5A First-Team All-State

    Mark Novak, LHP, Joliet, Ill., 6-0, 190, L/L (Joliet Township/ Parkland College):
    - Played in 2002 at Mesa CC and 2003 at Parkland CC
    - Went 5-4, 3.48 ERA, 10 G, 51.2 IP, 59 K, .222 OPP/Avg. in 2004
    - First-Team CCCI All-Conference (2004)
    - Originally signed NLI with Sun Devils last season -- Tommy John Surgery

    CJ Retherford, UTL, Chandler, Ariz., 5-11, 190, R/R (Hamilton/South Mountain CC):
    - 2004 NJCAA All-Region I second-team (South Mountain CC)
    - 2004 ACCAC Second-Team (DH)
    - At SMCC, .313 (51-for-163), 41 R, 11 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 12 SB -- 7-3, 2.25 ERA, 92.0 IP, 75 K (9th in ACCAC in ERA)
    - Played for Subia in the 2004 Connie Mack World Series (All-Tournament Team - 3B)
    - 2003 Arizona State High School 5A Champions (Hamilton HS)
    - 2002, 2003 AzBCA 5A All-State (P)
    - 2002, 2003 5A All-Tribune (UTL)
    - 2003 Arizona Republic 5A First-Team All-State (P)

    Ryan Zimmerman, RHP, Hyrum, Utah, 5-11, 175, R/R (Mountain Crest/SUU/Salt Lake CC):
    - Attended Southern Utah University in 2004 and was a QB and RHP
    - Transferred to Salt Lake City CC for 2005 baseball season
    - Starting QB for SUU in last six games (118-for-230, 1,248 yards, 7 TD).
    - I-AA Independent Offensive Player of the Week with win over Texas State
    - 7-4 with 4.52 ERA and 1 SV for SUU... 77.2 IP, 74 K.
    - Second-Team All-Mid-Con, Mid-Con All-Tournament Team, 3-Time Mid-Con Pitcher of the Week

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