Baseball welcomes 12 newcomers in recruiting class

Oct. 9, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State Baseball coach Tim Mooney has announced the addition of 12 players who signed National Letters of Intent with the Cougars over the past year.

Four players signed with the Cougars during the early signing period in the fall 2001 signing period, while the others waited until the late signing period, last spring, to sign. In an evenly split class, Mooney welcomes six junior college players and six freshmen.

'We are excited with these players,' Mooney said. 'We have guys who can really play and address many of our needs. A lot of these guys are high energy and we think that will help us immensely.'

Greg Goetz, a pitcher from Newport High School in Bellevue, heads WSU's 2002-2003 recruiting class. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound freshman left-hander is expected by Mooney to contend for a starting spot in the Cougar rotation.

'He has a very high ceiling,' Mooney said. 'He's going to be one of the elite pitchers in this conference.'

Goetz was drafted in the 35th Round by the Florida Marlins in last June's amateur baseball draft, almost signing with the Marlins at the last minute. Goetz was ranked the No. 66 prospect overall nationally by Baseball America.

He's just one of the highly-touted prospects in Mooney's second full recruiting class, including a pair of solid fall signees.

Dustin Realini, from Valley Christian High School in Cupertino, Calif., was ranked as the No. 18 third baseman in the country by Team One Baseball. Realini signed with WSU last fall. Outfielder Jay Miller, a high school teammate of Goetz, was ranked the No. 31 corner outfielder by Team One.

'Miller does a great job getting on base,' Mooney said. 'He's going to hit and we like his makeup as a ballplayer. Realini, we really love his bat. He's going to play right away.'

Catcher Jonathan Woodcox, another early signee, was pegged as the No. 18 catcher in the country by Team One coming out of Miramonte High School in Orinda, Calif.

'When we recruited him, we told him we had three other guys (at catcher) in the program,' Mooney said. 'But he wanted to be here and he'll have a year to learn and then compete for the starting job.'

Matt Ircandia, the last of WSU's early signees, is a 6-foot-3, 182-pound pitcher from St.Mary's High School in Calgary, Alberta, who adds more depth to the pitching staff.

'He had a promising summer,' Mooney said. 'He and Goetz, if they stay healthy, they are pro guys. They have bright, bright futures here.'

Kevin Agnew, an infielder from Woodinville High School, rounds out the prep portion of the Cougar recruiting class.

'He can play both second base and shortstop and give us versatility in the middle infield,' Mooney said. 'He's got good moxie and gives us depth.'

The Cougars also received immediate veteran help with the addition of several junior college transfers. They are led by Aaron MacKenzie, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher from Perth, Australia, by way of Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore., who is expected to contend for a spot in the starting rotation.

'He's a big kid, with good stuff,' Mooney said. 'He'll definitely help us right away.'

The Cougars also get bullpen help in the form of Brett Beetham and Brian Esparza, two all-conference performers last season. Beetham was a first team Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Western Division selection at relief pitcher out of Tacoma Community College. He prepped at nearby Puyallup High School.

Esparza was a first team NWAACC Eastern Division selection as a relief pitcher from Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake. Esparza attended Pasco High School.

'We expect Beetham and Esparza to fill that role from the sixth to eighth inning,' Mooney said. 'Our starters are good enough to get us there, but we need these two guys to hold us for those two innings.'

The Cougars also bolstered their outfield with the additions of Zapper McGrath and Chad Spellman. McGrath was NWAACC Western Division MVP at Lower Columbia Community College in Longview. Spellman, a teammate of Esparza at Big Bend, was a first team NWAACC Eastern Division selection.

'Chad will battle with Zapper for time in centerfield,' Mooney said. 'He brings speed, defense and lead-off capabilities as well. Zapper brings good speed and defensive ability to the team. He's also a very good leadoff hitter.'

Rounding out the WSU recruiting class is infielder Jonathan Fender, from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif.

'Jonathan is a scrappy second baseman who goes about the game the right way,' Mooney said. 'He gets the most of his ability by the way he competes.'

Kevin AgnewInfielder6-2/185Woodinville, Wash.Woodinville High '02

AGNEW'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: SOPHOMORE (1999-00): Attended Woodinville High School, where he was coached by Terry Agnew...was honorable mention All-KingCo selection as a second baseman...also started for Falcon football team, earning an honorable mention at a JUNIOR (2000-01) repeat honorable mention selection at second base and was awarded team's Gold Glove award...also repeated as honorable mention selection at quarterback. SENIOR (2001-02): Was named first team All-KingCo at shortstop for 24-2 Class 4A State Champions...was team captain and won team's Gold Glove award...was first team All-KingCo safety in football and was honorable mention selection at quarterback...named team captain...was a finalist for Eastside Journal Athlete of the Year.

PERSONAL: Kevin Robert Agnew...born 05-15-84...parents Terry and Kathy Agnew...father was varsity football and current baseball coach at Woodinville High...has one brother Andy...sister Laura attends WSU...was ASB athletic representative in high school...National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete...interested in sports medicine program at WSU.

Brett BeethamPitcher6-2/200Puyallup, Wash.Puyallup High '99

BEETHAM'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: SENIOR (1998-99): Coached by Marc Wiese at Puyallup High...was named first team All-South Puget Sound League as a pitcher...was named to a Pierce County All-Star team that toured Japan.

BEETHAM'S TACOMA CC CAREER: FRESHMAN (2000-01): Was relief pitcher for Titans, who finished third in the competitive Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC). SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Named second team closer for NWAACC Western finished third overall in NWAACC for second consecutive year.

PERSONAL: Brett Richard Beetham...born 07-03-80...parents Craig and Vicki Beetham...brothers Scott and Ben...hobbies include weightlifting and playing Playstation...had 3.9 GPA in community college...interested in English major at WSU.

Brian EsparzaPitcher6-1/165Pasco, Wash.Pasco High '00

ESPARZA'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: SENIOR (1999-00): Earned two varsity letters in baseball under coach Don Hogue...played outfield and second base...versatile athlete who was an accomplished wrestler, lettering four times in four weight classes and also was team captain...also earned three varsity letters in cross country.

ESPARZA'S BIG BEND CC CAREER: FRESHMAN (2000-01): Had 3.85 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21 innings as relief pitcher...was awarded team's 'Firearm Award'...named second team relief pitcher for NWAACC East was 28-17 and won its division. SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Racked up 24 strikeouts in 24 innings en route to a 0.36 ERA...was named first team relief pitcher for NWAACC East Division and was named second team went 34-12 and repeated as division champion.

PERSONAL: Brian Esparza...born 11-30-81...parents Rolando and Janet Esparza...two brothers, Andrew and Brandon...has one sister, Susan...mother played basketball and volleyball at Eastern Washington...cousin Ryan Rickenbath attends WSU...hobbies include fishing and collecting sports cards...was a Seattle Mariners NWAACC Scholar-Athlete with a 3.95 GPA...won Art Fiero Scholar-Athlete award as the top male scholar-athlete in the NWAACC...interested in chemical engineering major at WSU.

Jonathan FenderInfielder5-10/175Galt, Calif.Galt High '99

FENDER'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1995-96): Coached by Andy Petersen at Galt High...Capital Valley Conference honorable mention selection...named team's MVP. SOPHOMORE (1996-97): Named first team All-Sierra Valley MVP...was named his American Legion Team's MVP...was named to area all-star team, where he was youngest player on the team at 15. JUNIOR (1997-98): Repeat selection as first team all-conference...second team all-area MVP...was named to the San Francisco Giants Area Code team...American Legion Area All-Star. SENIOR (1998-99): Named All-Sierra Valley first team for third consecutive MVP...member of South Area Optimist Team.

FENDER'S COSNUMES RIVER CAREER: FRESHMAN (1999-00): Was awarded team's student-athlete award. SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Was named first team All-Bay Valley Conference...was All-Northern California selection...was also an all-conference academic selection.

PERSONAL: Jonathan Rand Fender...born 09-12-81...parents Richard and Laura Fender...has one brother Joshua...had 4.02 prep GPA and 3.7 junior college GPA...interested in mechanical engineering major at WSU.

Greg GoetzPitcher6-3/200Bellevue, Wash.Newport High '02

GOETZ'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: SOPHOMORE (1999-00): Earned varsity letter for Knights as outfielder. JUNIOR (2000-01): Varsity letterman and honorable mention All-KingCo went 18-5 and was Class 3A State Champion...was a participant on the Seattle Mariners Area Code Team. SENIOR (2001-02): Varsity letterman and team captain...was drafted in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Florida Marlins...American Legion team won state championship.

PERSONAL: Gregory Goetz...born 01-25-84...parents Galen and Cheryl Goetz...has two older brothers, Mike (26) and Mark (25) and one younger brother, Joe (16)...cousin Erin Goetz attends WSU...hobbies include playing basketball and wakeboarding...high school teammate of WSU catcher Zach Franklin and outfielder Jay Miller...has not decided on a major at WSU.

Matt IrcandiaPitcher6-3/182Calgary, AlbertaSt. Mary's High '02

IRCANDIA'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1998-99): Attended St. Mary's High School in Calgary...did not play baseball. SOPHOMORE (1999-00): Played for Team Alberta...was also named MVP of junior varsity basketball team. JUNIOR (2000-01): Starting outfielder and pitcher for Team Alberta...was invited to Canadian Junior Elite Camp for top 30 16-and-under baseball players in Canada...was also MVP of varsity basketball team...outfielder and pitcher for the Calgary Dawgs, an elite travel won province championship on his home run in the title game...Team Alberta squad won bronze medal at Canadian championships...invited to Canadian Junior National Team. SENIOR (2001-02): Played outfield and pitched for Calgary placed third in United States Amateur Baseball Association World Series...hit game-winning home run in the decisive game of the Alberta Under-21 Championships...pitched and played outfield for Team Alberta, which won the bronze at the Canadian Championships...was named that tournament's outstanding hitter.

PERSONAL: Matthew V. Ircandia...born 07-17-84...father Vince Ircandia played baseball at Niagara University in New York...mother Lauraine deceased...hobbies include skiing and playing basketball...3.2 prep GPA...interested in business major at WSU.

Aaron MacKenziePitcher6-4/215Perth, AustraliaLeeming High '98

MACKENZIE'S TREASURE VALLEY CC CAREER: SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Pitched sparingly but has tremendous potential and upside...did not play high school baseball, but was a member of Australia's Junior National Team from won the Bronze medal at the 1998 Junior World Championships.

PERSONAL: Aaron L. MacKenzie...born 04-04-81...mother Margaret MacKenzie...has one brother Garreth...hobbies include surfing and fishing...interested in liberal arts major at WSU.

Zapper McGrathOutfielder6-0/175Bellingham, Wash.Sehome High '99

MCGRATH'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1996-97): Was named MVP of the Babe Ruth Washington State tournament for 15-year olds. SOPHOMORE (1997-98): Was named MVP of the MALWALTON Tournament and was high school JV team MVP. JUNIOR (1998-99): Won team's hustle won Wesco Conference and placed fifth in state tournament. SENIOR (1999-00): Was named to the all-state team...USA Today Honorable Mention All-American...won team's hustle award...played in Washington-Oregon all-star repeated as conference champions and finished third in state.

MCGRATH'S LOWER COLUMBIA CC CAREER: FRESHMAN (2000-01): Was a first team All-NWAACC Western Division selection as an outfielder...named to the NWAACC All=Tournament was division champion and finished second in NWAACC Tournament. SOPHOMORE (2001-02): Was named MVP of NWAACC Western Division...first team All-NWAACC repeated as division champions and had 24-game winning streak, ending the year with a 27-3 record.

PERSONAL: Zapper McGrath...born 01-17-82...parents P. Huck and Elsa King...has one brother Sunny McGrath...hobbies include disc golf and playing sports...won second place in the 1999 Washington State Robotics Competition...awarded 2002 American Red Cross Real Heroes Award...received 2002 Congressional Certificate of Recognition for Community Service...was the lone winning pitcher on the first American high school team to play in Cuba....has not decided on a major at WSU.

Jay MillerOutfielder5-10/170Bellevue, Wash.Newport High '02

MILLER'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1998-99): Did not play baseball. SOPHOMORE (1999-00): Coached by Brian Fischer at Newport High School...was named honorable mention All-KingCo...lettered in football, playing halfback and cornerback. JUNIOR (2000-01): First team All-KingCo won Class 3A State Championship...lettered in football. SENIOR (2001-02): Batted a team-leading .491 and drove in 16 runs for team that went 13-8.

PERSONAL: Jay Michael Miller...born 08-11-83...parents are Mike and Jamie Miller...father played baseball at University of Montana...has one brother Jeff...prep teammate of current WSU catcher Zach Franklin and pitcher Greg Goetz...hobbies include wakeboarding and playing basketball...interested in business major at WSU.

Dustin RealiniThird Base6-1/190Cupertino, Calif.Valley Christian High '02

REALINI'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1998-1999): Attended Monta Vista High School...coached by Dave Vieria...batted .404. SOPHOMORE (1999-2000): batted .421 with eight home runs...named captain. JUNIOR (2000-2001): Attended Valley Christian High School...coached by John Diatte...batted .375 with three home runs...was second team All-Blossom Valley Athletic League selection...lettered in football as a quarterback. SENIOR (2001-02): Batted .531 with 15 home runs and 63 RBI and had a 1.100 slugging percentage...was named California Division IV Player of the Year...Collegiate Baseball High School All-American...a first team All-CCS was Division II CCS Champions.

PERSONAL: Dustin Realini...born 05-14-84...parents are Rob and Lauri Realini...father played baseball at San Francisco State Ryan played baseball at West Valley (Calif.) Community College...interested in math major at WSU.

Chad SpellmanOutfielder6-0/170Kent, Wash.Kentridge High '01

SPELLMAN'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: JUNIOR (1999-00): Was named to the first team All-SPSL North squad...named to the Tacoma News Tribune's All-Area MVP who set league record with .612 batting average. SENIOR (2000-01): Was named second team All-SPSL captain...was an all-state selection.

SPELLMAN'S BIG BEND CC CAREER: FRESHMAN (2001-02): Was a first team All-NWAACC Eastern Division selection as an outfielder.

PERSONAL: Chad Spellman...born 06-14-82...parents Mike and Kathy Spellman...has one sister, Lindsay (22)...cousin Jenna Walther attends WSU...enjoys fly undecided on major at WSU.

Jonathan WoodcoxCatcher6-0/211Orinda, Calif.Miramonte High '02

WOODCOX'S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: FRESHMAN (1998-99): Attended Miramonte High School...coached by Vince Del'Aquilla...started off on junior varsity before being brought up to varsity squad for was North Coast 2A East Bay champions...SOPHOMORE (1999-00): Starting linebacker in football on conference champion...started at catcher on baseball team...JUNIOR (2000-2001): Was named all-league at catcher and was also team's football was an all-league linebacker for conference and section champions...SENIOR (2001-02): Team captain...repeat all-league selection at catcher...was team's defensive went 24-3 and won conference and was North Coast 2A East Bay champions...rated by Team One Baseball as the No. 18 catcher in the country.

PERSONAL: Jonathan Carey Woodcox...born 03-02-83...parents are Larry and Carolyn, Larry, was a swimmer at Yale...another brother, Marc, played baseball at Laney College...also has a sister, Shawna...hobbies include snowboarding, weight-lifting and shooting pool...interested in business major at WSU.

Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder