UW Baseball Signs Eight To Letters Of Intent

Nov. 22, 2002

SEATTLE - Eight high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent toattend and play baseball at the University of Washington, head baseball coachKen Knutson announced today. The eight future Huskies signed during the earlysigning period, which began Nov. 13.

Seven of the eight are from the state of Washington. They are all slated toenroll in the fall of 2003 and will be a part of the 2004 Husky baseball team.The signees are: James Allan (Gresham, Ore./Sam Barlow), Billy Boyer (Enumclaw),Andy Hill (Okanogan/Brewster), Matt Lane (Port Angeles), Richie Lentz,(Woodinville), Tim Lincecum (Issaquah/Liberty), Tyler Mach (Kent/Kentlake) andKyle Parker (Yakima/West Valley).

'I think we had a really successful early signing period,' Knutson said.'Potentially, this class has the opportunity to be the best we've had in my 11years here. We feel like we signed the best players in the state. Every one ofthese guys has a chance to contribute early in their careers.

'We thought this year was a very good year for pitching in the state,' Knutsoncontinuted, 'and we feel like we signed the best arms in the state.'

Allan, a first baseman and right-handed pitcher on Coach Steve Stebbins' SamBarlow High team, is the lone non-Washingtonian in the group. ' He's gottremendous power at the plate,' Knutson said. 'He's a middle-of-the-order typeof hitter. He's big and strong and he's also got a good fastball. We'll try himboth on the mound and at first base.'

Boyer started at shortstop for Coach Dan Hennessey at Enumclaw High as afreshman, though he missed his sophomore season due to injury. 'We had him asthe best middle infielder in the state and the best overall position player,'Knutson said. 'He's a total package player. He can beat you with his legs, hisbat and his glove.'

Hill, a right-handed pitcher, attended Okanogan High last year but hastransferred to Brewster for the upcoming season. He had 'Tommy John' elbowsurgery on his throwing arm and missed most of last season. 'Prior to theinjury, he was a top prospect in the northwest,' Knutson said. 'He's madeprogress to come back and we're confident he will. Most young guys come backfrom that surgery these days.'

Lane, a catcher at Port Angeles, helped the team to the final eight in the statetournament last season. 'Matt's a left-handed hitting catcher with a lot of rawpower,' Knutson said. 'He reminds me of (all-time UW home run leader) EdErickson at the plate. He's got a chance to be a really offensive power hitter.He's been dominant at the high school level. We rate him as having the bestleft-handed power potential in the state.'

Richie Lentz, younger brother of former standout UW third baseman Ryan Lentz,led Coach Terry Agnew's Woodinville High team to the state 4A championship lastspring. He's probably the No. 1 prospect in the state as far as the upcomingdraft goes. Team One Baseball lists him as the No. 43 overall prospect in thenation and lists his fastball as the No. 5 high-school fastball in the country.Baseball America has previously listed him among the nation's top 10 high schoolprospects in the 2003 draft.

Lentz was 2-0 with a 3.64 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched forWoodinville last year. He also played outfield, and was a standout at the plate.He hit .378 with three homer, 28 runs batted, eight doubles, and was 18-for-18stealing bases.

'Richie is the guy that will have the most interest from the pros,' Knutsonexplained. 'We feel like he's committed to college unless he's drafted extremelyhigh. He's an impact freshman and he's a two-way player. He's got a power arm.I've seen a fastball as high as 94 and a very good slider.'

Lincecum went 4-2 with four saves and a 0.85 ERA last spring as a right-handedpitcher for Coach Glen Walker at Liberty High. Lincecum had an Eastside-best 83strikeouts in 50 innings pitched. He earned first-team All-Kingco and All-Eastside honors.

'Tim's another power arm. He's a little guy with a really fast arm,' Knutsonexplains. 'He has very good mechanics and he throws in the low 90s. He's goingto be a strikeout pitcher at the college level. His height and size may possiblykeep him out of the top of the draft, but he should still be drafted prettyhigh. But we expect him to make a big impact as a freshman.'

Mach, who projects as a college third baseman, plays shorstop at Kentlake andstarred for Taylor Baseball over the summer. He led the South Puget Sound Leaguein both runs and RBI as a sophomore in 2001. 'We thought Tyler was the besthittter in the state,' said Knutson. 'One of our goals each year is to try andget the best hitter in the state and he was our guy this year. He profiles as aguy in the middle of the order.'

Parker is a right-handed pitcher under coach Klayton Wyckoff at Yakima's WestValley High, alma mater of former UW All-America and current Cleveland IndianChris Magruder.

'Parker is another quality arm with a 90 mile-per-hour fastball,' Knutson says.'He's very well developed for a high school pitcher. He's had a lot of successand should be an impact pitcher as a freshman. He should also attract a lot ofinterest from pro baseball. Kyle is very athletic with a fast arm.'

The 2003 Huskies begin spring practice next January and then open the season ata tournament at Pepperdine next February 7.

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