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UCLA Baseball Announces 2021 Recruit Class

Dec 14, 2020

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA baseball program officially announced its 2021 recruiting class on Monday, a group of 13 talented and decorated student-athletes that has been tabbed No. 4 nationally in Baseball America's preliminary rankings.  

The group features four players ranked inside the top-50 nationally by Perfect Game and seven within the top-200. In righty Thatcher Hurd (Mira Costa HS) and southpaw Gage Jump (JSerra Catholic HS), UCLA will be bringing in both the top-ranked right-handed and left-handed pitcher in the state of California. By position, the class contains five position players and eight pitchers.

Nationally, UCLA's newest class of recruits ranks behind only Florida, Vanderbilt, and Louisiana State. The Bruins are by far the highest-ranked school in the west, with only Oregon State (No. 16) and Stanford (21) also making the top-25 among west coast clubs.

"We are very excited about the depth of this recruiting class, [assistant coach/recruiting coordinator] Bryant Ward and our entire coaching staff have done an outstanding job of putting these players in position to help our program in the future," said UCLA head coach John Savage. "This group has a chance to have a major impact on the program and future of UCLA baseball."

The 2021 UCLA baseball recruiting class is comprised of RHP Josh Alger (Roseville HS), LHP Ethan Flanagan (Santa Margarita HS), INF Bryce Grudzielanek (Torrey Pines HS), C Jack Holman (Etiwanda HS), RHP Thatcher Hurd (Mira Costa HS), RHP Luke Jewett (JSerra Catholic HS), LHP Gage Jump (JSerra Catholic HS), OF Malakhi Knight (Marysville Getchell HS), RHP Nate Leibold (Ballard HS), OF Nick McLain (Beckman HS), INF Cody Schrier (JSerra Catholic HS), RHP Eric Silva (JSerra Catholic HS), and RHP Alonzo Tredwell (Mater Dei HS).

Among that group, the highest-ranked players are Knight (No. 19), Schrier (29), Hurd (32), Jump (38), Silva (122), Tredwell (137), McLain (186), and Jewett (191).

Further signings may be announced at a later date.

Below are capsules on each player in the new class including a report from Coach Savage.

Josh Alger
Right-Handed Pitcher – Roseville, Calif. (Roseville HS) – 6-3/175

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 24 RHP and No. 85 prospect overall … Was a Preseason Underclass All-American in both 2019 and 2020 … Named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2018 Perfect Game West MLK Championship … Competed with NorCal Baseball Club … Two-time Area Code Games participant … Also played basketball and football in high school.

Savage Says: "Josh has big upside that we feel has pitchability to go along with potential power stuff. Josh is a three-sport athlete who will become very good when he concentrates on becoming the pitcher that he wants to be."

Ethan Flanagan
Left-Handed Pitcher – Irvine, Calif. (Santa Margarita HS) – 6-2/180

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 8 left-handed pitcher and No. 75 prospect overall … Ranked the No. 71 LHP in the country by Perfect Game … Was a Preseason All-American in both 2019 and 2020 … Participated in the 2019 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games … Also played first base at Santa Margarita … Won the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title in 2019 with Santa Margarita.

Savage Says: "Ethan is a projectable left-handed pitcher who has a tremendous future ahead of him. Ethan is only at the beginning of what he can become, and we are excited to have an impact on him and his progression. Ethan has a fastball in the low 90s with a solid above-average curveball. He's a tremendous athlete who we expect to be very good at UCLA."

Bryce Grudzielanek
Infielder – Cardiff, Calif. (Torrey Pines HS) – 6-2/170

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 9 middle infielder and No. 28 overall prospect … Nationally, is ranked as the No. 56 middle infielder and No. 271 overall … Played for the Arizona Diamondbacks scout team at the 2020 WWBA World Championship … His father, Mark Grudzielanek, batted .289 over a 15-year MLB career with six different teams, earning All-Star honors in 1996 and winning an AL Gold Glove at second base in 2006 …His mother, Danielle Martin, played softball at UCLA, earning two varsity letters from 1997-98 … Batted over .300 in each of his first two high school seasons.  

Savage Says: "Bryce is a very projectable middle infielder who really knows how to play the game. He's an athletic player who comes from a very athletic family, has very good ball skills, and is a player who is getting stronger and has a chance to be an offensive infielder."

Jack Holman
Catcher – Wrightwood, Calif. (Etiwanda HS) – 6-4/215

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 3 catcher and No. 34 prospect overall … Ranked as the No. 26 catcher in his class nationally and the No. 329 prospect overall … Bats left and throws right … Preseason Underclass All-American in 2019 and 2020 … Played in the Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games in 2018 and 2019 … Owns a career .387 on-base percentage at Etiwanda, including a .398 rate as a sophomore … Was a member of the USA Baseball 16U National Team Development Program in 2019 … Participant in the Boras Classic in 2019 with Etiwanda.

Savage Says: "Jack is a strong left-handed-hitting catcher who has a chance to have power to all fields. He is a student of the game and we look for him to be a solid defensive catcher as well. Jack is a big, physical presence behind the plate."

Thatcher Hurd
Right-Handed Pitcher – Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Mira Costa HS) – 6-4/205

Awards/Stats: Top-ranked pitcher in the state of California and the No. 4 prospect overall statewide … Nationally, ranked as the No. 9 right-handed pitcher and No. 32 overall prospect … Two-time Preseason All-American … Named to the Top Prospect Team at the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase … Played for the San Francisco Giants scout team in the 2020 WWBA World Championship … Is a converted catcher … Participated in the 2020 Area Code Games … Played in the Under Armour All-American Game this past summer.  

Savage Says: "Thatcher is one of the elite pitchers in the country. His combination of true command and power are tools you rarely see at the high school level. His fastball is in the low 90s with a wipeout curveball and advanced change-up. Thatcher checks all the boxes – we look for him to be an impact-type starting pitcher the day he arrives in Westwood."

Luke Jewett
Right-Handed Pitcher – Ladera Ranch, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS) – 6-2/180

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, is ranked the No. 7 right-handed pitcher and No. 22 prospect overall … Nationally, is ranked as the No. 69 right-handed pitcher and No. 191 prospect overall … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Named to the Top Prospect Team at the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase … Had a 2.51 ERA over 30 2/3 innings as a sophomore in 2019 … Participated in the 2020 Area Code Games … Won the 2019 Boras Classic with JSerra.

Savage Says: "Luke is an athletic right-handed pitcher who has a power fastball and a plus change-up. Another pitcher from JSerra who we think will have an immediate impact on our pitching staff at UCLA. His fastball-change mix poses a lot of problems for hitters."

Gage Jump
Left-Handed Pitcher – Aliso Viejo, Calif. (JSerra Catholic) – 5-11/170

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, is ranked the No. 1 left-handed pitcher in the state of California and the No. 5 prospect overall … Nationally, is ranked as the No. 5 left-handed pitcher and the No. 38 prospect overall … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Named to the All-Tournament Team at three separate WWBA events during the summer of 2020 … Named to the Top Prospect Team at the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase … Participated in the Baseball Factory All-Star Classic in October … Participant in the 2020 Area Code Games.

Savage Says: "Gage is a left-handed pitcher with a four-pitch repertoire. He has a very advanced pitch mix that will allow him to have an opportunity to be a frontline pitcher at UCLA right away. He pitches for one of the premier high school programs at JSerra High School in Orange County. Gage is a very competitive pitcher."

Malakhi Knight
Outfielder – Marysville, Wash. (Marysville Getchell HS) – 6-3/190

Awards/Stats: Is the top-ranked player high school player, and outfielder, in the state of Washington … Nationally is ranked as the No. 4 outfielder and No. 19 overall … Two-time High School Preseason All-American … Named the Gatorade Washington Player of the Year for baseball for the 2019-20 school year … Played in the 2020 Perfect Game All-American Classic … Participated in the 2019 and 2020 Area Code Games … Named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2019 Area Code Games … Invited to the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase, where he was named to the Top Prospect Team … Named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2020 WWBA Championship … Also plays prep basketball; was named the Daily Herald (Everett, Wash.) Boys Basketball Player of the Year for 2019-20 after averaging 26.1 points.

Savage Says: "Malakhi has all the tools to have a major impact in Westwood as a freshman. He has big upside, is a lockdown defender, and combines the ability to hit with power."

Nate Leibold
Right-Handed Pitcher – Seattle, Wash. (Ballard HS) – 6-3/195

Awards/Stats: Ranked as the No. 6 right-handed pitcher and No. 11 overall prospect in the state of Washington … Preseason All-American First Team West Region in 2020 … Preseason Underclass All-American honorable mention in 2019 … Rated the No. 2 pitcher and No. 3 overall prospect in Washington by Prep Baseball Report in 2019; had the same rankings from Baseball Northwest in 2020 … Struck out 26 batters in 24 2/3 innings as a sophomore at Ballard HS.  

Savage Says: "Nate is one of the best right-handed pitchers in the state of Washington. He's a physical pitcher who has power stuff and who we think will be very good in college. I'm looking forward to being a part of his future and watching his development in our program."

Nick McLain
Outfielder – Tustin, Calif. (Beckman HS) – 6-0/180

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, is ranked as the No. 3 outfielder and No. 21 prospect overall … Younger brother of current Bruins shortstop Matt McLain … Is a switch hitter … Nationally is ranked as the No. 31 outfielder and No. 186 overall prospect … Three-time Preseason Underclass All-American, including California Region First Team honors in 2020 … Participated in the 2019 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games … Named to the Top Prospect Team at the 2020 Perfect Game National Showcase … Played with the Brewers at the 2020 Area Code Games … Named tourney MVP as Beckman won the Chino Hills Briar Hamilton Tournament in 2020.

Savage Says: "Nick comes from a baseball family – three boys that are very good players. He is a versatile player who can play all three outfield positions. Nick really came on this past summer, and showed he is one of the best players in Southern California."

Cody Schrier
Infielder – San Clemente, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS) – 6-1/190

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 2 shortstop and No. 3 prospect overall … Nationally is ranked as the No. 7 shortstop and No. 29 overall … Three-time High School Preseason All-American …  Played in the 2020 All-American Classic in Oklahoma City … All-Tournament selection at the 2020 WWBA World Championship … Named the Tournament Most Valuable Player at the 2020 17U Elite National Championship … Continues a line of recent JSerra shortstops to commit to UCLA including Chase Strumpf and Michael Curialle … Has been part of the USA Baseball National Team Development Program since he was 12 years old; was the U15 Baseball World Cup MVP in 2018 … Participant in the Area Code Games … Participated in the Baseball Factory All-Star Classic in October.

Savage Says: "Cody is a strong, athletic shortstop who can change the game on both sides of the ball. He has an outstanding glove and arm, and that will allow him to stay at shortstop at UCLA. Cody is an offensive player who has a chance to have real power in the Pac-12."

Eric Silva
Right-Handed Pitcher – Laguna Beach, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS) – 6-0/180

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 4 right-handed pitcher and No. 14 prospect overall … Listed by Perfect Game as the No. 40 right-handed pitcher in the country and No. 122 prospect overall … Three-time Underclass All-American, including a First Team All-California nod in 2020 … Selected to the roster for the Future Star Series at Fenway Park in Sept. 2020 … Played for the Brewers in the 2020 Area Code Games … Was chosen to participate in USA Baseball's MLB Professional Development Pipeline in 2020 … Played In the 2020 WWBA World Championship … Named to the All-Tournament Team for the 2019 WWBA 16U National Championship … Also played infield in high school, including three years at Laguna Beach High School. 

Savage Says: "Eric is one of the premier right-handed pitchers in the country. His ability to have multiple pitches makes him an immediate impact in our program. He's a tremendous athlete who can do a lot on the field."

Alonzo Tredwell
Right-Handed Pitcher – Coto de Caza, Calif. (Mater Dei HS) – 6-7/220

Awards/Stats: In the state of California, is ranked as the No. 5 right-handed pitcher and No. 17 prospect overall … Nationally, ranked the No. 47 right-handed pitcher and No. 137 prospect overall … Three-time Preseason Underclass All-American, including a pair of First Team honors … Played in the 2019 Underclass All-American Games … Played in the Boras Classic in both 2018 and 2019 with Mater Dei … Missed his junior season and the 2020 showcase circuit due to injury.

Savage Says: "Alonzo is a physical right-handed pitcher who has a high ceiling. He has a chance to have a power fastball a plus secondary pitch. Alonzo has a tremendous make-up, which should give him a great chance to have an immediate impact at UCLA.