UCLA Baseball Announces 2022 Recruit Class
LOS ANGELES – Head coach John Savage and the UCLA baseball program officially announced its 2022 recruiting class on Wednesday, a group of 13 talented and decorated student-athletes from the west coast.
The group features seven players ranked inside the national top-500, including the top-ranked player from Washington in right-handed pitcher Ian Ritchie Jr. (Bainbridge Island HS) and a trio of top-10-ranked outfielders from California in Jarrod Hocking (Servite HS), Toussaint Bythewood (Harvard-Westlake), and Payton Brennan (Rocklin HS).
By position, the new class features five right-handed pitchers, two left-handed pitchers, four outfielders, and two infielders.
"Our entire staff, led by Bryant Ward, has done a great job putting this class together," said Savage. "With the help of Niko Gallego and David Berg, we feel this class will have an impact as freshmen next year as they enter into UCLA."
The 2022 UCLA baseball recruiting class is comprised of RHP Michael Barnett (Lafayette, Calif. / College Park HS), OF Payton Brennan (Rocklin, Calif. / Rocklin HS), OF Toussaint Bythewood (Encino, Calif. / Harvard-Westlake), RHP Cody Delvecchio (San Marcos, Calif. / Mission Hills HS), LHP Chris Grothues (Anaheim, Calif. / Servite HS), OF Jarrod Hocking (Anaheim, Calif. / Servite HS), LHP Ben Jacobs (Huntington Beach, Calif. / Huntington Beach HS), Finn McIlroy (Carlsbad, Calif. / Carlsbad HS), RHP Jack O'Connor (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. / Palos Verdes HS), INF Chris Paciolla (Temecula, Calif. / Temecula Valley HS), OF Keenan Proctor (Highlands Ranch, Colo. / Valor Christian HS), RHP Ian Ritchie Jr. (Bainbridge Island, Wash. / Bainbridge Island HS), and INF Andrew Walters (Chino, Calif. / Corona HS).
Below are capsules on each player in the new class, including a report from Coach Savage.
Right-Handed Pitcher – Lafayette, Calif. (College Park HS) – 6-4/175
Awards/Stats: Had a 1.91 ERA during his junior year in high school … Participated in the 2021 Area Code Games, playing for the A's … Played with Canes Baseball … Also played travel ball with Zoots Baseball.
Savage Says: "Michael is just beginning his progression into a high-end prospect. He displayed a repeatable delivery, and is only going to get better. He's very competitive."
Outfielder – Rocklin, Calif. (Rocklin HS) – 6-3/198
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 7 outfielder and No. 36 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 54-ranked outfielder and No. 283 prospect overall … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Invited to compete at the 2020 Junior National Showcase and 2021 National Showcase … Won a WWBA Championship in 2021 with CBA Marucci … Hit .391 during his junior season in high school.
Savage Says: "Payton is an athletic, left-handed hitter who can hit the ball all over the field. He has tremendous instincts with a big upside."
Outfielder – Encino, Calif. (Harvard-Westlake School) – 6-2/175
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 8 outfielder and No. 37 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 56-ranked outfielder and No. 290 prospect overall … 2021 Preseason Underclass All-American … Made four Showcase Top Prospect Lists over the 2020-21 year … Helped Harvard-Westlake to the 2021 CIF-SS Division 1 Championship … Was named Mission League MVP and First Team All-League after his junior season in 2021 … Invited to the 2021 Area Code Games.
Savage Says: "Toussaint has high barrel awareness and an advanced feel for the strike zone. He's a natural hitter who hits the ball over the field, and is a competitor who will be a great Bruin."
Right-Handed Pitcher – San Marcos, Calif. (Mission Hills HS) – 6-0/170
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 24 RHP and No. 64 prospect overall … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Played in the 2021 Padres High School All-Star Game at Petco Park … Was 10-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his junior season at Mission Hills High School, striking out 119 batters in 75 1/3 innings … Has a career 2.22 ERA over three varsity high school seasons … Named to the California All-State Team in 2021 by Cal-Hi Sports.
Savage Says: "Cody has been one of the best performers in the state of California over his high school career. He is a natural winner who loves to compete anytime, anywhere. A real winner."
Left-Handed Pitcher – Anaheim, Calif. (Servite HS) – 6-2/180
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 14 LHP … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Four-year varsity letterwinner at Servite … Made the team's rotation as a freshman, and has been a mainstay ever since … Had a 2.60 ERA as a freshman en route to First Team All-Trinity League honors … Participated in the 2020 Area Code Games.
Savage Says: "Chris comes from a very good program that develops players and pitchers in Servite High School. He's a very competitive left-hander."
Outfielder – Anaheim, Calif. (Servite HS) – 5-10/180
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 4 outfielder and No. 19 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 34-ranked outfielder No. 142 prospect overall … 2021 Preseason Underclass All-American … Made six All-Tournament Teams on the showcase circuit during his prep career … Three-year varsity letterwinner at Servite … Was hitting .345 in 2020 before COVID interrupted the high school season.
Savage Says: "Jarrod brings right-handed power with solid game speed. He has tremendous passion to play and get better, and we really like we he can do on both sides of the ball."
Left-Handed Pitcher – Huntington Beach, Calif. (Huntington Beach HS) – 6-0/175
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 6 LHP and No. 44 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 50-ranked southpaw and No. 393 prospect overall … 2021 Preseason Underclass All-American … Made four All-Tournament Teams during the 2020-21 year, including three while playing with CBA Marucci … Invited to the 2021 Area Code Games.
Savage Says: "Ben comes from one of the best high school programs on the west coast. He's well-schooled and will be a great addition to our left-handed pitching group."
Right-Handed Pitcher – Carlsbad, Calif. (Carlsbad HS) – 6-6/225
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 19 RHP and No. 48 prospect overall … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Made the All-Tournament Team at the 2020 PG 17U West World Series … Was 3-1 with a 1.83 during his junior season in high school … Invited to the 2020 Area Code Games.
Savage Says: "Finn is a big right-handed pitcher who will display above-average stuff. His ability to tunnel his pitches is what caught our attention. We see a big future for him."
Right-Handed Pitcher – Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. (Palos Verdes HS) – 6-2/185
Awards/Stats: Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Played club ball with the Playa Vista Orioles … Competed at the 2021 PG 17U World Series in Surprise, Ariz.
Savage Says: "Jack is a natural strike-thrower who competes pitch to pitch. I'm looking forward to watching a healthy version of him this spring."
Infielder – Temecula, Calif. (Temecula Valley HS) – 6-2/165
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 6 shortstop and No. 38 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 69-ranked shortstop and No. 310 prospect overall … Three-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Made the All-Tournament Team at the 2021 WWBA World Championship … Is a .395 career hitter in high school so far, including a .419 average as a freshman … Participated in the USA Baseball National Team Development Program.
Savage Says: "Chris is a dynamic offensive player, has terrific hand-eye, and will be able to have the ability to hit for average as well as power. He has tremendous barrel awareness."
Outfielder – Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian HS) – 6-1/175
Awards/Stats: In the state of Colorado, ranked the No. 2 outfielder and No. 7 prospect overall … Nationally, is the No. 98-ranked outfielder … 2021 Preseason Underclass All-American … Batted .414 with four home runs in 19 games as a high school junior … Career .354 hitter in high school through his junior year.
Savage Says: "Keenan is an exceptional runner who is really putting his speed into his baseball abilities. He's a left-handed hitter who will be able to get on base and create havoc."
Ian Ritchie Jr.
Right-Handed Pitcher – Bainbridge Island, Wash. (Bainbridge Island HS) – 6-2/180
Awards/Stats: Is the top-ranked player, and pitcher, in the state of Washington per Perfect Game … Nationally, is the No. 6-ranked right-handed pitcher and No. 28 player overall … Three-time Preseason Underclass All-American in high school … Invited to the Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games in 2020 and 2021, then graduated to the All-American Classic and PG National Showcase in 2021 … Named to the Top Prospect Team at the 2021 National Showcase, one of five Top Prospect Teams he's qualified for so far during his prep career … Won three WWBA Championships with Canes Baseball … Named Olympic League MVP after his junior year of high school … Threw a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts against Central Kitsap to lead Bainbridge Island to a league title in 2021.
Savage Says: "We believe JR is one of the top right-handed pitchers in the country. His talent matches his make-up. He's a tremendous performer who loves the big stage. JR is the ideal UCLA baseball player in so many ways."
Infielder – Chino, Calif. (Corona HS) – 6-1/185
Awards/Stats: In the state of California, ranked the No. 9 shortstop and No. 57 prospect overall … Invited to the 2021 Area Code Games … Two-time Preseason Underclass All-American … Won a pair of WWBA Championships with CBA Marucci.
Savage Says: "Andrew is a physical infielder who can hit with power and play defense at a very high level. We expect him to have an impact right away at UCLA."