ATLANTA – Six high school players who are ranked among the nation’s top 100 baseball prospects highlight sixteen student-athletes who inked with Georgia Tech during the early signing period, head coach Danny Hall announced. The 16 member class includes eight pitchers, four outfielders, three infielders and one catcher.
Headlining the class is third baseman David Wright (Chesapeake, Va.) and right-handed pitchers Kyle Davies (Stockbridge, Ga.) and Jay Mitchell (LaGrange, Ga.), all of whom are ranked among the top 45 high school players in the Rivals 100 list compiled by the staff of Team One Baseball. Other players ranked in the top 100 include outfielder Jeremy Slayden (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) at #54, right-handed pitcher Kevin Guyette (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) at #66, and catcher Mike Nickeas (Westlake Village, Calif.) at #72.
“We answered every need that we had,” said head coach Danny Hall. “The class that we signed has a chance to rival the classes of our current juniors and seniors that were ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the country.”
On the mound, the Yellow Jackets also signed righties Michael Andraes (Hanover, Pa.), Jim Johnson (Endicott, N.Y.), Andrew Kown (Marietta, Ga.) and Nick Wagner (Springfield, Ohio), as well as southpaw Jeff Kindel (Marietta, Ga.). The remainder of the Tech recruiting class includes outfielders Brandon Boggs (Marietta, Ga.), Garrett Groce (Columbus, Ga.) and Clifton Remole (Marietta, Ga.), and infielders Jake Hall (Raleigh, N.C.) and Eric Patterson (Kennesaw, Ga.).
“You always need some pitching, and we feel like we have signed some good arms,” said Hall. “But not only that, we’ve signed some guys who are great pitchers.”
Headlining the pitching corps are Kyle Davies, Jay Mitchell and Kevin Guyette, all of whom are expected to draw a lot of attention from pro scouts this spring. Davies was a high school All-American by USA Today in 1999 at Stockbridge High School, and he finished the 2000 season with 129 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 77 innings. Mitchell, who stands at 6-7, could also make an impact with his bat. The MVP at LaGrange High School, Mitchell led his team in RBI while anchoring the pitching staff. Guyette, the son of former Kentucky basketball star Bob Guyette, led Chaparral High School to back-to-back state championships in 1999 and 2000 while earning all-state honors.
The remainder of the Tech pitching recruits boasts considerable size. Michael Andraes, who is 6-6, went 4-0 with 38 strikeouts in 38 innings last season at South Western High. Jim Johnson, standing at 6-5, is a three-year letterwinner at Union-Endicott High and was named to the all-star team at the 1999 Area Code Games. Andrew Kown, at 6-6, was the MVP of the 2000 Dizzy Dean World Series and was an all-county honoree last year at the Walker School.
Nick Wagner, who measures 6-4, earned All-America honors last season at North High School. Jeff Kindel, at 6-4, earned all-region and all-county honors last year at Sprayberry High. In all, the Tech pitching signees boast an average height of 6-5.
“Offensively, we knew that we were going to lose Mark Teixeira, so we wanted to get a third baseman,” said Hall. “I’ve had some people tell me that we are going to lose the best third baseman in college baseball, but we’ve just signed the best third baseman in high school baseball in David Wright.”
Wright, who earned All-America honors by USA Today last year, already holds Hickory High School career records in hits, runs, doubles, RBI and stolen bases. He was named one of the top ten prospects at the 2000 Area Code Games by Baseball America.
Eric Patterson, the younger brother of former Tech signee and current Chicago Cubs top prospect Corey Patterson, joins Wright on the infield after helping lead Harrison High to the Georgia State Championship in 1998. His father, Don, was the captain of the Tech football team in 1978 and went on to play two years in the NFL.
Jake Hall, who can play any of the infield positions, earned all-league honors in each of the last two seasons at Athens Drive High School.
Mike Nickeas joins the Tech program as one of the top high school catchers in the nation. A two-year captain at Westlake High, Nickeas was the starting catcher on the USA Baseball youth team in the summer of 1999. His father, Mark, was a prominent soccer player in England in the late 1970’s.
The Tech outfield signees is led by Jeremy Slayden, who led Oakland High to Tennessee State Championships in 1999 and 2000. He set school records with 13 home runs and 59 RBI last spring and is ranked as the top prospect in the state of Tennessee.
Brandon Boggs, a switch-hitter, was a starting outfielder for the 1999 AAU National Champion East Cobb Astros. He earned all-county honors at Pope High School last spring. Garrett Groce led Columbus High to the 2000 Georgia AAA State Championship and was rated as the 15th best prospect in the state of Georgia. Clifton Remole, who preps at Osborne High School, hit .470 as a junior to earn all-state honors in Georgia.
“We’ve got a lot of depth in the class,” said Hall. “We have the arms and the position skills that we needed, and I think we’ve also got a lot of versatility. That’s one of the things that I like about our program because we have players who can help us out in a number of different areas.”
Georgia Tech Baseball Signees
|Signee||Pos.||B/T||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School)|
|Michael Andraes||P||R/R||6-6||215||Hanover, Pa. (South Western)|
|Brandon Boggs||OF||S/R||5-11||170||Marietta, Ga. (Pope)|
|Kyle Davies||P-1B||R/R||6-2||200||Stockbridge, Ga. (Stockbridge)|
|Garrett Groce||OF||R/R||6-2||185||Columbus, Ga. (Columbus)|
|Kevin Guyette||P||R/R||6-4||195||Paradise Valley, Ariz. (Chaparral)|
|Jake Hall||INF||R/R||6-0||170||Raleigh, N.C. (Athens Drive)|
|Jim Johnson||P||R/R||6-5||210||Endicott, N.Y. (Union-Endicott)|
|Jeff Kindel||P||L/L||6-4||185||Marietta, Ga. (Sprayberry)|
|Andrew Kown||P||R/R||6-6||185||Marietta, Ga. (Walker)|
|Jay Mitchell||P-1B||R/R||6-7||210||LaGrange, Ga. (LaGrange)|
|Mike Nickeas||C||R/R||6-1||190||Westlake Village, Calif. (Westlake)|
|Eric Patterson||2B-SS||R/R||5-10||160||Kennesaw, Ga. (Harrison)|
|Clifton Remole||1B-OF||L/L||6-1||180||Marietta, Ga. (Osborne)|
|Jeremy Slayden||OF||L/R||6-0||188||Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Oakland)|
|Nick Wagner||P||R/R||6-4||210||Springfield, Ohio (North)|
|David Wright||3B||R/R||6-0||198||Chesapeake, Va. (Hickory)|