Virginia Baseball Announces Stellar 11-Member 2005 Recruiting Class
Nov. 17, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia baseball program and head coach Brian O’Connor has announced UVa’s 2005 baseball recruiting class. O’Connor and his coaching staff signed an outstanding 11-member recruiting class during the National Letter of Intent (NLI) early signing period. Virginia’s recruiting class, which is represented by 11 players from nine different states, ranks as one of the top-rated classes in the country and marks the second consecutive year O’Connor and his staff have landed a top-notch class for the UVa baseball program.
Virginia’s 2005 recruiting class of David Adams (Margate, Fla.), David Caldwell (Baltimore, Md.), Andrew Carraway (Marietta, Ga.), Jeremy Farrell (Westlake, Ohio), Chance Gilmore (Surfside, S.C.), Shooter Hunt (Wyckoff, N.J.), Brandon Marsh (Alpharetta, Ga.), Greg Miclat (Concord, N.C.), Brett Summers (Dyer, Ind.), Jacob Thompson (Danville, Va.) and Wes Williams (Asheville, N.C.) features six players ranked in the top 300 prospects by Baseball America/Perfect Game, two players ranked in the top 100 prospects by Baseball America, three players ranked in the top 75 prospects by Team One Baseball and two players rated in the top 25 for right handed pitchers by Team One Baseball.
“Our coaching staff is very excited about this group of future Cavaliers!” exclaimed O’Connor about his second recruiting class haul as UVa’s head coach. “This recruiting class is very talented, but most importantly, they are the right fit for the University of Virginia. We have set high goals for Virginia baseball and I believe this class will help make the difference in accomplishing those goals.”
O’Connor and his staff know the importance of good recruiting. Recruiting is the bloodline of building and maintaining a nationally prominent collegiate program. Attracting quality student-athletes to a premier academic institution such as UVa is a job that never ends. Each year, Virginia baseball watches its student-athletes graduate or pursue professional playing careers through MLB organizations. Looking ahead, O’Connor focused his recruiting efforts in the area of his program’s future needs. He signed impact players to fill the foreseeable vacancies down the road and also added a class that is capable of replenishing and establishing quality depth to an already strong pitching rotation and core of position players.
“Our main goal for this recruiting class was to sign a group of players who could make an immediate impact in college baseball as we will be losing many key players from our 2005 team,” said O’Connor. “This class is loaded with athletic position players and impact pitchers who have the ability and confidence to step in and contribute a great deal to the success of our program for the next four years. I am confident we accomplished our goal and our coaching staff is looking forward to working with this talented group.”
Many UVa recruits garner national attention for their playing abilities which opens the door to professional opportunities right out of high school. This year’s recruiting class is no different. While several Virginia recruits will most likely be drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June, O’Connor and his staff hope these promising recruits will come to Charlottesville next season.
“As with every recruiting class, one of the biggest challenges in college baseball is dealing with the Major League Baseball Draft,” said O’Connor. “The early feeling among professional scouts is that a few of our recruits have a good chance to be high draft picks in June. I believe each of these players is committed to their education, the college experience and Cavalier Baseball.”
When UVa hired O’Connor as its head coach on July 8, 2003, Virginia knew it was getting one of the top recruiters in the coaching profession. O’Connor developed and built a strong reputation as a recruiter while serving as an assistant coach and associate head coach at the University of Notre Dame.
At Notre Dame, O’Connor helped the Fighting Irish recruit the #1 recruiting class in 2001 and the #6 recruiting class in 2003 while he was an assistant coach. Last season (2004), in just his first year as Virginia’s head coach, O’Connor’s recruiting efforts paid off as he helped UVa land one of the most highly-touted classes ever to sign at Virginia. Six of Virginia’s 10 signees in ranked in the Top 300 prospects in the country according to Baseball America, including one signee who ranked in the Top 100. UVa’s recruiting class also had two players ranked in the Top 75 and four players ranked in the Top 200 according to TeamOneBaseball.com’s national recruiting rankings.
Though O’Connor is an integral part of the recruiting process at Virginia, he also utilizes the services of his strong assistant coaching staff at UVa to help land the type of highly touted recruiting classes the Cavaliers have signed in back-to-back years (2004 and 2005).
“The efforts of our assistant coaches, Kevin McMullan and Karl Kuhn, have made the difference in signing this talented class,” said O’Connor about his 2005 signees. “Our success rate in landing the players we really wanted was phenomenal. Also, for our program to receive early commitments from these top players is a real credit to our players. During the official visit process, our current players spend quality time educating the prospects on the experience at UVa as a student and as an athlete.” Here is an in-depth look at all 11 Virginia baseball signees, including notes on each recruit, comments from head coach Brian O’Connor on each recruit, as well as comments from each recruit on why they chose UVa:
Virginia baseball’s 2005 Recruiting Class
Name Position B/T Ht. Wt. HometownDavid Adams IF R/R 6'1" 180 Margate, Fla.David Caldwell C R/R 6'0" 190 Baltimore, Md.Andrew Carraway RHP R/R 6'1" 180 Marietta, Ga.Jeremy Farrell 3B R/R 6'3" 205 St. Westlake, OhioChance Gilmore OF/LHP S/L 5'10" 170 Surfside, S.C.Shooter Hunt RHP/C R/R 6'2" 180 Wyckoff, N.J.Brandon Marsh OF R/L 5'10" 195 Alpharetta, Ga.Greg Miclat IF S/R 5'9" 155 Concord, N.C.Brett Summers RHP R/R 6'6" 190 Dyer, Ind.Jacob Thompson RHP R/R 6'6" 190 Danville, Va.Wes Williams OF L/R 6'2" 175 Asheville, N.C.
- 6 out of 10 high school signs are ranked in the top 300 prospects byBaseball America/Perfect Game.- 2 of the top 100 ranked players in the country by Baseball America.- 3 of the top 75 ranked players in the country by Team One Baseball.- 2 of the top 25 rated right-handed pitchers in the country by Team One Baseball.
- #19 ranked prospect by Baseball America.- #29 ranked prospect by Team One Baseball.- #6 ranked prospect at Perfect Game/Baseball America World WoodBat Association Fall Championship.- #6 ranked middle infielder by Team One Baseball.- Scholar Athlete (2002, 2003, 2004).- High School Coaches Award (2003 & 2004).- Participated in Perfect Game National Showcase (2004).- Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase (2004).- Led Palm Beach County in batting average at .548 (2003).- Citizenship Award (2002, 2003, 2004).- National Honor Society, Student Senate, Beta Club and SADD Member.- Dad (Dale) is currently David's High School Baseball Coach.
O’Connor on Adams:
“David was one of the most highly sought after high school prospects in the country, and I am extremely excited that David decided to become a Cavalier. He is considered by many baseball experts to be one of the best infield and hitting prospects in the country. David is a key recruit for us because I believe he has the ability to play the infield and hit in the middle of the line-up right away. His hitting approach is very advanced for his age. With his swing, I believe he’ll be able to hit the best pitching in the ACC. David has a very bright future in the game following his career at Virginia.”
Adams on UVa:
“I chose the University of Virginia because it is the one place in which I felt comfortable. It is the one university where I felt that I can get the best of both worlds, both academic and athletic. I remember bragging to my dad about what a university it was after visiting in the summer. The coaches are not only great on the field, but they are great off the field as well. They have good heads on their shoulders and are willing to take time out of their lives to help me achieve my goals. Coach O’Connor, Coach Mac, and Coach Ks provide a top of the line program. The one reason I think that I will be successful at Virginia, and why I chose UVa, is that the supporting staff will not allow me to fail. It is a win-win situation. I chose UVa because I feel comfortable there.”
- Participated in AFLAC Classic (2004).- Loyola Coach's Award (2004).- All-MIAA Baseball Team (2004).- Scholar Athlete Scholarship Award.- Headmaster Scholarship Award.- First Honors Student and National Honor Society Member.
O’Connor on Caldwell:
“David was our first verbal commitment in this class and I am happy he is a Cavalier. With continued development, I feel he has the ability handle a talented pitching staff. His receiving skills, blocking ability and arm strength will allow him to be an important part of the future of our program. Catching is always a difficult position to recruit because there is very few catchers in the country who have the skill to play at the level of ACC Baseball. I believe we have one in David that can, and I am looking forward to having him in our program.”
Caldwell on UVa:
“UVa offers everything I could want in a college. The coaching staff is excited and passionate about the baseball program. The ACC is the best conference in college baseball. I chose UVa for its unique combination of a strong ACC baseball program, its renowned academics, and its electric college atmosphere. I look forward to getting to work, and I eventually plan to pack my bags for Omaha.”
- Georgia 5A State Champions (2004).- Baseball Coaches Award (2004).- MVP East Cobb Summer Team (2004).- Top 10 prospect at Perfect Game National Academic Showcase.- National Honor Society.- Nominated for Wendy's Heisman Award.
O’Connor on Carraway:
“I believe Andrew will make an impact in our program because he really knows how to pitch. He attended our Summer and Fall Baseball Camps and stood out as a winner who was the right fit for Virginia Baseball. Andrew throws three quality pitches for strikes, knows how to set hitters up, and he comes from a great baseball area where he has competed against some outstanding players.”
Carraway on UVa:
“Nowhere does the perfect combination of baseball, academics and atmosphere exist as it does at the University of Virginia. The coaches have done incredible things with the baseball program in only a year. Something special is going to happen with the Virginia baseball over the next few years and I want to be a part of that.”
- #105 ranked prospect by Baseball America/Perfect Game.- #112 ranked prospect by Team One Baseball.- #7 ranked third basemen prospect by Team One Baseball.- High School Conference Freshman of the Year (2002).- 1st Team All-Conference and Team Co-MVP (2003).- 1st Team All-Conference (2004).- Sun Newspaper Player of the Year (2004).- 2004 Stats: .486 BA; 8 HR; 52 RBI.- Dad (John) pitched in the major leagues for seven years and iscurrently the Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians.
O’Connor on Farrell:
“Jeremy is a great fit for the Virginia baseball program. I had the opportunity to have a face-to face meeting with Jeremy this summer and I was blown away. He is an impressive young man who loves challenges. Jeremy is a talented infield prospect who has the ability to come in and compete very early on in his career. At 6’3″ 205 lbs, he has a powerful swing and projects to hit somewhere in the middle of the line-up. I am excited about his arrival next August because he will be a fun player to watch develop as a Cavalier.”
Farrell on UVa:
“I am confident the University of Virginia will enable me to develop as a baseball player and as a person. It is a baseball program that has proven coaches, is committed to winning and plays at a great facility. The academics will challenge me in ways necessary for intellectual growth.”
- #4 ranked prospect in South Carolina by Impact Baseball.- AAU National Champion and Triple Crown National Champion (2004).- Led Socastee High School in hitting (2004).- Undefeated pitching record in High School and AAU (2004).- Dad (Gary) is currently the Head Baseball Coach at Coastal CarolinaUniversity.
O’Connor on Gilmore:
“Anytime you can attract a player who can improve the program in more than one area, you have something special. Chance is a talented left-handed pitcher and switch-hitting center fielder who can run. Early this summer, he was an unknown in college baseball recruiting. As his body continued to mature and he gained more confidence, Chance became an outstanding prospect for us. He is a competitor, loves to play the game, and is exciting to watch. We really believe that Chance will develop into a very good two-way player at Virginia, both in the outfield and on the mound.”
Gilmore on UVa:
“I made the decision to attend the University of Virginia because I felt good about the coaching staff and I like what I saw on my visit. The coaching staff and the university seem to be committed to improving baseball and getting better every year. I believe that UVa is the best opportunity for me.”
- #81 ranked prospect by Baseball America.- #71 ranked prospect by Team One Baseball.- #16 ranked prospect at Perfect Game/Baseball America World Wood BatAssociation Fall Championship.- #23 ranked right-handed pitcher in the country by Team One Baseball.- #1 ranked prospect at Team One South Showcase (2004).- #1 ranked prospect at SelectFest Showcase (2004).- Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase (2004).- Participated in Area Code Games (2004).- National Honor Society Member.- Dad (Mickey) is currently Shooter's High School Baseball Coach.
O’Connor on Hunt:
“Shooter Hunt completely embodies what our coaching staff looks for in a recruit. He is a good all-around athlete, excellent student, team player, and a very focused young man. We recruited Shooter mainly as a pitcher and he is also a talented catcher, which is an option we will explore when he arrives UVa next fall. As a pitcher, he broke onto the national recruiting scene this summer with his projectable body and electric stuff. Shooter has a fastball that will touch the low 90’s and an outstanding breaking ball. I believe he has the ability to make an impact in our program right away.”
Hunt on UVa:
“I chose the University of Virginia because it offers everything that a student-athlete could want, especially in baseball. Not only will I be competing for a national championship in Omaha, but I will also leave the school with one of, if not the, finest educations in the country. Surrounded by great coaches and people, choosing UVa was the biggest and best decision of my life thus far.”
- Helped lead Young Harris College to a 52-8 record (2004).- Led Georgia Junior College Athletic Association in total hits (2004).- 1st team All-Region in Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (2004).- Holds 7 Centennial High School batting records.- Two-time High School All-Region Team.
O’Connor on Marsh:
“Brandon approaches the game the same way our coaches expect our players to play the game – Hard. Brandon is a tough gutty player who can do a lot of things that add to the makeup of our team. His ability to play the corner outfield as well as be a formidable table setter in the line-up is why Brandon is such an important recruit for our program. His experience and success at Young Harris College, one of the top junior colleges in the country, has prepared him to succeed in the ACC.”
Marsh on UVa:
“I chose Virginia for its outstanding academics and excellent coaching staff.”
- #277 ranked prospect by Baseball America/Perfect Game.- #17 ranked prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball.- Rated the "Top Defensive Player in North Carolina" by Impact Baseball.- Three-time South Piedmont All-Conference (2002, 2003, 2004).- Two-time All-Piedmont Region (2003, 2004).- Gold Medal winner at North Carolina State Games (2003, 2004).- Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase (2004).- Wendy's National Heisman Award (2004).
O’Connor on Miclat:
“Greg is the kind of player every team needs in order to win. He is a high-energy player with great baseball instincts who will give you 100% at all times. When we scouted him over the summer, he would dive for every ball, run every ball out, and battle to win. Greg is a switch hitter who can also really run. His greatest attribute, however, is his defensive skills on the infield. He has the defensive ability to compete right away in our middle infield. Greg was one of our earliest commitments in this class and I know he is excited to be at the University of Virginia.
Miclat on UVa:
“It came down to the coaching staff. What that staff has done in turning the program around in the matter of one year spoke volumes to me, and I just want to be part of that.”
- #40 ranked prospect by Team One Baseball.- #123 ranked prospect by Baseball America/Perfect Game.- #14 ranked right-handed pitcher in the country by Team One Baseball.- Lake Central High School MVP (2003).- Times and Post All-Area Team (2003, 2004).- Participated in East Coast Professional Showcase (2004).- Participated in Area Code Games (2004).- Participated in Perfect Game National Showcase (2004).
O’Connor on Summers:
“Brett is an outstanding prospect who possesses the physical ability to be a dominant power pitcher in the ACC. He has a great arm (90 mph), good breaking ball, and a change-up that will give him the opportunity to win right away. He has the perfect pitchers body at 6’6″ and with additional strength should throw even harder. Brett is a very good athlete for his size, which will allow him to continue to improve. He has all the tools to be a great one and I am excited to watch him develop at UVa.”
Summers on UVa:
“I definitely had a good feeling about UVa all through the recruiting process. Everything I read convinced me that with Coach O’Connor in the lead ready to turn the baseball team into one of the top programs in the country, this was the place I wanted to be. With Coach K’s really believing in me, I knew that I would get the guidance I needed to maximize my potential as a pitcher at the next level. I really saw the dedication that the coaches and the university have to making a student athlete’s experience at UVa a memory that will last forever. I witnessed a work ethic which my parents instilled in me as a boy – ‘work hard but have fun.’ I saw a common bond among the coaches and the players – a bond that will play an important role in their goal of making it to the College World Series. After my first visit, I knew I wanted to play a part in realizing that goal. I knew that I wanted to become a part of the Virginia Cavalier family.”
- #225 ranked prospect by Baseball America/Perfect Game.- #16 ranked prospect in Virginia by Impact Baseball.- Tunstall High School State Champions (2004).- Tunstall High School Team MVP (2004).- 1st Team All-Piedmont (2003, 2004).- American Legion State Runner-up (2003, 2004).- Career Stats: 25-3 record; 177 IP; 57 BB; 278 K; 37 Hits; 1.27 ERA.- Student/Honor Athlete Award and Beta Club Member (2002, 2003, 2004).
O’Connor on Thompson:
“Jacob is one of the top pitchers in Virginia and is a key recruit for us. He has four pitches that he can command for strikes, and has been the go-to-guy for his high school team his entire career. At 6’6″ he has a tremendous upside. With continued strength development, Jacob could be a special pitcher at the college level. We are very excited to welcome Jacob into our Virginia Baseball Family.”
Thompson on UVa:
“It has always been a dream of mine to play college baseball, especially in the ACC. After visiting the campus, seeing the facilities and meeting the team and coaches, I knew UVa was the place for me!”
- Four year varsity starter- All-State, All-Western North Carolina and All-Conference (Junior Year).- Three year winner of varsity hitting trophy for the most hits(45 hits - Junior Year).- Poised to break all-time varsity hits record for a career in NorthCarolina state history (165 hits).- Junior Year stats: .525 BA; 45 hits; 14 doubles; 2 home runs; 6strikeouts in 78 at bats.- Summer 2004 - played summer ball for elite Midland Baseball organizationin Cincinnati, Ohio.- #24 ranked prospect in North Carolina by Impact Baseball.
O’Connor on Williams:
“I am excited about Wes joining the program because he possess the three skills we look for in our outfielders. He has arm strength, speed, and can swing the bat. As the leadoff hitter for North Carolina powerhouse T.C. Roberson High School, Wes is poised to break the all-time varsity hits record for a career in North Carolina state baseball history (165 hits). I know that he is ready to take his game to the next level and I am looking forward to seeing Wes in a Virginia uniform.”
Williams on UVa:
“I’ve looked at many schools that contacted me but settled on three ACC schools with which to have serious discussions. In the end, my weekend visit and experiences with Coach O’Connor and Coach Mac, as well as the campus, baseball facilities and academic reputation of the University of Virginia, made the decision easier than I thought it would be. I am very happy to attend one of the best universities in the country and help the baseball team to advance to the College World Series in Omaha.”
— UVa —