CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ten more student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent (NLIs) to join the Oregon State baseball program for the 2015 season, head coach Pat Casey announced Tuesday.
The Beavers have added four pitchers and six position players to join five signees from Oregon that were announced last week.
Right-handed pitchers announced Tuesday include Gage Hinsz (Billings, Mont.), Drew Rasmussen (Colbert, Wash.) and Daniel Slominski (Livermore, Calif.). One left-handed pitcher, Ryan Mets, from Olympia, Wash., has signed. Hinsz is also listed as a position player.
The six position players are: Christian Donahue (Mililani, Hawai’i), Max George (Parker, Colo.), Joe Gillette (Scotts Valley, Calif.), Michael Gretler (Bonney Lake, Wash.), KJ Harrison (Kailua, Hawai’i) and Grant Heyman (Pittsford, N.Y.). Heyman is the lone junior college signee and will join the program from the College of Southern Nevada.
“I think we always try to go out and get the best athletes we can but also the best group of individuals that fit into what we’re trying to do,” Casey said. “This is a class that represents what we’re looking for both on and off the field and has a strong desire and passion to win. A lot of the kids know each other; it’s a class that will be close. We always have certain needs but we’re always looking for the best baseball players who fit in to what we’re trying to do. I feel like we’ve filled our needs with this class. We think this is one of the best classes in the country.”
Seven of the 10 signees announced Tuesday played at the prestigious Area Code Baseball Games in August, joining four from Oregon. Gretler, Hinsz, Mets and Rasmussen competed for the Royals while Donahue played for the Yankees, Gillette was on the Athletics and Harrison competed for the Reds.
Hinsz is rated as the No. 1 high school player in the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota by Baseball Northwest and No. 3 in the entire Northwest. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher has played for American Legion Club Billings Scarlets and was 6-3 with a 3.52 earned run average entering the 2013 state tournament. As a batter, he batted .418 with 33 runs batted in.
Mets will come to Corvallis by way of Olympia’s North Thurston High School. A 6-foot-2 left-handed pitcher, he earned all-league honors as both a sophomore and junior. He has also proven to be leader on and off the field as the two-year letterwinner was named a team captain as a junior.
Rasmussen is a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher from Colbert, Wash., and Mt. Spokane High School. A two-year letterwinner, he was an all-state and all-league selection as a junior after going 7-1 with a 1.28 ER and 1.01 WHIP in 59 innings. This came a year after he went 6-3 and was named second-team all-league.
Slominski is one of two signees from the state of California. A 6-foot right-handed pitcher, he was named a PrepsByTheBay.com Top 25 Bay Area player in 2013 and was all-league honorable mention in 2011 and 2013. He posted a 3.77 ERA in 2013 and batted .315 with two home runs, 12 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Donahue is a 5-foot-10 position player from Iolani Schools in Hawai’i. A three-year letterwinner, he was an all-league honorable mention selection and third-team all-state honoree as a junior after batting .395 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs and 16 RBI with 10 stolen bases. Donahue played in the 2008 Little League World Series.
George is also a 5-foot-10 position player and will come to Corvallis from Parker, Colo., and Regis Jesuit High School. Like Donahue, is a three-year letterwinner and was named a Louisville Slugger All-American as a junior when batted .468 with four home runs, 17 RBI and 13 stolen bases. He was named all-state as a sophomore after batting .544 with five doubles, eight triples, seven home runs and 25 RBI.
Gillette hails from Scotts Valley High School in California and is a 6-foot-3 right-handed position player. He was named his league’s most valuable player and top hitter as a junior after batting .400 with 12 doubles, six triples, three home runs, 25 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He was also named all-league and hitter of the year as a sophomore after hitting .400 with 10 doubles, six triples and 24 RBI.
Gretler is rated as the No. 5 prospect in the state of Washington and ninth in the Northwest after batting .395 with 11 doubles and 27 RBI as a junior, which earned him first-team all-league and second-team all-state honors. A 6-foot-2 position player from Bonney Lake High School, he hit .403 as a sophomore to earn all-league honors.
Harrison will join Donahue in coming to Oregon State from Hawai’i. A 6-foot-1 position player, he’ll join the program from the Punahou School where he is a three-year letterwinner. Harrison was named first-team all-league and honorable mention all-state as both a sophomore and a junior. He was also an all-league honorable mention honoree as a freshman.
Heyman is the only player to sign a letter from the junior college ranks and will join the program after a season at the College of Southern Nevada. The 6-foot-3 position player competed for Miami last season after joining the program from Pittsford-Sutherland High School in New York. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by Toronto.
The 10 join five state of Oregon signees. Players from the state of Oregon who were announced last week include position players Cooper Brunner (Tualatin), Elliott Cary (Clackamas), Trace Loehr (Milwaukie) and Jackson Soto (Albany) and right-handed pitcher Sam Tweedt (Salem).
For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.