SAN DIEGO, Calif. - San Diego State head baseball coach Tony Gwynn has announced the signing of six high school seniors -- including three local players -- from the Class of 2013 to National Letters of Intent.
"I thought we did well," said Gwynn. "We got some position guys. We got some pitching. I like the makeup of this class."
Gwynn credited pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Eric Valenzuela and associate head coachMark Martinez for their efforts -- "They've done a great job," said Gwynn -- in bringing together a signing class that will add talent and depth to the SDSU roster. These players will join the Aztecs for the 2013-14 school year, just in time for the program's move to the Big West Conference.
"One thing that is good about our class, as small as it is right now, it means the program is extremely healthy and these guys are going to provide the final pieces to the puzzle to create a championship environment," said Martinez. "These guys are going to add to the makeup and culture of our program because they're the right kids for our program."
Here is a look at the six signees, with comments on the pitchers by Valenzuela and comments on the hitters by Martinez:
RYAN ALVAREZ, UTL, 5-7/155, R/R, Sylmar, Calif., Bishop Alemany High
Notable: Alvarez earned all-Foothill League honors at shortstop as a junior for Bishop Alemany and also received all-academic recognition ... He is a middle infielder but versatile enough to play the outfield. He has the ability to bat leadoff and can do the little things, like bunt and hit-and-run. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious and makes those around him better ... One of Alvarez's former high school teammates is current Aztec right-hander Cody Thompson. Coach Martinez's comment: "He's a great addition because he mirrors what a lot of our guys do. He's a hard worker. He's going to get after it and bring a lot of energy to our program. Where he plays is totally up to him. He can play short, second and third and pretty much all three outfield positions."
ANDREW BROWN, SS, 6-3/175, R/R, Chula Vista, Calif., The Rock Academy
Notable: Brown led The Rock to a Frontier League championship and a runner-up finish in the CIF-San Diego Section Division V finals ... He batted .442 for the Warriors with 24 RBI and was 30-for-30 in SB ... Earned all-Frontier League honors each of the past three seasons and all-academic honors the past two years ... SDSU coaches believe he could be the best prospect of the group because of his combination of size and speed and potential as a five-tool player. Projects as a middle of the order hitter who could move to third base or the outfield if he sizes out at shortstop. Coach Martinez's comment: "He's going to be an offensive force for us as he grows into our program. He's a physical kid who should provide some punch in our lineup."
TYLER GATICA, RHP, 6-0/215 R/R, Corona, Calif., Norco High
Notable: Gatica emerged as a junior for Norco, when he went 2-2 with a 1.56 ERA and 22 SO in 18 IP. He also batted .286 for the Cougars with 10 RBI ... He was an all-tournament selection over the summer for the Bombers at the Mickey Mantle Western Regionals ... He's a power right-hander whose stock is expected to soar as a senior. Coach Valenzuela's comment: "He has the potential to be a Friday night guy. He's a power right-hander...big...physical. He throws a power slider, is up to 92 mph on the mound, and has played at the highest level in high school and knows how to compete."
MARCUS REYES, LHP, 5-10/190, L/L, Vista, Calif., Rancho Buena Vista High
Notable: Reyes was a vital member of the Rancho Buena Vista team that won the Avocado West League title and advanced to the CIF-San Diego Section Division I finals ... The Longhorns won six of the seven games he started on the mound. He finished his junior season with a 4-0 record, 1.94 ERA and 38 SO in 39.2 IP ... He earned all-academic recognition from both the North County Times and U-T San Diego with a GPA above 4.0. Coach Valenzuela's comment: "He's a strike-throwing left-hander who throws four pitches for strikes. He can be an everyday kind of guy for us. He can come in and get lefties out. He can throw an inning, spot start. He can do a lot of things because he throws strikes. He competes and he's a proven winner."
BRETT SEEBURGER, LHP, 6-1/220, L/L, Oceanside, Calif., Vista High
Notable: Seeburger is no stranger to the mound at Tony Gwynn Stadium, having pitched Vista to the CIF-San Diego Section Division I title in June with a one-hitter in a 1-0 victory over Rancho Buena Vista ... He finished his junior season with a 10-1 record, 0.65 ERA and 102 SO/20 BB in 85.2 IP. At the plate, he batted .347 for the Panthers with 16 RBI and 6 SB ... He earned Avocado East League Pitcher of the Year, first-team all-CIF honors in the section and the state and was chosen Junior State Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports ... The left-hander throws 87-90 mph with a plus changeup and plus breaking ball. Coach Valenzuela's comment: "He's got to be considered one of the best high school pitchers in San Diego. He could be special. He's another one who could be a weekend guy. He competes and he's a winner. We got him at the 11th hour. He kind of sparked the signing class at the end to take it over the top."
TYLER WADE, SS, 6-2/175, L/R, Murrieta, Calif., Murrieta Valley High
Notable: Wade was an all-Southwestern League selection for Murrieta Valley as both a sophomore and a junior, recognized for his performance in the field and at the plate ... He's a left-handed hitter who batted .380 as a junior for the Nighthawks ... SDSU coaches consider him as college-ready as anyone in the signing class. Coach Martinez's comment: "He's one of the best shortstops in our area and is going to make a huge impact when he comes in. He's a mature kid who knows how to handle himself, so the transition should be very easy."