Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball coach Scott Malone has announced the additions of nine players to his program during the early signing period.
"We are excited to add nine new members to the Islander baseball program," said Malone. "The best complement that I can give this group is that as much fun as they are to watch on the field, they are an even stronger group off the field. These future Islanders will continue to take this program to higher levels."
Malone gave much of the credit to his recruiting coordinator Chris Ramirez for the success of the Islander class.
"Chris has done an outstanding job of combining talented high school players and veteran junior college players to give us a great mix for next years roster," said Malone. "He works as hard as any recruiting coordinator in the country to find talented baseball players and kids of great character to bring into the Islander baseball family.
"This spring we will graduate a strong senior class. Coach Ramirez and the rest of our staff have done an excellent job of finding nine new players to keep this program moving forward. The future of Islander baseball is definitely bright with the players signed today."
The class is highlighted by the signing of four local players Justin Meza, Matt Flores, Adam Hoelscher and Chris Pena.
"Our direction with recruiting is that we always want to find the best Corpus Christi talent and give those players the best chance to play in their home town," said Malone. "South Texas and Corpus Christi is definitely a hot bed for high school baseball."
Below is player-by player look at the signing class
Justin Meza (OF/RHP) 6'2/165 S/R Moody High School (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Meza is a dual-role player for the Trojans. As a junior, Meza hit .489 with six home runs. He was just as impressive on the mound as he earned second-team all-state honors after going 9-0 with 85 strikeouts in 63 innings with 1.35 ERA. Meza was also named to the all-district, All-South Texas and Al-Metro teams.
Malone on Meza:
"With the addition of Justin Meza to our recruiting class we know we have added one of the best players in the city. Justin is one of the most talented kids that we have signed. He is a two-way player that has enormous upside as a hitter as well as on the mound as a pitcher. Justin has a fastball in the low 90's with an above-average slider. Just has a fluid left-handed swing and will be an above-average power hitter in the future. "
Adelaido Anaya (C) 5'9/170 S/R Alvin Community College (Deer Park, Texas Deer Park HS)
Anaya started as a freshman at Alvin Community College and had little trouble adjusting at the plate. He hit .388 as a freshman with six doubles and played a key role in Alvin advancing to the NJCAA World Series. His performance led to him being selected to the Texas Junior College All-Star Game. In high school, Anaya was named a three-time first-team all-district catcher and was named the Defensive Player of the Year at Deer Park. As a senior was chosen to play in the Greater Houston All-Star Game.
Malone on Anaya:
"There will be no easy way to replace senior catcher Steven Flora but we feel that Layo can make the transition as painless as possible. Layo is an outstanding defensive catcher and the fact that he is a switch hitter will only help our team offensively. His leadership abilities will only make our pitching staff better."
Matt Flores (SS) 6'3/180 L/R Alvin Community College (Robstown, Texas Robstown HS)
Flores, a former star at Robstown, started at Alvin in 2007 before missing the 2008 season with a broken leg. He was named first-team all-conference and all-region as a freshman at Alvin after batting .378 with 25 RBI and seven doubles. In high school, Flores was named all-state as a junior and senior. He was also chosen to the Corpus Christi Hooks All-Star team as a junior and senior and to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times All-Metro team. Flores hit .450 as a senior.
Malone on Flores:
"Matt is another player with ties to the Corpus Christi area. Matt's experience at the junior college level & success he has hat at Alvin should lead to him being an impact player for us next year. Not only is Matt a good player but an outstanding person of the field. Matt will be a great ambassador of our program."
Adam Hoelscher (LHP) 6'3/175 Calallen High School (Corpus Christi, Texas)
A signee out of Calallen, Hoelscher missed most of his junior year in baseball due to an injury. He spent the summer playing with the Columbia Angels.
Malone on Hoelscher:
"Adam is one of the best kept secrets in Corpus Christi. Due to a knee injury, Adam didn't get to pitch many innings during last spring. Adam comes from one of the strongest high school programs in the state. This is the second year in a row we have been able to add a player from the Calallen program. Adam is a strong, all-around athlete and wide receiver for the football team. We have no doubt his best days as a baseball player are in front of him."
Trenton Irwin (RHP) 5'11/170 Blinn Community College (New Braunfels, Texas Canyon HS)
Irwin will join the Islander University from Blinn Junior College. He was member of the starting rotation as a freshman at Blinn posting a 6-2 record and also had a 3.22 ERA in 53-1/3 innings. Irwin was chosen to the Texas Junior College All-Star Game.
Malone on Irwin:
"Trenton is not your prototypical RHP. He has had great success pitching in the mid 80's with an above average curve and change up. He has spent his time at the junior college level learning how to command the strike zone and keeping hitters off balance. Trenton has great maturity and is another strong character addition to our roster."
Roman Madrid (RHP/C) 6'0/175 Victoria Memorial High School (Victoria, Texas)
Currently a senior at Memorial High School in Victoria, Madrid batted .433 with four home runs and a .611 slugging percentage to earn the team's MVP and Big Stick awards. He was named first-team all area and second-team all-district..
Malone on Madrid:
"Roman is a guy we first saw at out of one of our camps and followed him after that. Roman has always been a good catcher and will continue to be. The excitement for his future will be on the mound. He should be able to make and immediate impact to our pitching staff with a fastball in the low 90's and a curve in the low 80's."
Chris Pena (LHP) 5'10/195 Alvin Community College (Corpus Christi, Texas Miller HS)
Pena was a vital member of the bullpen for Alvin and helped them to the NJCAA World Series. He is expected to be in the rotation this season. At Miller, Pena was the District MVP as a senior and first-team all-district as a junior. Pena had 15-5 record combined a record as junior and senior with 179 strikeouts. He posted an ERA of 1.88 as senior after a 2.08 mark as a junior.
Malone on Pena:
"Chris will be a great addition to our pitching staff. With a mid to upper 80's fastball from the left side, Chris will be as talented as anyone in the Southland Conference. It's rare to sign three players from the same junior college. Not only are these three guys great players on the field, I expect them to be great leaders for us off the field."
Darby Walker (SS/UT) 5'10/180 Cisco Community College (West Texas University/Irving, Texas Nimitz HS)
Walker began his college career at West Texas A&M where he was the Lonestar Conference Freshman of the Year after starting all 52 games at shortstop. At Nimitz High School, he started all four seasons earning first-team all-district honors as each of his final three seasons. As a senior, Walker was named the Offensive MVP in his district.
Malone on Walker:
"Darby comes from and up and coming junior college program. Coach White at Cisco has put that program on the map with a roster of overachievers and Darby fits this mold perfectly. Darby is an outstanding athlete and most importantly a very talented baseball player. Darby can play almost every position on the field and we are confident he will really hit at the next level."
Kevin Williams (LHP) 6'2/210 Angleton High School (Angleton, Texas)
Williams was 3-1 as a junior with a 3.25 ERA at Angleton HS. He spent the summer traveling with the Houston Hear.
Malone on Williams:
"Kevin is another guy we first saw at one of our camps and tracked from there. Kevin has the body frame of an MLB-type lefty. Kevin's fastball is in the mid to upper 80's with a mix of a quality curveball and a change up. Kevin's work ethic in the weight room is as strong as any high school player I've been around. Kevin will have a bright future as an Islander."