"We are very excited about our 2012 signing class," head coach Monte Lee said. "This group is going to be very important for us over the next few years with the number of pitchers that we are potentially going to lose to the draft and graduation. We also have some of our older position players that are potentially going to be drafted out of the program and graduate over the next couple of years. We thought we needed to bring in a good mix of some high school talent along with some junior-college transfers who can fill immediate needs.
"We're really excited about these guys. We think that it's a really deep class and will pay dividends for us for years to come. Assistant coaches Matt Heath and Chris Morris did a good job of going out and finding these guys. We feel very good about the 2012 signing class."
Colie Bowers - RHP, 6-2, 180, R/R, Lexington HS, Lexington, S.C.
Bowers comes to College of Charleston from the prestigious Lexington High School program. He was named a Top Underclassmen by Baseball Factory, a partner of Baseball America, and was also picked 12th by The Diamond Prospects among right-handed pitchers in S.C. Bowers played summer ball for the South Carolina Diamond Devils.
Lee on Bowers: "Bowers is a really athletic, right-handed pitcher from Lexington, one of the better high school programs in the state over the last 20 years. He played shortstop growing up so he has some athleticism and a very quick arm. We've seen him up to 90 MPH with a good breaking ball. We feel like he can be a guy who can come in and potentially pitch out of the bullpen early in his career. He may wind up being a real electric arm out of the pen, or as he develops he could end up being a starter as well. He has really good stuff, and has some athleticism. Any time we can sign guys in the state of South Carolina that we feel can make an impact, we try to do so."
Blake Butler - IF, 6-3, 190, R/R, Southeast Guilford, Pleasant Garden, N.C.
Butler comes to College of Charleston from Southeast Guilford High School in Pleasant Garden, N.C. Last season, Butler batted .414 and drove in 39 runs as an infielder with power. Butler has played summer ball with the Heat Showcase, one of the premier programs in North Carolina. Butler was ranked fifth in the state of North Carolina by MaxPreps.
Lee on Butler: "Butler is an infielder that can play second or third base. He has a really good glove. He knows how to handle the bat and can run. He's an outstanding athlete and we're excited about the versatility he brings to the table."
Robert Harris - RHP, 6-2, 200, L/R, Woodland HS, Marietta, Ga.
Last season, as a high school junior, Harris was named to the 7-AAAA All-Region First Team as an infielder. He led his squad in hits (45), RBIs (42), doubles (11), and home runs (8), while batting .489 with an .870 slugging percentage. Playing for the East Cobb Braves in travel ball, Harris helped his squad to a 49-14 record, advancing to the Final 16 of the Perfect Game BCS and the Final 32 of the 18-under WWBA.
Lee on Harris: "Harris played in the East Cobb program which is one of the best travel ball programs in the country. He is a strike-throwing right-handed pitcher. He pitches in the upper 80's into the low 90's. We feel like he can step in and compete for a weekend spot right away. We are really excited about signing Robert Harris."
Shaun Herbert - RHP, 6-4, 180, R/R, Vernon HS, Vernon, Fla.
Herbert is a pitcher from Vernon High School in Vernon, Fla. He played summer ball for the Pensacola Pirates in 2011 where he posted a 1-0 record in 9.0 IP in three games. Herbert posted a 3.11 ERA, and struck out nine batters for the Pirates.
Lee on Herbert: "He's another big pitcher who pitches in the upper 80's. He's a guy who we think is extremely projectable. He's going to get stronger and stronger, and could be a low 90's guy by his freshman or sophomore year. He's a guy that could get some pro interest."
Nathan Helvey - RHP, 6-5, 210, R/R, Fort Mill HS, Fort Mill, S.C.
A right-handed pitcher out of Fort Mill, S.C., Helvey was a 2011 Perfect Game USA Preseason Underclassman All-American Honorable Mention. Ranked as the fourth-best righty in the state of South Carolina by The Diamond Prospects, Helvey played for the South Charlotte Panthers during the summer where he tied the organization's record for career wins with 17. Last season, Helvey helped the Fort Mill Yellowjackets to a record of 16-8.
Lee on Helvey: "Helvey is a very tall, big projectable right-handed pitcher. He played for a highly successful program with the South Charlotte Panthers this summer and in the fall. We feel like he can turn into a power starting pitcher for us. We expect big things out of Helvey."
Martin Koon - 1B, 6-1, 240, R/R, Wilkes Central, Wilkesboro, N.C.
Koon led the Wilkes Central Eagles to a 22-3 record and a second-consecutive Mountain Valley conference championship in 2011 while boasting a batting average of .451, a slugging percentage of .972 and 40 RBIs. Koon played alongside new Cougar teammate Butler with the Heat Showcase team.
Lee on Koon: "Koon is a big, physical right-handed power hitter. Koon also plays with the Heat Showcase team and hits for some power. We like power bats and we're going to lose some after next year, so we feel like Koon can come in and potentially provide some thump from the right side."
Robert Landers - LHP, 6-2, 202, L/L, Spartanburg Methodist, Greenville, S.C.
Landers comes to College of Charleston from Spartanburg Methodist Junior College, one of the premier junior colleges in South Carolina. Originally from Greenville, S.C., and J.L. Mann High School, Landers went to Furman in 2011 before transferring to Spartanburg Methodist. While at Furman, Landers made four appearances and picked up a win in five innings of work. In 2010, Landers was picked as the third-best lefty prospect in South Carolina by The Diamond Prospects.
Lee on Landers: "Landers is going to be a weekend starter for the Pioneers this year and if he's pitching on the weekends for them, then he's got to be pretty good. Spartanburg Methodist is one of the best junior colleges in the whole country. Landers provides an immediate need for us on the left-handed side. We're not very deep in left-handed pitching so we feel like he can step in and be a starter for us."
Alex Pastorius - OF, 5-11, 175, R/R, Calvert Hall, Forest Hill, Md.
Pastorius hails from Forest Hill, Md., where he attends Calvert Hall College High School, one of the region's top programs. Pastorius is a 2012 MSABC Preseason All-State selection for Calvert Hall. He played summer ball for the Delmarva Canes.
Lee on Pastorius: "We are extremely excited about Pastorius coming in, especially with the graduation of Marty Gantt. Pastorius plays with the highly touted Canes program out of the Delmarva area around D.C. and Delaware. Pastorius is a very highly touted player who is a center fielder that can run and hit for some power. He's a guy that we feel like can step in and play for us right away."
Ronald Pena - RHP, 6-3, 201, R/R, Palm Beach State College, West Palm Beach, Fla.
After signing with and playing for the Cougars in 2011, Pena transferred to Palm Beach State College for the 2012 season. He has re-signed with College of Charleston to return after this year. Pena made two appearances and allowed three runs over 1.2 innings last year for CofC. At John Leonard High School, Pena was named second team all-conference, while also playing for the Diamond Vision Elite summer team.
Lee on Pena: "A young man that is coming back to us is Pena. He was here as a freshman and transferred to a junior college. Pena was a very strong arm as a right-handed pitcher when he got here, but had some rawness. He went to a junior college to gain some experience and has really developed physically. He's pitching in the low to mid-90's. Pena will be a potential weekend starter for us."
Carl Wise - SS, 6-0, 175, R/R, White Knoll HS, Columbia, S.C.
Hailing from Columbia, S.C., Wise helped White Knoll High School to a Region V AAAA championship last season and a SC AAAA state championship in 2010. The Diamond Prospects rated him second in South Carolina among all shortstops, while the High School Sports Report named him to the 2011 All-State baseball team.
Lee on Wise: "We feel like Carl may be one of the best hitters, if not the best, in South Carolina in the 2012 class. He has a strong, physical right-handed bat. He will hit for average and can hit for some power without striking out much. Position-wise, he can play shortstop, second or third base. We are not sure yet what position we will put him at, but his bat will come to play very early on and he will find a way on to the field for us."
Lorenzo Wright - OF, 5-10, 170, R/R, Ashley Ridge HS, Summerville, S.C.
A local outfielder who plays at nearby Ashley Ridge High School, Wright scored 27 runs and stole eight bases in 2011. Wright was a member of the 2010 USSSA 16u national team that won a gold medal in international competition. He was a 2010 All-Region and 2010 All-Lowcountry selection who has proven his speed on the base paths with 32 stolen bases for his career, while earning an eighth-place ranking for outfielders in S.C. by The Diamond Prospects.
Lee on Wright: "Lorenzo is a speedy outfielder who can run. He can steal bases and is a good defender in the outfield. He plays for Stan Kowalski in the summer (at the Charleston Baseball Academy) and at Ashley Ridge High School which is a great program. They have a number of Division I players in that program. We're excited about getting a local talent in Wright."