College of Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee announced the signing of nine student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2012 season.
The signees are shortstop Bradley Goodson (Jacksonville, Fla.), right-handed pitcher Brandon Landrie (Spartanburg, S.C.), shortstop Gunnar Heidt (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), first baseman Tyler Jackson (Bishopville, S.C.), left-handed pitcher Ryan Crowley (Chicago, Ill.), catcher Ryan Welke (Tallahassee, Fla.), infielder Morgan Phillips (New York, N.Y.), right-handed pitcher Derek Smith (Lexington, S.C.) and right-handed pitcher Taylor Alvarez (Chapin, S.C.)
The class is made up of five position players and four pitchers. Five are junior college players while four are high school athletes.
Prior to attending Central Florida CC, Goodson, a 6-1 shortstop, attended Providence High School where he was named the FHSAA District 2A Player of the Year. The Jacksonville, Fla. native was selected to the Northeast Florida Junior All-Star Team in 2008 after his team won the Florida State Championship. Goodson hit over .330 in his high school career and holds the Providence school record for RBI, home runs and doubles. He was selected to the Mid-Florida All-Conference team last season at Central Florida.
"Bradley's one of the better defensive shortstops in junior college baseball," said head baseball coach Monte Lee, who begins his third year at the helm of the Cougars. "We felt he was one of the top shortstops in the state of Florida, which has become a hotbed for our recruiting. Aside from his tremendous defensive skills, Goodson is turning into a good hitter."
Landrie, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher, attends Spartanburg High School and is the fourth-ranked right-handed pitcher in the state according to DiamondProspects.com.
"Landrie is a big, physical pitcher with a power arm. He throws in the low 90s and has a great breaking ball. He's a good competitor and plays under former Charleston assistant coach Tom Myers up in Spartanburg."
In three years at St. James High School, Heidt has a .473 batting average with 39 runs and 37 RBI. Heidt was a member of the 2010 AAA All-State Baseball team as well as the VII-AAA All-Region team. His HS team was District VII champions and Lower State Runner-up in 2009 after finishing the season with the most wins in school history. He earned a spot on the Gold Glove team, as well as the All-DP team. St. James repeated as District champions in 2010. He was also a member of the Diamond Devils that won the 2010 Wood Bat World Series.
"Gunnar's a great in-state kid for us. He's a very good defender and plays on a talented high school team, as well as the South Carolina Diamond Devils, which is one of the premier travel ball programs in the nation."
Jackson, in his first season at Spartanburg Methodist in 2010, carried a .374 batting average and posted 41 runs, 41 RBI and eight home runs.
"Tyler's a good left-handed hitter. We've been recruiting him for a while and we're looking for him to be a middle of the order type bat and drive in a lot of runs."
Crowley, a 6-3 left-handed pitcher, threw in 16 games in 2010 and had a 9-3 record at Northwest Florida State Junior College. In 75 innings, he carried a 5.64 ERA with 72 strikeouts and just 24 walks. He led the team in strikeouts and was in the top five in ERA last season. He was selected out of high school in the 36th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by Chicago White Sox.
"Ryan's been on the top of our list and we signed him looking for him to be a weekend starter for us. He drew a lot of interest from other schools. He's a crafty left-hander and we expect him to do great things for us."
A Four-year letter winner at Rickards High School, the 6-4 Welke was a three-time All-State honorable mention. Welke led Rickards to the school's first District 2-4A title in 17 years and was named the District 2-4A Player of the Year, the All-Big Ben Player of the Year and was a 2008 and 2009 First Team All-State and All-Big Ben selection. For his high school career he was a .370 hitter with 16 HR and 82 RBI. He is a teammate of Crowley at Northwest Florida State Junior College this season.
"Ryan's a big, physical catcher who knows the game well. He's intelligent behind the plate and has good catching/throwing skills. He has the potential to be a power hitter as well."
In 2009 Phillips, a 6-1 infielder, was invited to attend the People To People Ambassador International Baseball Tournament. He played summer AAU baseball with The New York Power House New York 9 and played three seasons at Frederick Douglass Academy. His junior year he had a .273 batting average with 11 runs and nine RBI.
"Phillips is extremely athletic and has the potential to be a high draft pick in a few years. He can play short, third or centerfield. He is a very athletic player and has the potential to hit for power as well."
Smith, a 5-7 right-handed pitcher, played at Lexington High School and most recently at Erskine. In 2010, he pitched in 22 games, and sported a 5-2 record with 63 strikeouts in 49.1 innings of work. He'll spend the 2011 season at USC Lancaster. Smith played for the Columbia Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League in the summer of 2010. He appeared in 22 games and had four saves and sported a 4-1 record. In 42.0 innings of work Smith struck out 51 and only had 17 walks fir a 1.29 ERA.
"Derek is a bulldog reliever, closer type. He's a strong, physical pitcher with a power arm that can throw in the low to mid-90s."
Alvarez, a 6-3 right-handed pitcher, played for a Diamond Devils summer team that won the 2010 Wood Bat World Series. He threw 55.3 innings in 2010 for Chapin High School and gave up only 23 runs for a 2.91 ERA. He had seven wins and struck out 57. Ranked the fifth best right-handed pitcher in the state by DiamonProspects.com, Alvarez was also invited to play for the South Carolina team in the South Atlantic Border Battle.
"Taylor is an extremely good student with a lot of projection. He's a tall, physical pitcher with a chance to become a weekend starter. He has a good sinking fastball that he can throw in the upper 80s and has a chance to throw harder as he physically develops."
College of Charleston Baseball Signees
Name - Pos. - Hometown / Previous School (s)
Bradley Goodson - SS - Jacksonville, Fla. / Central Florida JC
Brandon Landrie - RHP - Spartanburg, S.C. / Spartanburg HS
Gunnar Heidt - SS - Myrtle Beach, S.C. / St. James HS
Tyler Jackson - 1B - Bishopville, S.C. / Spartanburg Methodist
Ryan Crowley - LHP - Chicago, Ill. / Northwest Florida State JC
Ryan Welke - C - Tallahassee, Fla. / Auburn / Northwest Florida State JC
Morgan Phillips - IF - New York, N.Y. / Frederick Douglass Academy
Derek Smith - RHP - Lexington, S.C. / Erskine / USC Lancaster
Taylor Alvarez - RHP - Chapin, S.C. / Chapin HS