Jan. 15, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Fourth-year head baseball coach Tom Walter has announced that Wake Forest has signed 12 players for the fall of 2013.
The 12 players who will be joining the Demon Deacon family include Ben Breazeale, Will Craig, Parker Dunshee, Chris Farish, Parker Johnson, Connor Johnstone, Dylan Manwaring, John McCarren, Nate Mondou, Alex Murphy, Zach Piazza and Jonathan Pryor.
"We are thrilled with this class. Coach Dennis Healy and coach Bill Cilento have done a fantastic job scouring the country to find young men who are a great fit for our program athletically, academically and personally. I can't thank them enough for the countless hours on the road and the time spent away from their young families. Their dedication and passion is very much appreciated," said Walter. "Each one of these players will be a great teammate and each one of these players will have a significant role in take Wake Forest baseball to the next level. With the addition of these young men, the future of Demon Deacon baseball has never been brighter."
McCarren, Johnstone, Farish and Johnson are all right-handed pitchers who will focus primarily on the mound, while Manwaring, Craig and Dunshee are also right-handed arms who will be two-way players for the Deacs.
Breazeale and Murphy are both catches, as Murphy can also play third base or the outfield. Piazza is an infielder, Pryor is an outfielder and Mondou can play in the infield or outfield.
In addition Mondou, Breazeale and Pryor all provide left-handed bats in the lineup.
Wake Forest's 2013 Baseball Recruiting Class
Louisville, Tenn./Pigeon Forge HS
Walter on Breazeale
"Ben has a great chance to come in and be our opening day starter behind the plate. He projects to be a middle of the order left-handed bat by his sophomore or junior year. As a freshman he will see considerable time and is already solid defensively. He will develop very quickly in our program."
Named 2010 Rookie of the Year in District 4AAA in Tennessee ... Selected All-District and All-Region in 2011 and 2012 ... Picked to the Super Sophomore Team in 2011 in Region 1 ... Was the District TN 4AAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... Was an East Coast Pro Showcase selection in Region 2 by the Oakland Athletics ... Ranked #500 by Perfect Game.
Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill HS
Walter on Craig
"We are thrilled Will decided on Wake Forest. He is a legitimate two-way player. Offensively he has plus power and a good fundamental approach at the plate. Defensively, he has great feel around the bag at first and can kick over to third. On the mound, he is a low 90s guy with an above-average slide and good command. He will be a major factor in our program immediately."
Three-time All-Conference selection and was named Big 8 Conference Player of the Year in 2012 ... Named the Super 22 Player of the Year and was a three-time Super 22 Team selection by the Johnson City Press ... Named Louisville Slugger High School All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper ... Played in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. (2011, 2012) ... Selected to the Perfect Game WWBA 18U All-Tournament Team ... Three-time All-Region Team as selected by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association ... Ranked #356 by Perfect Game.
Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville Community HS
Walter on Dunshee
"Parker is a great athlete from a premier school in Indiana. He has been a three-sport guy with success in all three sports. Once he dedicates his time to baseball, there is no telling how good he can be. The work ethic and intangibles are off the charts, so the sky is the limit."
Has earned seven varsity letters to date, including three in football, two in baseball and two in basketball ... Was an All-Conference quarterback and earned Academic All-State honors as a senior ... Holds seven passing records at Zionsville Community H.S. ... Two-time All-Conference selection in baseball ... Named ZCHS Varsity Pitcher of the Year as a junior ... Selected as member of Indianapolis Star's SuperTeam and to the All-Metro North Team.
Houston, Texas/St. John's HS
Walter on Farish
"Chris is a high profile right hander with tremendous upside. He is a low-90s guy already with above average secondary stuff and room for growth. Once he gets committed to a lifting and throwing program he will be a monster.
Was a finalist for the Texas Rangers Area Code Team ... Four-year starter for St. John's High School ... Named team MVP and All-SPC as a junior ... Struck out 51 batters and posted a 1.02 ERA in 41 innings as a junior ... Also hit .368 with nine doubles and 31 runs scored ... Attended Perfect Game National in Metrodome ... Pitched in Texas Scouts Association Game at Minute Maid Park.
Arden, N.C./T.C. Roberson HS
Walter on Johnson
"Parker is a two-way player who can help us in multiple areas. He is a bulldog on the mound with a plus breaking pitch. On the other side of the ball, he can help us behind the plate and with his bat. Furthermore, he is a first-class young man who makes us better off the field and in the clubhouse."
Named All-MAC in 2011 & 2012 ... 2012 WWBA All-Tournament Player ... Selected as Team MVP and as Defensive MVP in 2011 for T.C. Roberson HS ... Ranked #402 by Perfect Game.
Roswell, Ga./Roswell HS
Walter on Johnstone
"Connor possesses above average command of three pitches. Right now he is 88-90 and has plus pitchability. He will step right in and pitch in our top six immediately. As he matures physically, his velocity will increase as will his potential to be a Friday-night starter."
Named to the 2012 Georgia Sunbelt Team (Top 20 in Georgia) ... Perfect Game National Participant and ranked in the Top 500 nationally ... Named First Team All-Region as a pitcher in 2012 with a 1.97 ERA ... Selected to the Georgia Dugout Club All-Tournament Team and also earned Player of the Week honors ... Named a Top 100 underclassmen in 2011 and 2012 in the state of Georgia ... 2011 Prospectwire Underclass All-American Games participant ... 2011 Perfect Game National Underclass Invitee ... 2010 Perfect Game National Champion WWBA 643 DP Cougars.
Horseheads, N.Y./Horseheads HS
Walter on Manwaring
"Dylan is a high-profile athlete with an above-average arm, glove and game awareness. His bat will be a middle-of-the-order type bat for years to come. On the mound he is 90-92 with an above-average slider. We are very fortunate to have Dylan coming into the program, and we expect big things from him as a freshman."
Three-time All-Conference selection ... Member of the varsity baseball team since eighth grade ... Two-time All-State selection ... Member of the Northeast Area Code Team and East Coast Pro Team ... Ranked 99th in the nation by Perfect Game.
Manasquan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy
Walter on McCarren
John is a lanky right-handed pitcher with a great feel for pitching and a tremendous upside. Right now he is in the upper 80s with plus secondary stuff. We believe that John is the steal of the class and look forward to his arrival on campus."
Posted a 7-1 record as a junior ... Named New Jersey Star Ledger All-Monmouth County Team ... Selected to the All-Tournament Teams at the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA 17U Tournament, the Perfect Game 17U World Series and the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA World Championship ... Named Perfect Game USA Preseason HS Underclassmen All-America Honorable Mention.
Lake Tapps, Wash./Charles Wright Academy
Walter on Mondou
"Nate brings us a hitter first and foremost. He won't have the prettiest swing on the team and he won't be the best athlete, but when you need a hit he's the guy you want at the plate. He is a left-handed hitter with gap-to-gap power and great strike zone awareness. Defensively, he can play second base and left field. He'll be in the lineup from his first day on campus through graduation."
Through his junior year, hit .544 (99-for-182), drove in 92 runs and struck out just five times ... Two-time First Team All-League and All-Area selection ... Hit .639 as a sophomore, including a stretch of 16 straight hits in 16 consecutive plate appearances ... Ranked #348 by Perfect Game ... Named 17U PG World Series Louisville Slugger MLB Prime Nine (most hits in entire tournament) and Perfect Game World Series All-Tournament Team ... Participated at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. ... Under Armour Preseason All-America Tournament participant ... Selected to All-Tournament Team at Perfect Game WWBA World Championship ... Member of USA Baseball's U14 National Team that won the Gold Medal in Portoviejo, Ecuador.
Monrovia, Md./Calvert Hall
Walter on Murphy
"Alex is the best pure bat in this class. He will hit third or fourth as a freshman and be an all-conference type hitter early in his career. Not only is he a good runner for his size, but he hits for power and average. Defensively, he can catch, play third base and kick out to the outfield if need be. Alex is the definition of "ballplayer." He is a gamer who comes to play every day."
Two time All-MIAA selection ... Named First Team All-Metro in 2012 ... Currently ranks second in Calvert Hall career home runs with 18 ... Has hit .435 through his junior season with 97 RBIs and 92 runs scored ... Has also amassed 22 stolen bases ... Ranked #333 by Perfect Game.
Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown HS
Walter on Piazza
"Zach is a utility-type player who has an outstanding bat. He is a very good athlete who provides us with some versatility and toughness that we have lacked. Most importantly, he is a winner and brings that winner's mentality to our clubhouse."
Was named the top hitter in the Perfect Game WWBA 16U National Tournament (208 teams) ... ESPN Preseason All-State & All-American in 2012 and 2013 ... Named First Team All-County and First Team All-Conference ... Perfect Game WWBA National Tournament 18U & 17U All-Tournament Team ... Two-year starting quarterback for the football team ... Led team to state finals in football in 2012.
Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy
Walter on Pryor
"Jonathan projects to be a premium left-handed bat. We feel like he will be able to step in and make an immediate impact from an offensive standpoint. Our park is made for his swing. Furthermore, he is a quality corner outfielder and a good athlete."
Named Offensive Player of the Year at Woodward as a sophomore and junior ... Earned Perfect Game Preseason High School All-American honors ... Ranked in the Top 500 by Perfect Game ... Attended 2012 Perfect Game Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn. ... Two-time region champion and state semifinalist in high school ... As a junior, hit .466 with 15 doubles, three triples and seven home runs.