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Baseball Signs Nine Prep Stars to NLIs

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Nov. 14, 2012


WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball head coach Steve Smith announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. The class is comprised entirely of current high school athletes, seven of whom are from Texas.

“I am extremely excited about this class. It is a very athletic group with good size and versatility,” Smith said. “These young men are all strong students and will be good representatives of Baylor University on and off the field. Steve Johnigan and Trevor Mote have done a great job putting this group together.”

The following will join Baylor's baseball program in the fall of 2013: LHP Daniel Castano (Lake Travis, Texas; Lake Travis HS), C/1B/OF Aaron Dodson (Cypress, Texas; Cy-Fair HS), 1B/LHP Kameron Esthay (Moss Bluff, La.; Sam Houston HS), RHP/INF Nick Lewis (Flower Mound, Texas; Marcus HS), INF Steven McLean (Los Altos, Calif.; Los Altos HS), RHP Kyle Ott (Galveston, Texas; Ball HS), RHP Josh Pettitte (Deer Park, Texas; Deer Park HS), OF Darryn Sheppard (Sugar Land, Texas; Dulles HS) and 1B/RHP Case Smith (Waco, Texas; Midway HS).

Four of the Baylor signees are ranked among the top 500 nationally by Perfect Game, including a national top 105 recruit in Sheppard. Sheppard, an outfielder from Sugar Land, Texas, is ranked as the 14th best player in Texas and the No. 4 outfielder in the state by Perfect Game. Sheppard hit .400 with seven home runs and a .510 on-base percentage as a junior at Dulles High School.

Besides Sheppard, three others are rated in Texas: Ott is 62nd, Castano is 66th and Pettitte at 99th. Ott was a first-team 24-4A all-county selection in 2012 after going 7-2, with a 1.39 ERA at Ball High School in Galveston. Castano is the 11th-ranked LHP prospect in Texas and struck out 84 in 66.2 innings as a junior. Pettitte, the son of 17-year MLB veteran and five-time World Series champion, Andy Pettitte, helped lead Deer Park High School to a 32-2 record last season, earning second-team 22-5A all-district honors.

Dodson hit .305 last year at Cy-Fair High School and was selected to play in the 2012 HABCA All-Star game. Esthay, from Moss Bluff, La., was a Louisiana 5A all-state selection for Brad Book and Sam Houston High School.

The 6-2 Lewis is seen as a right-handed pitcher and middle infielder at Baylor. McLean was a first-team all-league selection out of Los Altos HS in Calif. after batting .372 during junior campaign. Case Smith, the son of BU coach Steve Smith, missed most of his junior season at Midway High School due to injury, but Smith hit .358 with 11 RBI over the summer with the Dallas DBAT Mustangs.

Baylor opens its 2013 season Feb. 15-17, with a three-game road series vs. UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif.

BAYLOR BASEBALL 2012 FALL SIGNING CLASS
POS. HT. WT. B-T HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)
Daniel Castano LHP 6-4 215 L-L Lake Travis, Texas (Lake Travis HS)
Aaron Dodson C/1B/OF 6-3 200 S-R Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair HS)
Kameron Esthay 1B/LHP 6-1 210 L-L Moss Bluff, La. (Sam Houston HS)
Nick Lewis RHP/INF 6-2 180 R-R Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus HS)
Steven McLean INF 5-9 175 R-R Los Altos, Calif. (Los Altos HS)
Kyle Ott RHP 6-1 180 R-R Galveston, Texas (Ball HS)
Josh Pettitte RHP 6-1 190 R-R Deer Park, Texas (Deer Park HS)
Darryn Sheppard OF 6-2 185 R-R Sugar Land, Texas (Dulles HS)
Case Smith 1B/RHP 6-3 210 R-R Waco, Texas (Midway HS)

DANIEL CASTANO
LHP - 6-4, 215 - Lake Travis, Texas - L-L - (Lake Travis HS)

• Parents are Alex and Angela Castano
• Plays for head coach Roy Kinnan at Lake Travis High School
• Top 500 recruit by Perfect Game; 48th-best LHP nationally
• Ranked No. 66 overall in Texas and No. 11 LHP in state by Perfect Game
• Second-team 25-4A all-district as both a sophomore and junior
• Threw a no-hitter in District 4A playoff series vs. Crockett, striking out eight and walking just two
• Dad, Alex, played football at Rice
• Played summer ball for the Austin Wings, winning national championship sophomore and junior seasons
• Kinnan on Castano: “Daniel has been a major part of our success the last two years. He will be a third-year starting pitcher for us & is a quality young man. We are expecting another great year from Daniel & he has set some major goals for himself. He takes a leadership role for us in the Lake Travis baseball program.”
2012 high school stats:
8-2, 1.82 ERA, 84 K, 14 BB, 66.2 IP

AARON DODSON
C/1B/OF - 6-3, 200 - S-R - Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair HS)

• Parents are Chris and Robin Dodson
• Plays for head coach Woody Champagne at Cy-Fair High School
• Selected to play in the 2012 HABCA All-Star game (Houston Area Baseball Coaches Assoc.)
• Six-time honor roll selection at Cy-Fair
• Played summer ball for Kyle Chapman Baseball Club, for Mike Rutledge, alongside fellow Baylor signee Kyle Ott
• Dad, Chris, played soccer at Tulsa
• Champagne on Dodson: “Baylor is getting a good high school player and a great young man.”
2012 high school stats:
.305 AVG, 7 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, .994 FLD% 2012 summer league stats: .315 AVG, 14 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 25 RBI

KAMERON ESTHAY
1B/LHP - 6-1, 210 - L-L - Moss Bluff, La. (Sam Houston HS)

• Parents are Debbie and Karl Esthay
• Plays for head coach Brad Book at Sam Houston High School
• 2012 honorable mention Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American
• Louisiana 5-A all-state as a junior
• All-Southwest Louisiana as a junior
• First-team 3-5A all-district as a junior
• Honorable mention 3-5A all-district as a sophomore
• Played summer ball for head coach Chad Raley and the Marucci Elite 17’s
• Plays fall ball for head coach Chris Fackler and the GTB Gray’s
• Fackler on Esthay: “Kameron projects very well as a consistent hitter in major D1 baseball. A quiet swing, with impressive power, the ball explodes off his bat. He will hit to all fields. Kameron has always been open to coaching and is a loyal, hard working player, a credit to his high school coaches and parents. Baylor is definitely getting another solid left handed hitter who I think will impact the line-up rather quickly.”
2012 high school stats:
   .320 AVG, 7 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 3 SB, .988 FLD%
   8-0, 1.16 ERA, 52 K, 17 BB, 54.1 IP

NICK LEWIS
RHP/INF - 6-2, 180 - R-R - Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus HS)

• Parents are Jay and Wendy Lewis
• Plays for head coach Jeff Sherman at Marcus High School
• Honorable mention district 5-5A as a junior
• Played summer ball for head coach Randy Thorpe and the Dallas Dodgers
• Sherman on Lewis: “Marcus HS baseball is blessed and honored to have Nick a part of our program. He possesses many leadership qualities and serves his teammates. Nick is very talented on the baseball field with four quality pitches on the mound and is a great shortstop that will hit in the middle of our lineup. Baylor University is getting a great young man.”
2012 high school stats:
   .270 AVG, 8 2B, 4 3B, 17 RBI

STEVE MCLEAN
INF - 5-9, 175 - R-R - Los Altos, Calif. (Los Altos HS)

• Parents are Todd and Lisa McLean
• Plays for head coach Sandy Wihtol at Los Altos High School
• All-tournament team at 2011 California Club Baseball 18U Invitational
• All-tournament team at 2011 Bay Area World Series
• First-team all-league (Santa Clara Valley Athletic League – De Anza Division) as a junior
• Second-team all-league (Santa Clara Valley Athletic League – De Anza Division) as a sophomore
• Central Coast Section honorable mention as a sophomore
• 2012 honorable mention Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American
• Played summer ball for head coach Erick Raich and California Club Baseball
• Member of the National Society of High School Scholars and California Scholastic Federation
• Wihtol on McLean: “Having played professionally myself and seeing a lot of very good ball players along my journey, I see Steven as a player who has the kind of tools similar to the Houston Astros Craig Biggio. During Steven’s four seasons for me as a varsity starter, I could put him at most any position and he would play it as if he was always there. With his agility, quickness, arm strength and talents at the plate, he will give Baylor University some exciting and productive seasons during his college career.”
2012 high school stats:
   .372 AVG, 12 2B, 8 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 16 SB

KYLE OTT
RHP - 6-1, 180 - R-R - Galveston, Texas (Ball HS)

• Parents are Craig and Sheila Ott
• Plays for head coach Steve Hecker at Ball High School
• Top 500 recruit by Perfect Game
• Ranked No. 62 overall in Texas and No. 36 RHP in state by Perfect Game
• 2012 honorable mention Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American
• First-team 24-4A all-county as a junior
• First-team 24-4A all-district as a junior
• 24-4A all-county honorable mention freshman and sophomore seasons.
• 2012 Ball HS Baseball MVP
• Participated in Texas Scouts Association annual workout at Minute Maid Park in Houston
• Selected to play in the 2012 HABCA All-Star game (Houston Area Baseball Coaches Assoc.)
• Played summer ball for Kyle Chapman Baseball Club, for Mike Rutledge, alongside fellow Baylor signee Aaron Dodson
• Hecker on Ott: “Kyle Ott is a special player whose intelligence, personality, and incredible work ethic will ensure success in all he does. I am very excited for his opportunity to continue his education and baseball career at Baylor University.”
2012 high school stats:
    7-2, 6 SV, 1.39 ERA, 68 K, 21 BB, 55.0 IP
   .359 AVG, 6 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 12 SB, .980 FLD%

JOSH PETTITTE
RHP - 6-1, 190 - R-R - Deer Park, Texas (Deer Park HS)

• Parents are Andy and Laura Pettitte
• Plays for head coach Chris Rupp at Deer Park High School
• Top 500 recruit by Perfect Game
• Ranked No. 99 overall in Texas by Perfect Game
• Led Deer Park HS to a 32-2 record during junior season
• Second-team 22-5A all-district as junior
• Played summer ball for head coach Tim Price and the Houston Heat
• Dad, Andy, is a 17-year MLB veteran and five-time World Series champion
• Rupp on Pettitte: “Josh knows how to pitch. He has a great presence on the mound and command of three pitches. He is a good student with a good work ethic and will only continue to get better. Josh is very coachable and will be a good college pitcher.”
2012 high school stats:
   4-0, 0.89 ERA, 32 K, 6 BB, 23.0 IP

DARRYN SHEPPARD
OF - 6-2, 185 - R-R - Sugar Land, Texas (Dulles HS)

• Parents are David and Darlene Sheppard
• Plays for head coach Clinton Welch at Dulles High School
• Ranked No. 44 on ESPN’s Super 60
• Ranked No. 105 recruit in the nation in 2013 rankings by Perfect Game
• Ranked No. 14 overall in Texas and No. 4 OF in state by Perfect Game
• 2012 first-team Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American
• 2012 Fort Bend Sun Player of the Year
• First-team 23-5A all-district as a junior
• First-team all-Houston area during junior season
• Led District 23-5A in extra base hits (20), home runs (seven) and was second in RBI (33) in 2012
• Honorable mention 5A all-state as a junior
• 2011 second-team Perfect Game Underclass Preseason All-American
• Played summer ball for head coach Ray DeLeon and the Houston Banditos Black
• Welch on Sheppard: “Darryn has a unique skill set that is highlighted by tremendous bat speed and a strong work ethic. Defensively, he has excellent range in the outfield due to superior jumps and taking correct angles. Finally, he is a smart base runner with great instincts. Add in the fact that he is an outstanding student, Baylor is getting a high potential prospect who will also excel academically.”
2012 high school stats:
   .400 AVG, 14 2B, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 12 SB, .699 SLG%, .510 OB%

CASE SMITH
1B/RHP - 6-3, 210 - R-R - Waco, Texas (Midway HS)

• Parents are Steve and Melinda Smith
• Plays first base and pitches for head coach Paul Offill at Midway High School
• Missed most of 2012 HS season with arm injury
• Two-time recipient of the Midway HS Jackie Robinson Panther Pride Leadership Award
• Dad, Steve, is head baseball coach at Baylor, while brother, Ryan, is a sophomore pitcher for the Bears
• Played summer ball for head coach Zack Randle and the Dallas DBAT Mustangs
• Offill on Smith: “Case Smith is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached. His work ethic is outstanding and it has helped him succeed on the field. He has, and will continue to, be a major part of our team this year both on the mound and at the plate. He is a leader by example and his mental preparation and toughness are what sets him apart from other high school players. I’m very proud of him and I’m excited to see him continue his baseball career at Baylor University.”
2012 summer stats:
    .358 AVG, 4 2B, 11 RBI


 

 

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