All Things Gopher Baseball

Goldy Gopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Eddie Estrada, 2015 LHH SS/C from Litchfield Sr, commits to U. of Minnesota
<a href="http://t.co/vOZqgbEtoG">http://t.co/vOZqgbEtoG</a>
<a href="https://twitter.com/Lilchise38">@Lilchise38</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/EddieEstrada38">@EddieEstrada38</a></p>— PBR Minnesota (@PBRMinnesota) <a href="https://twitter.com/PBRMinnesota/statuses/479365108267642880">June 18, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Looks like the Gophers have landed what I believe is their first 2015 commit in Litchfield's Eddie Estrada. Estrada had actually committed to Illinois last summer but it looks like he changed his mind and decided to stay closer to home according to this article http://www.independentreview.net/news/sports/estrada-verbally-commits-to-gophers/article_69f15abb-f222-5f92-8ccd-fd90e02844f9.html

The Gophers should have around 8-11 roster spots to fill with the 2015 class and I believe the consensus top prospect in the state is still uncommitted in Red Wing P/3B Ty Buck although I'm sure he has no shortage of suitors I just hope this one turns out better for the Gophers than the past two great baseball prospects out of Red Wing have. Another in-state prospect that I wouldn't be surprised to see the Gophers go after is 6'11 RHP Sean Hjelle of Mahtomedi. I'm sure there are many more in-state prospects as well that I haven't looked into yet and I wouldn't be surprised with a JUCO player or two being in this recruiting class as well.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Cole McDevitt <a href="https://twitter.com/colemcdevitt">@colemcdevitt</a> , 2015 RHH C from Eastview HS , commits to U. of Minnesota</p>— PBR Minnesota (@PBRMinnesota) <a href="https://twitter.com/PBRMinnesota/statuses/480019907162025985">June 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Gophers land another commit today in Eastview's Cole McDevitt. Cole does have family ties to the program as his brother Ty is a pitcher for the Gophers. McDevitt's stats from mnbaseballhub this season show a .404 average with 2 homeruns in 16 games.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Not a surprise, and certainly can't blame him. Accomplish what he did in baseball at a Big Ten school and you're going to get noticed.
Agreed, I believe one of the things Smith said was he wanted to experience how the other half lives and see what its like when you don't have to deal with the northern climate. Some early names that have interest in the Indiana job are Cincinnati head coach Ty Neal, Louisville assistant Chris Lemonis, Maryland head coach John Szefc, Vanderbilt assistant Travis Jewitt, and Xavier head coach Scott Googins. The most surprising name to see on there for me was the Maryland head coach especially with them entering the Big Ten next season.
 

pharmacygopher

114 Row 11
Any chance football RB commit Rodney Smith plays baseball??

http://www.news-daily.com/news/2014/may/23/rodney-smith-named-top-baseball-player-in-region/

And his production was well noted by the other coaches in the region. Smith, a second baseman and shortstop, was named the Region 4-AAAAA Player of the Year by the region’s coaches this week.

He responded by hitting .587 with 27 runs scored in 23 games for the Tigers. In addition, he had 37 hits with 10 coming as doubles and four triples. Smith, was also 22 of 23 on stolen bases.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Any chance football RB commit Rodney Smith plays baseball??

http://www.news-daily.com/news/2014/may/23/rodney-smith-named-top-baseball-player-in-region/

And his production was well noted by the other coaches in the region. Smith, a second baseman and shortstop, was named the Region 4-AAAAA Player of the Year by the region’s coaches this week.

He responded by hitting .587 with 27 runs scored in 23 games for the Tigers. In addition, he had 37 hits with 10 coming as doubles and four triples. Smith, was also 22 of 23 on stolen bases.
Maybe but not sure there is any room on the roster and not sure Anderson would be willing to cut someone off to open a space for him. I would think it would be pretty important for him to be in spring football this season as a freshman and it would probably be a better chance to see him maybe play both in his 2nd year on campus. I would think if he planned to play both we would have heard some mention of it already though but who really knows.
 
Maybe but not sure there is any room on the roster and not sure Anderson would be willing to cut someone off to open a space for him. I would think it would be pretty important for him to be in spring football this season as a freshman and it would probably be a better chance to see him maybe play both in his 2nd year on campus. I would think if he planned to play both we would have heard some mention of it already though but who really knows.
I agree, doesn't have to play right away. Decker's 1st year on the diamond was his RS Sophomore season.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Congratulations to RHP Jake Stevenson (Waconia HS) on committing to University of Minnesota! <a href="https://twitter.com/JakeStevens1369">@JakeStevens1369</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/WaconiaLakers">@WaconiaLakers</a></p>— PBR Minnesota (@PBRMinnesota) <a href="https://twitter.com/PBRMinnesota/statuses/492038586376544256">July 23, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Looks like the Gopher baseball roster has been updated for 2014-2015 and there are a couple of openings left on it. Mark Tatera and Joey Brettingen are 2 guys who were on it and played last year and still have eligibility left but are not on there this year and I'm not exactly sure on the reason but I do believe Brettingen has had some injury problems. I wouldn't be surprised if one of those open spots is filled by pitcher Tim Shannon who is pitching in the Northwoods League this summer and was at the U of M as a student while recovering from surgery last year.
http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/minn-m-basebl-mtt.html
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>WI: No. 14 ranked 2015, LHP Nick Lackney <a href="https://twitter.com/NLackney">@NLackney</a> (Whitefish Bay), commits to Minnesota <a href="https://twitter.com/GopherBaseball">@GopherBaseball</a>. <a href="http://t.co/z675MNK4Iy">http://t.co/z675MNK4Iy</a></p>— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/prepbaseball/statuses/499656810110787584">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Looks like Lackney is about 6'5 175lbs and throws all four pitches (fastball, curve, slider, changeup) and his fastball sits in the mid 80's.
 

Sparlimb

Well-known member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>WI: No. 14 ranked 2015, LHP Nick Lackney <a href="https://twitter.com/NLackney">@NLackney</a> (Whitefish Bay), commits to Minnesota <a href="https://twitter.com/GopherBaseball">@GopherBaseball</a>. <a href="http://t.co/z675MNK4Iy">http://t.co/z675MNK4Iy</a></p>— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/prepbaseball/statuses/499656810110787584">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Looks like Lackney is about 6'5 175lbs and throws all four pitches (fastball, curve, slider, changeup) and his fastball sits in the mid 80's.
Now that I like to hear. Ever since the Baggers dumped baseball, Wisconsin had been fertile recruiting ground for Gophers.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>BREAKING NEWS: Sean Hjelle, RHP from Mahtomedi HS, commits to University of Kentucky!</p>— PBR Minnesota (@PBRMinnesota) <a href="https://twitter.com/PBRMinnesota/statuses/499968458554347520">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Was hoping the Gophers would be able to keep Hjelle at home but it always seems pretty hard for northern schools to do that when an SEC program comes calling. Hjelle is 6'11 and has been clocked at up to 89 mph, I believe he was one of the biggest risers over the summer and according to a recent interview with him in the Star Triune prep baseball report ranked him as the 28th best prospect in the country so I wouldn't be surprised if he is picked relatively early in the 2015 MLB draft and faced with the decision to head to college or sign with an MLB club.
 

beavergopher

Active member
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>BREAKING NEWS: Sean Hjelle, RHP from Mahtomedi HS, commits to University of Kentucky!</p>— PBR Minnesota (@PBRMinnesota) <a href="https://twitter.com/PBRMinnesota/statuses/499968458554347520">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Was hoping the Gophers would be able to keep Hjelle at home but it always seems pretty hard for northern schools to do that when an SEC program comes calling. Hjelle is 6'11 and has been clocked at up to 89 mph, I believe he was one of the biggest risers over the summer and according to a recent interview with him in the Star Triune prep baseball report ranked him as the 28th best prospect in the country so I wouldn't be surprised if he is picked relatively early in the 2015 MLB draft and faced with the decision to head to college or sign with an MLB club.
So much for that dream. Crap.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Looks like the rumor of Tim Shannon joining the team is official as he is now listed on the roster on gophersports.com as a redshirt Sophomore.


Also looks like the Gophers have added another commit for the 2015 class in Jordan Kozicky of Minneapolis Southwest.

 

Pocket Gopher

New member
Little insight on Kozicky. I've seen him play multiple times. Has a strong arm, but has limited range at shortstop. He lacks footwork, which may be due to poor coaching at Southwest. At the plate he is very raw. For example, I saw him play in a Legion sub-state tournament, his team started out playing a below-average team in Osseo and the pitcher wasn't the best, Kozicky went 3-4 with a dinger. The next two games they played teams with very poor pitching, Kozicky got a hit or two in each. But then, as they got deeper into the tournament they played a very good Hopkins Legion team. Hopkins threw a guy who was probably sitting mid 80s with some good offspeed stuff, this kid was maybe a future D2 pitcher at best... Kozicky went 0-3 with with 3 strikeouts as Hopkins won big. Not sure what the staff sees in him. Thought he'd be better off playing D2 or D3 baseball.

On Estrada, very good player. Extremely athletic and very strong. He can play multiple positions and hit for power. I think he'll come in a contribute right away. He'll probably move around a lot his first couple years as the staff tries to find the best spot for him. My guess is
catcher or a corner infield spot.

I've also seen Stevenson. He throws very hard (low 90s) but with no movement. I know he's working on developing some off-speed stuff, so hopefully that'll come. He is committed as a preferred walk-on, so the staff will be able to develop him without using scholarship money.

Overall, I'm disappointed in this class and the direction of Gopher baseball. With the new field, I think it's time for a change. I know Anderson has been here for a long time but the program has been mediocre at best during his tenure. His laziness when it comes to recruiting is hurting the program. Ryan Boldt wasn't contacted by the program until the summer after his Junior year, same with Nebraska pitcher Max Knutson, same with Hjelle, and again with Nebraska commit Angelo Altivilla. I don't understand why they wait so long to jump in and try and recruit some of the top prospects in the state. If Nebraska, or other schools, are getting commitments from Minnesota players before they are even contacted by the U something needs to change.
 

Pocket Gopher

New member
Not sure what happened with Tatera, but you're correct on Brettingen. Battled some wrist injures the last couple years, then had surgery to try and repair, heard it was unsuccessful. Too bad, he was the starting 3rd baseman last year 'til he reinjured his wrist.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Little insight on Kozicky. I've seen him play multiple times. Has a strong arm, but has limited range at shortstop. He lacks footwork, which may be due to poor coaching at Southwest. At the plate he is very raw. For example, I saw him play in a Legion sub-state tournament, his team started out playing a below-average team in Osseo and the pitcher wasn't the best, Kozicky went 3-4 with a dinger. The next two games they played teams with very poor pitching, Kozicky got a hit or two in each. But then, as they got deeper into the tournament they played a very good Hopkins Legion team. Hopkins threw a guy who was probably sitting mid 80s with some good offspeed stuff, this kid was maybe a future D2 pitcher at best... Kozicky went 0-3 with with 3 strikeouts as Hopkins won big. Not sure what the staff sees in him. Thought he'd be better off playing D2 or D3 baseball.

On Estrada, very good player. Extremely athletic and very strong. He can play multiple positions and hit for power. I think he'll come in a contribute right away. He'll probably move around a lot his first couple years as the staff tries to find the best spot for him. My guess is
catcher or a corner infield spot.

I've also seen Stevenson. He throws very hard (low 90s) but with no movement. I know he's working on developing some off-speed stuff, so hopefully that'll come. He is committed as a preferred walk-on, so the staff will be able to develop him without using scholarship money.

Overall, I'm disappointed in this class and the direction of Gopher baseball. With the new field, I think it's time for a change. I know Anderson has been here for a long time but the program has been mediocre at best during his tenure. His laziness when it comes to recruiting is hurting the program. Ryan Boldt wasn't contacted by the program until the summer after his Junior year, same with Nebraska pitcher Max Knutson, same with Hjelle, and again with Nebraska commit Angelo Altivilla. I don't understand why they wait so long to jump in and try and recruit some of the top prospects in the state. If Nebraska, or other schools, are getting commitments from Minnesota players before they are even contacted by the U something needs to change.
Thanks for the added insight on some of these recruits it is sometimes hard to find stuff on them or see them when I'm in Northern Minnesota. Have you heard anything on the recruitment of Ty Buck of Red Wing? Reports I've heard are he is a very good player and could definitely make an impact right away but I've never seen him play myself.
Interesting I hadn't heard those stories about the kids that ended up leaving state but that would be very disappointing especially with how good some of these guys are. The only reason I could think of for not being in on them heavily is they made it known they had no interest in staying in Minnesota and if that is the case then it is probably best to just move on but I don't know how likely it would be that these kids would decide right away they didn't even want to look at Minnesota.
I think this year is very important for the program with a lot of returning players and what sounds like a few pretty good recruits I would expect the team to at least compete for an NCAA tournament spot and another mediocre year this year would be very disappointing for a program that not so long ago was regular Big Ten championship contenders.
 

Pocket Gopher

New member
I know Ty Buck has been offered a scholarship by U, pretty good amount. I think he has other good schools on him, as well. Don't have much insight on him. He's no Sam Hjelle, but good nonetheless.
 

Pocket Gopher

New member
Thanks for the info and welcome to GopherHole, do you have his name? Looks like another slipped away from Anderson to the land of nowhere... I thought the kid was a graduated senior? I agree with you on the SW kid, don't know how he'll fare versus B1G pitching, even after a few years of development.
 

GopherBaseball

New member
His name is Robbie Palkert. He committed last week I believe. Gophers also added Jordan Joseph from St Michael-Albertville yesterday. He is a middle infielder. Seems like they are bringing in lots of infielders in the 2015 class.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
So the Gophers will lose 9 seniors off their roster and may have a couple other openings on the roster and they have 6 commits that we know of now: Eddie Estrada-SS/C-Litchfield, Cole McDevitt-C-Eastview Jake Stevenson-RHP-Waconia, Nick Lackney-LHP-Whitefish Bay,WI, Jordan Kozicky-SS-Minneapolis, and Jordan Joseph-SS-St. Michael-Albertville. 5 of those 9 seniors are infielders so it makes sense that they seem to be targeting infielders especially middle infielders because a lot of times those are the best athletes in high school and a lot of times they can end up moving positions easier in college if needed.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Looks like another new commit, don't know much about the kid but did find some stats and size on maxpreps, it has him at 6'3 212 lbs. and some stats listed from last spring are 3-1 in 7 appearances, 0.59 ERA, 35.1 IP, 19 H, 12 R(3 earned), 62 K's, and 20 BB.

 

GopherAthlete21

New member
I really think the Gopher Coaches should try and recruit some Juco players because their high school recruitment isn't doing so well. They should really look into some middle infielders at DMACC in Zac Repinski and Mickey Leius. Some high caliber talent out of Minnesota last year and now playing junior college baseball in Iowa now. Somehow the coaches missed on these two. Repinski had some big 12 offers and interest but wanted to be closer to home. These two up the middle would be a real treat in the big 10.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
I really think the Gopher Coaches should try and recruit some Juco players because their high school recruitment isn't doing so well. They should really look into some middle infielders at DMACC in Zac Repinski and Mickey Leius. Some high caliber talent out of Minnesota last year and now playing junior college baseball in Iowa now. Somehow the coaches missed on these two. Repinski had some big 12 offers and interest but wanted to be closer to home. These two up the middle would be a real treat in the big 10.
I wouldn't be surprised to see some JUCOs in this class and it seems like there have been a number of Minnesota kids that have had success at Iowa JCs. I know there were a couple guys from Rochester who had pretty good high school seasons last year and one was even drafted but I'm not sure if they had to go JUCO because of grades or just chose to because of lack of offers and their eligibility to transfer after this season would depend on that.
 

GopherAthlete21

New member
Do you think these coaches will retire anytime soon? I just think their recruiting has gone down hill and the program hasn't been as successful as it used to be. They should either work in recruiting high Juco prospects or do better recruiting the top prospects within the state.
 

Goldy Gopher

Active member
Do you think these coaches will retire anytime soon? I just think their recruiting has gone down hill and the program hasn't been as successful as it used to be. They should either work in recruiting high Juco prospects or do better recruiting the top prospects within the state.
I really have no idea if that is on their mind and haven't heard any rumblings of it out there. I do think this is a very important year for the program and think that this team needs to get back to consistently battling for a spot in the regionals and that has to start again this season. Although I want every top in-state recruit to stay home and be a Gopher I can understand as a Northern program losing your best recruits to SEC programs but when you lose them to other teams in your conference like Nebraska it really hurts.
 
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