With Texas Baseball signing 15 high school seniors on National Signing Day Wednesday morning, the college baseball season is inching closer and closer. Head coach David Pierce announced the inking of the young players and called the day “another step in the right direction for the Texas Baseball program.”
“The class of 2019 fills the needs of our program,” Pierce said. “It consists of three catchers, three left-handed pitchers, a right-handed pitcher, two outfielders, two infielders and four two-way players—three right-handed pitchers and one left-handed.”
The incoming wave of new faces will follow the even bigger 2018 signing class that Pierce had last year, where he signed a 17-man class of high school seniors that finished as the No. 8 class in the country and No. 1 class in the Big 12, according to Baseball America.
Texas biggest coup from the current cycle and the player it will likely have to fight to keep away from the pro ranks is Brett Baty. The infielder and Austin native was the 2018 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year and one of the top left-handed bats in the country. At 6’3 with a nicely-filled frame, Baty is virtually a guarantee to start the day he steps on campus.
“Pure hitters are very hard to find and, in my opinion, [Baty] is one of the best pure hitters in the country,” Pierce said. “He has exceptional work ethic, character and leadership abilities, and because of that, I can see him starting at first or third as a first-year player. I really consider Brett as one of those players that ignites the culture of your program immediately.”
With first base currently being occupied by redshirt sophomore Zach Zubia and a plethora of others vying for the position, including a handful of freshmen who are athletic enough to play middle infield or even outfield, the position should be tailor-made for Baty to occupy in 2019.
Another position of importance will be behind the plate, where Texas will have the task of replacing senior DJ Petrinsky. Luckily a trio of freshmen, Silas Ardoin, Cameron Constantine and Peyton Powell, will come in to compete for the open spot. Each offers a diverse set of skills and the ability to be utilized in other positions, most namely Constantine.
“[Constantine] is a very good athlete and a two-sport star that could play QB in college if he wanted to go that route,” assistant coach Sean Allen said. “We could see [Constantine] come in and play multiple positions for us because of that athleticism and his ability to constantly get the barrel at the plate.”
Rounding out the high points of the class are a pair of two-way players in Andre Duplantier II and Trey Faltine III. Each is 6’2 and comes from the right side of the mound. Both Duplantier and Faltine will have their opportunities pitching, hitting and defensively, and could make a sophomore two-way player Kameron Fields-like impact early in their careers. Allen had high praise for both, but Faltine, in particular.
“I would argue that [Faltine] is the most versatile player in the country,” Allen said. “He represented Team USA on several occasions and plays all over the field for them. He legitimately can play any position on the field, but I’m looking forward to how well he does at shortstop when he shows up on campus.”
Pierce and his staff have to be salivating at the thought of getting (hopefully) all 15 of these young men on campus. Until then, though, he’ll have to settle with one of the top classes from 2018 and a veteran roster that made it all the way to the College World Series this past season.
Here is a full list of the class of 2019:
Silas Ardoin | C | R/R | 5’11” | 190 | Lake Charles, La.
Brett Baty | INF | L/R | 6’3” | 210 | Austin, Texas
Cameron Constantine | C | R/R | 6’ | 190 | McKinney, Texas
Brenden Dixon | INF | R/R | 6’1” | 195 | Argyle, Texas
Andre Duplantier II | RHP/INF | 6’2” | 198 | Humble, Texas
Sanson “Trey” Faltine III | RHP/UTIL | 6’2” | 195 | Richmond, Texas
Peter Hanson | LHP | 6’2” | 190 | R/L | El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Douglas Hodo III | OF | 6’ | 175 | R/R | Boerne, Texas
Chase Lummus | LHP | 6’1” | 195 | Godley, Texas
Peyton Powell | C | 6’1” | 190 | L/R | Robinson, Texas
Colton Rathjen | OF | 6’ | 180 | L/R | Houston, Texas
Jared Southard | RHP | 6’2” | 215 | Austin, Texas
Will Swope | RHP/INF | 6’2” | 210 | R/R | The Woodlands, Texas
Sam Walbridge | LHP | 6’5” | 185 | L/L | San Antonio, Texas
Austin, Wallace | LHP/OF | 6’4” | 220 | L/L | Flower Mound, Texas
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