Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) Head Baseball Coach Jamie Corr has announced the signing of 22 student-athletes during the NJCAA’s January early signing period.
“This was a true team effort led by President Jeff Allbritten and Athletic Director Carl McAloose. Their dedication to bringing back athletics in a first-class manner was instrumental in attracting top-tier players” Corr said.
The Buccaneers’ first recruiting class since resurrecting the athletics program last July, features five Lambert Longhorns, Coach Corr’s former school; seven other Georgia players; seven Florida standouts; two players from Puerto Rico and one Ohio native. The Buccaneers call City of Palms Park in Fort Myers their home stadium.
Following Corr to the City of Palms from Lambert High School are Chris Cummings, Justin Dutka, Ian Kimbrell, Brock Maxwell, and Thomas Reddin. Cummings, Dutka, Kimbrell and Reddin were all members of Lambert’s 2014 6A Georgia State Championship team, which was crowned National Champions by both the USA Today and Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Maxwell, a 2013 Lambert graduate, played for the University of South Carolina in 2014 and will be transferring to FSW for the fall of 2015.
Corr also relied on his Georgia ties for high school players Briggs Benson, Wesley Bucher, Jacob Freeland, Russell Klein, Justin Russell, Connor Stephenson and Chandler Wold. They will be joined by Floridians Billy Marion, Nyle Newland, John O’Connor, Colin Smith, Layton Thomas, Walfrank Pineiro and Brandon Presley. Jose Acosta and Joshuan Sandoval Sanchez will head to FSW from Puerto Rico, and Ohio’s Jett Swetland rounds out the school’s first signing class.
Meet the Buccaneers (in alphabetical order):
Jose Acosta, 6’0, 155, LHP, Penn Foster High School, Loiza, Puerto Rico. Acosta trains with the Next Level American Academy in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, where he was 3-1 with a 1.21 ERA last season. He was recently named a 2015 Under Armour Pre-season All American.
Corr on Acosta: “Jose is a quality lefty with great arm-side run and has tremendous athleticism and arm strength on the mound.”
Briggs Benson, 5’11, 190, C/P, Tift County High School, Tifton, GA. Benson was a highly recruited catcher who chose FSW over several top four-year and two-year programs in the southeast. In 2014 he led his team to the Sweet 16 in Georgia’s 6A Class. He is an outstanding student who will be majoring in engineering.
Corr on Benson: “Briggs is regarded as one of the top hitters in the class of 2015 and should provide power in the middle of our lineup.”
Wesley Bucher, 6’4, 200, RHP, Greater Atlanta Christian School, Duluth, GA. Bucher features an upper 80s fastball with good movement and very good off-speed pitches. As a starting pitcher, he led GAC to the state finals in 2014.
Corr on Bucher: “Wes has a big-league frame and shows the ability to move the ball around the zone. He comes from a great high school program and will be counted on to get a lot of outs for us next year.”
Chris Cummings, 6’0, 200, 3B/1B, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA. A valuable third baseman, Cummings’ defense was instrumental in securing the school’s first state title in 2014.
Corr on Cummings: “Chris has an outstanding glove on both corners of the infield. He gives us great depth and versatility, as well as a power right-handed bat.”
Justin Dutka, 5’10, 175, P/IF, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA. Dutka won 11 games on the mound and batted over .350 as an everyday infielder for Lambert in 2014. He was named All-Region and All-County.
Corr on Dutka: “JD is a gritty ball player that plays the game hard. He will be counted on to be a two-way guy, and leader for our ball club.”
Jacob Freeland, 6’0, 195, IF, Mill Creek High School, Hoschton, GA. Freeland hit .337 with four HR and 27 RBIs for the Hawks in 2014. He was named to the prestigious Region 7AAAAAA 1st Team. He also earned several Perfect Game All-Tournament awards for the East Cobb Astros summer team as one of their top performers at the plate.
Corr on Freeland: “Jacob is one of the top left-handed hitters in the Southeast and should hit for power and average in the middle of our order.”
Ian Kimbrell, 6’0, 190, 1B, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA. Kimbrell hit .450 for the Longhorns in 2014 and was named Louisville Slugger Honorable Mention All-America. He also earned All-Region and All-County honors as the starting 1B for Lambert.
Corr on Kimbrell: “Ian is a true team-player that can hit doubles and play small-ball at the plate. He will also save us countless base runners with his glove at first base.”
Russell Klein, 6’0, 200, RHP, Mill Creek High School, Hoschton, GA. Klein went 7-1 for the Hawks in 2014, including a second-round playoff win over Lambert. His 2.03 ERA and 74 strikeouts earned him a spot on the Region 7AAAAAA 1st Team.
Corr on Klein: “Russell can flat out pitch. He is a power pitcher that can also command the zone with several different pitches and will be counted on to anchor the staff our first year.”
Billy Marion, 5’10, 155, LHP, Spanish River High School, Boca Raton, FL. As a junior, Marion posted a 4-1 record with five saves and a 1.49 ERA for Spanish River.
Corr on Marion: “Billy is a crafty lefty that is far from reaching his full potential. He has great location with his fastball and a very good breaking ball. He should develop into a valuable member of our pitching staff.”
Brock Maxwell, 6’0, 175, OF/P, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA. Maxwell is a transfer red-shirt freshman from the University of South Carolina where he hit .500 in limited action for the Gamecocks in 2014 before getting injured. The 2013 Lambert grad was rated the No. 10 best high school prospect in Georgia and No. 189 best high school prospect in the nation by Perfect Game USA. As a high school sophomore he was the 2011 Region 7AAAA and Forsyth County Player of the Year, and was named to the Baseball America High School All-America Team after he hit .468 with 14 homers and 37 RBI.
Corr on Maxwell: “Brock is a highly competitive player that possesses all five tools. His potential is limitless and he will be counted on to lead the young Buccaneers.”
Nyle Newland, 3B, 6’0, 165, Park Vista High School, FL. Newland hit .300 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 20 RBIs leading Park Vista to the Final Four in 2014. He was named All-Conference and won his team’s Gold Glove Award.
Corr on Newland: “Nyle is a slick-fielding infielder that can save games with his glove. He has gap power and can move the ball all over the field.”
John O’Connor, 6’2, 175, CF, Spanish River High School, Boca Raton, FL. As a junior, O’Connor hit .339 with eight doubles, three triples, 19 runs scored and a .486 on-base percentage.
Corr on O’Connor: “John will give us exceptional speed in the outfield and on the bases. He has the ability to hit for average and power.”
Walfrank Pineiro, 5’10, 205, RHP, Wekeiva High School, Apopka, FL. Pineiro garnered All Conference recognition as a junior after posting a 1.89 ERA with 34 K’s in 37 innings in one of the toughest districts in Florida. He was Wekeiva’s Most Valuable Pitcher for 2014.
Corr on Pineiro: “Wally is a fierce competitor on the mound that never gets rattled. He has a great change up and curve ball to complement his 90 MPH fastball.”
Brandon Presley, 6’7, 205, LHP, Key West High School, Key West, FL. Presley went 6-2, with a 1.63 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 51 innings for the Conchs in 2014.
Corr on Presley: “Brandon has the size and mound presence of a big-league pitcher. He is a hard worker that throws a ton of strikes. As his velocity continues to increase, he should attract the attention of a lot of scouts.”
Thomas Reddin, 5’10, 210, LHP, Lambert High School, Suwanee, GA. Reddin saw action as a starter and out of the bullpen while with Corr at Lambert. On a pitching staff with numerous DI signees, Reddin has featured the highest strikeout per innings pitched total each season.
Corr on Reddin: “Thomas knows how to rely on his movement to get hitters out. His two-seam fastball, change-up and breaking ball can all create swings and misses.”
Justin Russell, 5’11, 175, 2B/3B, Kell High School, Marietta, GA. Russell led the Kell Longhorns as a junior with a .394 batting average in the highly competitive East Cobb area of Atlanta. He is a versatile player that can play all four infield spots as well as corner outfield.
Corr on Russell: “Justin can really swing the bat and has the potential to occupy any position for us next year.”
Joshuan Sandoval Sanchez, 6’3, 205, C, Carlos Beltran Academy, Manati, Puerto Rico. Sandoval hit .692 last season with three doubles, two triples and six homeruns for the Beltran Academy.
Corr on Sandoval: “Joshuan has a solid-frame and very strong arm behind the plate. His athleticism also allows him to play a corner outfield spot for us.”
Colin Smith, 6’0, 200, RHP/OF, Park Vista High School, FL. Smith went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA for Park Vista last season. He also hit .300 for the year and notched a double, triple and five RBIs in the state quarterfinal game against Palm Beach Gardens.
Corr on Smith: “Colin is a hard thrower with a strike-out change-up. He will be counted on to pitch a lot of innings for us, and drive in runs with his bat.”
Connor Stephenson, 5’11, 160, RHP, Trinity Christian School, Fairburn, GA. Stephenson has won 12 games over the last two seasons and is a Perfect Game Pre-Season All America selection. He also recorded the second-most strikeouts in Georgia’s A Class his junior season.
Corr on Stephenson: “Connor is a true pitcher. He throws strikes, has great off-speed, knows when to challenge hitters and when to make them chase out of the zone.”
Jett Swetland, 6’4, 210, IF/OF, Highland High School, Marengo, OH. Swetland hit .380 with a .535 OB% while stealing 12 bases as a junior. He was named 1st Team Central District, 1st Team Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, 1st team Mount Vernon Area News, and has lead his team to three straight Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference titles.
Corr on Swetland: “Jett is an imposing figure on the baseball field that can run, hit and throw. He will give us power at the plate and can play several different positions.”
Layton Thomas, 5’10, 185, OF, Okeechobee High School, FL. Thomas helped his team to a District Championship in 2014 posting a .295 batting average with 24 RBI and seven stolen bases.
Corr on Thomas: “Layton is a smooth fielding outfielder that will give us another good left-handed bat in the line-up.”
Chandler Wold, 5’10, 185, SS, Creekview High School, Canton, GA. A three-year starter at shortstop heading into his senior year, Wold has collected 75 hits, 32 RBIs, and scored 88 runs and 53 stolen bases over his high school career. He was also a standout football player for the Grizzlies.
Corr on Wold: “Chandler is a tough as nails infielder that can make all the plays at shortstop. He knows how to use his speed at the plate and on the bases.”
The FSW Buccaneers will kick off their inaugural season in the fall at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. For more information and updates, visit FSW.edu/athletics.
Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving more than 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW will debut its intercollegiate athletics program in the fall 2015.