Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) sophomore Willie Rios, who was named the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s (NECBL) Top Pro Prospect for the 2015 season in August, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Miami. Rios will compete for the Bucs in 2016 and will be eligible to compete for the Hurricanes for the 2016-17 academic year.
The Hurricanes finished the 2015 season with a 50-17 overall record, secured their second straight ACC Coastal Division title and 24th College World Series trip in program history. Miami returns a number of key contributors from its 2015 College World Series bullpen that had an ERA of 3.15 and held opposing hitters to a .238 batting average.
“Willie is extremely driven and will do a great job for Miami,” said FSW head baseball coach Jamie Corr. “We are fortunate that our location provides easy access for all of the major universities to recruit our athletes.”
A sophomore that transferred to FSW from the University of Maryland, Rios – who also was a 26th-round draft selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 – enjoyed an excellent summer on the mound for the Mystic Schooners, finishing the regular season undefeated with a sub-2.00 ERA. He headlined the league’s best pitching staff (2.61 team ERA) and helped the Schooners franchise reach the NECBL Championship Series for the first time in over 20 years.
Rios posted a 4-0 record and a 1.80 ERA, which ranked fifth in the league. In seven starts and 35 innings, the lefty fanned 41 and held the opposition to just a .202 batting average against him all year. The Waterford, Conn. native also played five games at first base, finishing with two hits in 14 at-bats to help the cause.
Rios made nine appearances as a true freshman at Maryland last season. In 19-2/3 innings for the Terrapins, he struck out 21 and walked only eight for a Maryland squad that won 42 games in its second season in the Big Ten Conference.
Before his season at Maryland, Rios was a four-year letterwinner for St. Bernard School and helped lead the club to three Eastern Connecticut Conference championships. A Perfect Game USA second team All-American and a 2013 Under Armour All-American, Rios was rated as the second-best player in Connecticut in the class of 2014 and the 104th-best player in the country.
For more information on Buccaneer Athletics follow @FSWBucs on Twitter or log on to FSWBucs.com.