Teams often hit the junior college ranks for quick fixes, and Texas Tech, Arkansas and Alabama have landed exceptional JUCO players this week.


Three JUCO Stars Make Commitments

College baseball programs often hit the junior college ranks with hopes of finding quick fixes to their potential woes or expected soon-to-be holes. Arkansas, Alabama and Texas Tech each landed talented junior college prospects this week.

Texas Tech logoThe most impressive addition was Tech’s commitment from talented lefthander Devin Smeltzer. Smeltzer did not have a great 2015 campaign while at Florida Gulf Coast, making 17 appearances, 10 of them starts, and tallying a 6.15 ERA in 52.2 innings of work. However, he did strike out 41 and walked 13, and had a strong summer, earning his spot as one of the Cape Cod League’s top prospects.

Smeltzer, a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder, won’t blow hitters away with his fastball, but will sit 86-89 with good command and late life in the zone. he also flashed a good curveball and changeup during his summer at the Cape. Though the Red Raiders have a decent chance to get Smeltzer on campus, he is a good prospect and thus could get drafted relatively high next summer.

ArkansasLogo90X90• Arkansas landed Iowa Western CC product and infielder Jared Gates. Gates competes for one of the nation’s consistent JUCO powers and finished last season with a .400 batting average, two homers and 33 RBIs, while also smacking 10 doubles, four triples and ending the year with just 15 strikeouts.

Alabama90X90• Staying in the Southeastern Conference, Alabama landed one of the better JUCO players in the Sunshine State in St. John’s River State (Fla.) CC third baseman Hunter Alexander. Alexander had a productive freshman campaign for St. John’s River, hitting an impressive .321 with nine doubles, 11 homers and 44 RBIs, while also walking 20 times and striking out on 37 occasions.

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