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.
The 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.
• 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.
— IWCC Reiver Baseball (@ReiverBaseball) October 14, 2015
• 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.
— SJR State Baseball (@SJR_BASEBALL) October 10, 2015