The incoming class for the University of the Sciences baseball program has 14 student athletes from 6 different states. Coach Woodbridge stated, "This class was not about one specific position, but rather to continue to add depth, create more competition and stock up on arms. We lost several players who were regulars in the lineup or on the mound but we return a dozen student athletes who played regularly and several other young guys who saw significant time and we expect to step up. There will also be several guys from this incoming class who I expect to not only step in early but have an instant impact".
Pitching dominates the class with eight arms; seven right-handers and one southpaw. Several pitchers could see action at a position as well which adds to the 2 outfielders, 3 infielders, and 1 catcher. "As we began to recruit we knew pitching was the priority and immediate need but looking forward we also knew we have some upperclassman that will be graduating that will be huge holes to fill so we addressed several of them in this class," Woodbridge added.
About Hiro - Mizutani comes to USciences after a highly successful travel and high school career playing for Tri-State Arsenal in the summer. He helped lead them to the Super 25 Championship as well as the World Wood Bat Championship before pitching for St Joe's Regional who finished ranked in the top 5 in New Jersey. Hiro was a Perfect Game Under Class All American in 2015, 2016 and 2017 was named a Northeast Region All American. He finished as one of the top 500 players in the country as well as top 35 in Jersey (perfectgame.org).
Coach Woodbridges Take: - Landing Hiro was a huge coup for us. He was a national level recruit after a huge summer his sophomore year but got the injury bug and virtually every school backed off. I told him he had the chance to not only come to USciences and get a great degree but also make all those schools kick themselves for backing off. He is very polished and throws a heavy fastball that sits mid to upper 80's to go with a variety of off speed pitches. He has a unique delivery that has become synonymous with Far East pitchers. We are expecting big things from Hiro on the field but he is just a tremendous young man off the field as well who handles himself with a lot of maturity.
Thomas Webster - RHP
Gross Catholic HS – Nebraska
Height – 6'9 Weight – 210
Major – Pharmaceutical Chemistry
About Thomas – Webster another Perfect Game Under Classmen All American(2016) as well as PG All American Central Regional (2017) was a 3 sport stand out in high school (Baseball, Tennis, Swimming). Thomas comes in as a top 500 recruit as well and the 3rd ranked RHP in Nebraska. He played his travel ball with the Nebraska Sluggers.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Thomas was really a shot in the dark due to twitter. I saw him spotlighted as a top academic uncommitted prospect via PG and figured "why not." Well less than two months later, he pulled the trigger and committed on his visit to USciences. Thomas is a huge frame that sits mid 80's but it is so loose and easy he has a lot more in the tank once he grows into his body. He is very athletic for his age/size combo and much like Hiro is very polished for a young arm who commands multiple pitches.
John McCrane - RHP
Holy Ghost Prep – Pennsylvania
Height – 6'2 Weight 195
Major – Pharmacy
About John – McCrane played his summer ball for All Star Baseball Futures East and his high school ball for Holy Ghost Prep. He helped lead Holy Ghost to the quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament. He finished ranked among the top 100 players in PA and an Honorable mention Atlantic region honoree as well as 1st Team ALL-Bicentennial Athletic League outfielder.
Coach Woodbridges Take: I saw John pitch for ASBA and before I could even reach out he touched base with us about his interest in USciences. John is also a basketball player so he fits the mold of being a multi-sport athlete like many of our guys. It also makes his upside off the charts. He sits in the mid 80's but now that he is a full-time baseball guy I fully expect him to see an uptick in his velo. He has the frame that by this spring of his freshman year he could already be in the 200lb range. So he will be durable too.
Jordan Stennett - OF
West Orange HS – New Jersey
Height – 6'3 Weight – 185
Major – Microbiology
About Jordan – Jordan played his high school ball at West Orange HS where he was named one of the top players in Essex County and spent his summers playing for the North Jersey Cardinals. He was given honorable mention All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division honors as well as PG Northeast Region Honorable mention and finishing as one of the top 20 outfielders in New Jersey as well as a high follow nationally.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Jordan is a tall rangy outfielder who runs well, has a plus arm from the outfield and some juice in his swing. He will likely a be a corner OF for us and as he gets stronger he has a chance to be a middle of the order bat. He has the frame to easily hold 200+lbs. He will be fun to watch develop and has a shot to contribute a lot early. He can also get on the bump and run it up to 85-86, which we have not completely ruled out either.
Connor Young – OF
Gila Ridge HS – Arizona
Height - 6'4 Weight – 185
Major – Pharmacy
About Connor – Connor was a member of the prestigious Blue Chips program out of Arizona where he played for 2 years during the summer and fall seasons. His high school team, Gila Ridge made it to states his junior year before falling to the #1 seed. He won several awards including Clutch Player and Defensive MVP.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Connor is another tall, rangy OF, who runs well, has a plus arm and has some serious upside with the stick. He is likely a corner OF as well. He is a guy who will easily hold 200lbs+ and once he starts to use his size and lower half he is a middle of the order type bat at our level. He played for the highly competitive Blue Chips program so we know he will not be overwhelmed by college pitching.
Robert Kildea – RHP/OF
Chaminade Madonna Prep – Florida
Height – 6'3 Weight – 210
Major – Pharmacy
About Robert – Robert played for Chaminade Madonna Prep in Florida the previous two seasons. Leading the team in several offensive categories including batting average despite fighting some nagging injuries. He was a member of the CrosBrosRecruits.
Coach Woodbridge Take: Emmitt is physically ready to play at this level. He is a young man who has already dedicated himself to the weight room and it shows, he has the frame to fill out to 220+ and with his tools could really be a special player. He has not pitched much but can run it up into the upper 80's with a plus CB and developing change. For his size, he runs very well and has some pop in his swing. He will get an opportunity to be a two-way guy for us and I could see him contributing early one way or the other.
Case Howell – RHP/MIF
Martin County HS – Florida
Height – 6'0 Weight - 175
Major – Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business
About Case – Case played his high school ball for Martin County where he was a captain his senior year and helped lead them to the playoffs twice. He spent his summers playing for Evoshield Florida.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Case is another guy that I would be shocked if he does not find his way on the field somehow. He can run it into the mid 80's on the mound, he plays multiple positions and he runs well with a smooth lefty swing. He plays in a highly competitive area in Florida so I expect his transition to college baseball to move along a bit quicker than some others.
JohnMichael Sabatino – RHP
Manalapan HS – New Jersey
Height – 6'3 Weight 190
Major – Exercise Science
About JohnMichael – JohnMichael is a former standout pitcher for Manalapan where he led the team deep into states this past season while winning Pitcher of the Year Honors. He played for Farrah Scout and Langan baseball during the summers.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Sabatino fits the mold of the wiry/lanky projectable arms we have on our roster. He is every bit of 6'3/6'4 and 175 and plenty of room to grow. Once he gets in a college weight room and starts competing with similar athletes he is going to make a quick jump. He already has the stuff and command and will definitely be a candidate for innings as a freshman. From September to our first game, he could be one of our biggest gainers.
Austin Blumetti – LHP
Mainland HS – New Jersey
Height – 6'1 Weight 180
Major – Pharmacy
About Austin– Austin played his high school ball for the highly successful Mainland program in South Jersey while spending his summers with Atlantic Elite Academy. His high school E.R.A. was under 2.00 for his career including .98 as a junior. Blumetti was also a member of the Mainland cross-country team for 3 years.
Coach Woodbridges Take: One of my formers players during my time at ESU, Chris Knott started a small local travel program in South Jersey and called me one day and said he had a young man I need to look at; off the charts academic LHP. He said he is still raw but his upside is thru the roof. Well I went to see Austin and he was 75-76 but just got outs. Then 3 months later I saw him again and he was 78-79 and now was getting outs and missing barrels. Every time I saw him, he seemed to get better. Now he has added some weight, is 81-83, and continues to just progress. He is currently the only LHP on our roster so he will be thrown right into the mix. He does not get flustered and we are excited to see Austin continue to develop.
Jacob Whittington – SS
Wicomico HS – Maryland
Height – 6'1 Weight – 165
Major – Physical Therapy
About Jacob - Jacob attends Wicomico High School in Salisbury, MD. He is a two-sport athlete, playing soccer and baseball, earning All-Conference Honors. Jacob was a 4-year starter at shortstop and pitcher on varsity, and was named team MVP in 2016. He was named the male Wicomico high school scholar athlete of the year for 2017. Jacob played summer baseball the last 4 years with the Mid Atlantic Shockers/Red Sox.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Another multi-sport athlete who we saw at a showcase locally. My old assistant went to a showcase, came back, and said that Jake was worth the visit. He ran a 6.8, was mid 80's from the infield and really knew how to pick it at SS. When he visited he was about 6'0 and 140lbs soaking wet. He is now a shade under 6'2 and 165. He was recently 86 on the mound and 90mph from SS. He is another young man who I expect to really push for PT and as he continues to add strength, he has huge upside. Jacob just wrapped up playing for the East Coast Royals, a select team featuring the top 2017 commits on the Eastern Shore. Therefore, he has already got his feet wet with some college level play.
Ryan McIsaac – Utility
Millville HS – New Jersey
Height – 5'11 Weight – 180
Major – Exercise Science
About Ryan– Ryan played his high school ball at Millville in where he helped lead the team to the state tournament and received all conference accolades. He was also awarded the prestigious #1 Jersey worn by Mike Trout and given to the captain(s) of the program who exemplify what the program means on and off the field. He played his summer ball for the Millville Angels.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Millville's assistant Coach Edwards brought Ryan to my attention, he raved about his athleticism and ability to play all over. We had him out to our camp and by the time the first drill was over, we saw what he meant. He can play the middle, he could shift to 3B but is athletic enough that he could slight to the OF. He runs well and just finds ways on base. Ryan is going to be one of those guys that is a thorn in your side because he plays hard and will impact games in different ways.
Jared Capozza – MIF
Seton La Salle – Pennsylvania
Height – 5'10 Weight – 160
Major – Physical Therapy
About Jared - Jared is a graduate of Seton LaSalle and during his time there he helped lead them to the post season as a freshman while also garnering honorable mention for the Almanac Diamond Dozen his junior and senior year. He played his travel ball with the Pittsburgh Outlaws. He was All-Section in Soccer while leading the Rebels to the post season his junior and senior year.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Jared came to our camp and immediately caught our attention with his athleticism and his glove. He has a real advanced feel on defense and his baseball IQ is off the charts. Mix in the fact that he is athletic he is a prototype MIF who will likely settle in at 2B for us. He hits to all fields and can really wreak havoc on the bases. It comes as no surprise his baseball IQ is so high because Jared is also a member of USciences Honors program, which is highly selective and shows just how talented Jared is off the field as well.
Jake Patridge – RHP
Allentown Central Catholic – Pennsylvania
Height – 6'2 Weight – 165
Major – Biology
About Jake – Jake played his high school baseball for Allentown Central Catholic where he helped lead the team with both his arm and his bat to a conference runner up finish his junior year despite being the eight seed. Jake played his travel ball for All American Baseball Academy. He was also a member of the ACC basketball team.
Coach Woodbridges Take: Jake is an intriguing arm, he is a basketball guy who now that he is a full time baseball guy should start to gain weight and add strength. He fills up the zone and throws multiple pitches effectively.
Joe Cariddi – C/1B
Delaware Valley Regional HS – New Jersey
Height – 6'1 Weight – 200
Major – Physical Therapy
About Joe – Joe was a 2-year starter for Delaware Valley Regional where he started primarily at catcher. In 2016, he helped lead the squad to the conference and sectional championship. He spent his summers playing for the New Jersey Jays.
Coach Woodbridges Take: A friend who trains athletes told me about Joe and said he was a high academic kid who has the ability to drive the ball. Joe is a big strong kid at 6'1/6'2 and 200+ lbs. He can do some catching for us but will also start to work out at 1B as well. If he continues to swing it well he will find his way into our line up in no time.