Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Edward Waters Baseball Adds Seven for 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Florida -- Head Coach Reginald Johnson, II announced the signing of seven student-athletes for his baseball program for the 2018 season. C/OF Juan Loyo, C Karl Morales, C/IF Parker Rook, RHP Hunter Morris, INF/RHP Cody Melton, IF Arnie Ruiz, & IF Latek McNeil will be expected to contribute immediately to a team that had its second consecutive 30+ win season in 2017. 

"I'm very pleased with this year's signing class." said Coach Johnson. "The seven guys we've added are not only quality baseball players, but quality young men that will add to what we have coming back next season."

C/OF Juan Loyo/Caracas, Venezuela/CSA Becas Academy:
Coach Johnson on Loyo: "Juan has great tools and leadership qualities behind the dish. He's also very athletic in the outfield and swings the bat well to all parts of the field."
C Karl Morales/Dundee, FL/Spoon River College (IL):
Coach Johnson on Morales: "He's coming in with college experience behind the dish which is a plus for us. He controls the defense and pitching staff extremely well and we're looking for him to come in and immediately compete and take over the everyday role behind the plate."
C/IF Parker Rook/Orlando, FL/Timber Creek HS:
Superlatives: Rook played a huge role both on the mound and at the plate for the Wolves in 2017 en route to the 2017 FHSAA Class 9A State Baseball Championship. During his senior season, he drove in 20 RBIs and was an All-Metro Conference Honorable Mention selection in 2017. 
Coach Johnson on Rook: "I'm looking for Parker to come in with the winning mentality that he already has and carry it over to the collegiate level."     
RHP Hunter Morris/Orange Park, FL/Ridgeview HS:
Superlatives: Morris had a perfect 5-0 record in his final season for Head Coach John Sgromolo in 2017. He also had a 1.24 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched for the Panthers and had 27 strikeouts. 
Coach Johnson on Morris: "Hunter has three pitches that he commands very well and can be thrown on any count. He does a great job in keeping good hitting teams off balance and I'm looking for him to come in and compete in the rotation as a mid-week starter."
IF/RHP Cody Melton/Jacksonville, FL/University Christian School:
Superlatives: During 2017, Melton had a .440 batting average in 118 plate appearances with just six strikeouts. He helped lead the Fighting Christians the 2017 FHSAA Class 3A State Championship Game, where UC finished as the runner-up. Melton was also named to the 2017 All-First Coast Baseball Team and finished third in the 2017 Mr. Baseball voting for the state of Florida.
Coach Johnson on Melton: "Cody is another guy that we have coming in that just flat out knows how to win. I defintely expect for him to compete for a starting position and he'll also have some innings on the mound. He'll bring great diversity in the lineup being able to hit to all parts of the field and doesn't strikeout much."  
IF Arnie Ruiz/Orlando, FL/Timber Creek HS:
Superlatives: Ruiz joins his fellow State Champion teammate Parker Rook as the newest Tigers on the squad. During his senior season, he had a .330 batting average in 103 plate appearances with 33 runs scored and one homerun. Ruiz was named the Most Valuable Player for the Wolves in 2017, Third-Team All-Area, & an All-Metro Conference Honorable Mention selection. 
Coach Johnson on Ruiz: "He's another great player that we've brought in who knows how to compete. He' is a great defender and a very scrappy hitter that finds a way to get on base."
IF Latek McNeil/Hampton, GA/Dutchtown HS:
Coach Johnson on McNeil: "Latek will come in and immediately compete for the starting spot at second and third base. He has great hands and even greater instincts for the game. I am really excited to see the development of him as a ballplayer. Out of all of the players we have coming in, Latek has the highest ceiling."


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