Head coach Kevin Brooks and the Angelo State baseball team are not done recruiting yet. Just a month after announcing the signing of five players for the 2012 season, the Rams have signed five more student-athletes. The signees include three junior transfers in Michael Lange, Travis Stavinoha and Michael Weatherly, as well as a pair of incoming freshmen Hunter Choate and Jamie MacLean.
Choate is a 5-foot-11 infielder out of Athens High School who hit .468 with 38 runs scored, 19 runs batted in and 17 doubles for the Hornets. He comes to Angelo State after being named the 2011 District Defensive Player of the Year. As a junior at Athens High School, Choate was named to the 2010 All-District First Team as a shortstop after helping his team win the District Championship. He was named the District MVP in 2009 and played club ball for the McKinney Marshalls as well as the Dallas D-Bat Mustangs.
“Hunter is a very athletic, switch-hitting middle infielder with pop in his bat,” Brooks said. “He's a guy that can come in and make an immediate impact. He's a hard-nosed player, who I think has a chance to be very good in the future.”
Lange will come to San Angelo after spending the last two seasons at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Ariz. The 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher and infielder finished the 2011 season with a 7-3 record on the mound. He tallied 49 strikeouts in 66.2 innings pitched and posted a 3.78 ERA. The Columbus, Neb., native previously played at Columbus High School where he was a three-sport athlete in baseball, football and soccer.
“Michael is a dual guy that pitches and plays first base,” Brooks said. “He is a strong guy from Nebraska. He led his team (Gateway Community College) to the College World Series. He will be able to help us pitching-wise. He was Gateway's number one starter and closer. Hitting-wise, he's big strong guy that's got some power and will be able to help us both ways which is very valuable in college baseball.”
A 6-foot-2 lefty out of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, MacLean will come to Angelo State after playing baseball at Bellerose Composite High School in Alberta, Canada. While with the Bulldgos, MacLean was named Most Valuable Player after his junior campaign and garnered “Rookie of the Year” accolades in his first year with the team. He brings a wealth of club experience as he has played for five different club teams during the last three seasons.
“Jamie throws hard right now and is getting a lot better with his breaking ball,” Brooks said. “He is really developing and I think he has a chance to be a really good player. Having the chance to get out into warmer weather and have a chance to work on baseball year-round will be big for him. He's a guy with a ton of potential and he's another guy that has a chance to come in and help us immediately.”
Stavinoha is a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher who will transfer to Angelo State from Eastfield Junior College in Mesquite, Texas. Stavinoha had an outstanding sophomore season in which he compiled a 6-0 record on the hill in 15 appearances. He finished the season with a 3.28 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 15 walks in 49.1 innings of work. He also led Eastfield to the National Junior College World Series and was named to the all-conference team.
Previously, Stavinoha was a two-sport athlete at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress where he lettered two years in baseball and one year in football. He was named to the 2009 All-District Team and played for the club team Raiders for three years as both a right-handed pitcher and infielder.
“Stavinoha is a guy that had a great year for Eastfield and helped lead his team to a National Championship,” Brooks said. “He's a guy that is really versatile and can throw strikes with all of his pitches. He had really high strikeout numbers with very few walks. He does a great job of keeping guys off balance and he's flexible too. He can start or relieve for us, he can do a lot of different things.”
Rounding out the signees is Weatherly, a junior transfer also from Eastfield Junior College. Weatherly is a 6-foot-5 right-hander who appeared in 23 games for the Harvesters with a 5.48 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched while fanning 46. He was named to the Division III Junior College All-Tournament Team after helping Eastfield capture the D-III Juco World Series National Championship. Weatherly threw 6.0 shutout innings and allowed just one base hit, while striking out six and collecting three saves in the tournament.
Prior to his experience at Eastfield Junior College, Weatherly was a two-year letterwinner at Old Mesquite High School where he saw action as both a pitcher and as a shortstop.
“Weatherly is a big guy – 6-foot-5 – that is a very hard thrower with a good slider,” Brooks said. “He has also been used as a starter and and a closer. He's just now starting to tap into how good he can be. If he works hard and continues to improve, he's got a chance to do this after college. He was named to the all-tournament team after [Eastfield's] World Series run and was just dominant. I think he's got a chance to be pretty special.”
The handful of new signees will join Brett Parsons, Graylon Brown, Jayce Cobb, Seth Kendrick, Ryan Greer and Quaid McKinnon who were inked earlier this year for the 2012 baseball season.