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Gator Baseball Recruits Gunning to Bring Back Championship

San+Jacinto+College+baseball+players+are+shown+during+a+recent+scrimmage+at+the+North+Campus+John+Ray+Harrison+Field+at+Andy+Pettitte+Park.
San Jacinto College baseball players are shown during a recent scrimmage at the North Campus John Ray Harrison Field at Andy Pettitte Park.

San Jacinto College baseball players are shown during a recent scrimmage at the North Campus John Ray Harrison Field at Andy Pettitte Park.

Rob Vanya/San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs Department

Rob Vanya/San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs Department

San Jacinto College baseball players are shown during a recent scrimmage at the North Campus John Ray Harrison Field at Andy Pettitte Park.

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The San Jacinto College baseball program hit it out of the park last season when six of their own were drafted by major league teams while 13 signed with D1 universities. With a large talent turnover every two years, the Gator coaching staff is continuously recruiting players from across the country to replace the ones that move on.

Assistant Coach Eric Weaver said ninety percent of the team is found through recruiting.

“There is never a year we don’t need a position,” Weaver said. “We are always trying to find talent.”

San Jac produced many professional baseball players over the years, and “coaching” is the overwhelming response when players are asked why they come to San Jac and why so many alumni make it to the pros.

Michael Smith, a newly-recruited player, described the Gators’ coaching staff as “the best in the country” adding, they “let you develop on your own.”

Likewise, fellow recruit Nick Perez praised the coaches’ ability to find common ground with the players and encourage them to do better.

“The coaching staff has done a great job since day one,” Perez said, “and continue to do so; building relationships with their players and reminding them to always have fun but to compete at their fullest potential.”

Although good coaching helps the recruitment process, to further expand their potential talent pool, the Gators’ staff stays in contact with scouts at schools across the country.

“We help out other schools with recruiting, and in turn, they help us with recruiting our players,” Weaver said. “We do not limit our recruiting to Texas. and we try to find players that fit our system well.”

To confirm a good fit, once the coaches find a player they are interested in, they begin to look further into their education and family background. Weaver mentioned academic achievement as a part of gauging a potential player.

“We do take grades into account when recruiting. We also call the player’s high school coaches, select coaches, and get in contact with the player’s family,” Weaver said. “We look on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get an idea of who they are.”

However, Perez credits the ability to showcase certain qualities as the reason he earned a highly-coveted spot on the team.

“I think it is showing that I am a hard worker and have so much passion for the game,” Perez said. “My dedication and hustle, on and off the field, is what I feel got me here.”

Smith, on the other hand, said his recruitment experience differed and included deciding on a major move after only briefly coming to North Campus for a talk with the staff. Shortly afterward, he found himself telling his team at the time, Kansas State University, he was leaving and heading back to Texas.

“I came to visit the campus to sit down with the coaches… seeing all of the titles they won spoke for itself,” he said.

Meanwhile, both Perez and Smith plan to take their talents to a higher level as so many Gators have done before.

“My goals for this season is to go play for a four-year university in Texas or to get drafted,” Smith said, while Nick noted, “I do hope to go play professionally. If not, then a four-year university would be another route that I would have to take.”

As for the team’s goal for the upcoming season, “winning the national championship” Smith stated. Perez agreed and exclaimed, “I want to stop the streak of coming out in second place and bring that championship title to San Jac!”

Schedule information for San Jacinto College Baseball’s upcoming season will be available at a later date at http://www.sanjacsports.com/baseball/baseball-home.

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Gator Baseball Recruits Gunning to Bring Back Championship