The recruiting cycle for this 2020 recruiting class has been a very hectic one for Charlotte Baseball. The recruitment of this class started with one staff and concluded with another. Former head coach Loren Hibbs retired after the 2019 season and Robert Woodard was hired to take over the program in late June, right in the heart of prime recruiting season. With the staff change, Bo Robinson was promoted to Associate Head Coach, and Woodard brought in Toby Bicknell as the new Recruiting Coordinator. Together, this group has put together a stellar recruiting class. Congrats to the staff on pulling this all together.
All together the Niners have brought in 24 guys in the 2020 class, which is large compared to years past. For reference, over the past few years, the Niners have usually brought in anywhere from 17-19 guys. Even with this size of a class, the staff says they are never finished recruiting until the class gets to campus. They are always looking for impact players to help the program.
This is a large class but it is very balanced as it includes 12 new arms and 12 new position players. The class has 11 high school signees and 13 signees from the JUCO ranks. There is lots of talent in this group and we can’t wait to see the development of these guys over the next few seasons.
As we’ve seen in the past, Niner fans will have to pay close attention to the June MLB Draft. Many on this list will have high draft potential. A few of the guys on this list have already been drafted by an MLB team.
Here is our look at the 2020 Charlotte 49ers Baseball recruiting class starting with the High School commits:
Tyler Cotten C R/R 5’11” 200 Yorktown, VA (Grafton HS): Solid defensive Catcher with some pop from the right side of the plate. Previously committed to UNCG. Video
Jake Cunningham OF R/R 6’3″ 180 Charlotte, NC (Ardrey Kell HS): Big right-handed bat. Ranked 15th best 2020 outfielder in NC. Profile
Dante Defranco MIF R/R 5’9″ 160 Hillsborough, NC (PRO5 Academy): Top of the line-up right handed bat. Hit .425 last season at Orange with 29 RBI. Also played WR for the Orange Football team. Article
Nate Furman MIF R/L 5’10” 160 (Bonner-Prenderast HS) Brookhaven, PA: Advanced middle infielder & a table setter offensively from the left side. One of the best young leaders in the class. LHH gamer who commands the field while he’s on it. Coaching staff loves his makeup. Profile
Spencer Giesting LHP L/L 6’3″ 185 Badin HS (Hamilton, OH): Top rated LHP in the state of Ohio for the 2020 class. Played under former 49er standout Brion Treadway at Badin HS. Article
LuJames (Gino) Groover III SS R/R 6’2″ 190 Morrow, GA (The Walker HS): Athletic SS with a big bat from the right side. Ranked #38 prospect in Georgia in the 2020 Class by PBR Georgia. Shined at the 49ers Team Camp in July. Has the potential of being an elite college player. Video
Gus Hughes RHP R/R 6’0″ 180 Greensboro, NC (Grimsley HS): Righty with a fastball in the low 90s. Rated one of the Top 20 Players in NC by Prep Baseball Report. Profile
Lucas Martino 1B/3B R/L 6’3″ 250 Charlotte, NC (Carmel Christian HS): Big, physical, lefty bat. Recently represented NC in the National Power Showcase HR Derby ,and event for players from the 2020 class at Arizona’s Chase Field including HRs measuring 473′ and 502′. Video
Tyler Parks RHP R/R 6’3″ 185 Gloucester City, NJ (Gloucester Catholic HS): One of the top 10-15 RHP in the 2020 class from NJ. Fastball in upper 80’s with room to grow. Also has a plus breaker in the high 70s. High spin RHP that can strike guys out. Video
Chandler Riley SS R/L 6’0″ 165 Concord, NC (Cox Mill HS): Rated one of the top 20 players in NC by Prep Baseball Report. Probably the best pure hitter of HS players in the class. Will compete to get on field/lineup right away. A complete and well rounded player. Video
Martin Zelenka C R/R 6’2″ 220 Pro5 Academy; Prague, PR Czech Republic: International flavor for the 2020 class as the catcher from the Czech Republic provides a big RH bat. Played with the Pro5 Academy in the Triangle area. Video
Junior College Signees:
Hunter Baker OF R/L 6’2″ 187 Huntersville, NC (Hough HS; NC State; FDTC): Was named a NJCAA All-American last year at FDTC. Listed #65 in the Top JUCO list for 2020 by PBR. Potential immediate impact in the middle of the lineup in 2021. Plus bat speed and power potential. Stats
Casey Bargo RHP R/R 6’8″ 180 Richmond, KY (Madison Central HS; Lincoln Trail CC): Long, lean RHP with FB topping high 80’s. Strike thrower with 3 pitch mix and a plus breaker. Projects to compete for weekend rotation in 2021. Stats Article
Garrison Burress SS R/L 6’1″ 165 Granite Falls, NC (South Caldwell HS; Catawba Valley CC):Drafted in Round 40 of the 2018 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks. Burress will sit out 2020 recovering from a shoulder injury. Bio
Thomas Caufield SS R/L 6’1″ 165 Westchester, PA (Henderson HS; UNC-CH; Pitt CC): Athletic and wiry LHH SS that should compete to be the everyday in 2021. Tough competitor from PA that plays hard. Coach Woodard coached in 2019 at UNC. Chose Charlotte over going back to the ACC. Bio
Jake Curry RHP R/R 6’5″ 205 Key Largo, FL (Coral Shores HS; Polk State): Strike thrower with good breaking ball. Fastball sits in the upper 80s, with more projected. Staff loves his moxy and pitch-ability. Bio
Blake Dockery RHP R/R 6’2″ 180 Harrisburg, NC (Hickory Ridge HS; NC State; CVCC): Named to several preseason watch lists for 2020 at CVCC. Righty has a FB in the low to mid-90’s. Named All-Region last season at CVCC, and was NJCAA National Pitcher of the Week last May. Bio
Sam Grace RHP R/R 6’4″ 205 St. Charles, MO; (Francis Howell North HS; SIU; Jefferson College): Big righty with FB topping mid-90’s. Drafted by the Orioles in the 40th Round of the 2018 Draft. Pitched last season at Southern Illinois. Bio
Andrew Lindsey RHP R/R 6’4″ 190 New Johnsonville, TN (Waverly Central HS; Walters State): Was 5-0 last season with 66 K’s in 42.3 IP. Threw 5 shutout innings against the Niners in a fall exhibition at the Hayes. Fastball sits 88-91 up to 92. Most polished pitcher in 2020 class, potential rotation arm. Bio
Dillon Phillips RHP R/R 6’3″ 210 Mooresboro, NC (RS Central HS; Walters State CC): Pitched against the Niners in the fall exhibition and struck out 4 of the 6 batters he faced. Pitched for the Forest City Owls this summer in the CPL. Bio
Kolton Scherbenske RHP R/R 6’3″ 210 Rapid City, SD (St Thomas More HS; Des Moines Area CC): Righty with a FB in the low 90’s. May have the best breaking ball in the recruiting class. Slider is up to 83 with wipe-out potential and is high spin stuff across the board. Bio
Hale Sims RHP R/R 6’5″ 270 Paducah, KY (St. Mary HS; Logan College): Big righty with FB in the low 90’s. Brother plays for WKU. Should compete for the weekend rotation in 2021, if not the power 5 midweek starter. Pounds the zone and a big time competitor. Bio
Parker Stinnett INF/OF R/L 6′ 2″ 180 Knoxville,TN ( Powell HS; Walters State CC): LHH CF had the game tying and game winning RBI in an exhibition against the Niners this fall. Should impact the top of the 2021 order with plus contact ability and speed. Also has plus plate discipline with a knack for getting on base. Bio
Tyson Tucker RHP R/R 6’2″ 210 Delhi, IA (Maquoketa Valley HS; North Iowa Area CC): Righty with FB topping low 90’s. Competing to start or close in 2021. One of the biggest competitors in 2020 recruiting class. Bulldog with a plus slider who attacks hitters. Bio