Oct. 23, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Dave Serrano and the Tennessee baseball coaching staff have put together a top-20 recruiting class for the second season in a row, as Baseball America ranked this year's Vols' crop No. 15 in its annual recruiting rankings.
Last season, Serrano's first class with the Vols came in at No. 20 on Baseball America's list and according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this year's group is the 14th-best class in the country.
"I'm very proud of the fact that our staff has put together two top classes in our first two years," said Serrano. "It shows the trust that student-athletes are putting into our staff and system, which have a proven track record. Also, I believe it shows that Tennessee is a special place to attend and play."
Serrano, first-year recruiting coordinator Aric Thomas, associate head coach Greg Bergeron, volunteer assistant Tony Asaro and the rest of the Tennessee baseball staff worked tirelessly to put together this year's class of 18 newcomers, which includes 10 freshmen and eight junior college transfers.
"Our entire coaching staff did a wonderful job of recognizing and finding players that fit our needs as we continue to develop this program," said Serrano. "This class is filled with power bats, great athletes and some much-needed power arms. Those power arms will add nicely to the returners from last year's squad and give us the makings of a good, deep and quality pitching staff.
"The additional offensive firepower, speed and pure athleticism the rest of the players in this class provide will give us a very well-rounded team with great depth. We are extremely excited about this group of young men and feel that they will play a big role in helping us keep this program moving in a positive direction."
Tennessee is one of nine Southeastern Conference teams listed in the top 25, finishing ahead of No. 25 Kentucky, No. 21 Georgia and No. 20 Vanderbilt, and following top-rated Florida, No. 3 South Carolina, No. 8 Ole Miss, No. 9 Mississippi State and No. 13 Auburn.
This year's class consists of five MLB draftees, including right-handed pitcher Kyle Serrano - a 29th-round selection by the Colorado Rockies in June, first basemen Nathaniel Maggio - a 32nd-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in June, outfielder Johnny Youngblood - a two-time draftee and most recently a 15th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, right-handed pitcher Bret Marks - a 22nd-round selection by the New York Yankees in 2012 and right-handed pitcher Josh Peterson - a 40th-round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2011.
Fans can get the first glimpse of the top-15 class this Friday, as the Big Orange welcomes in-state foe Belmont to Lindsey Nelson Stadium for a fall scrimmage. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. and admission is FREE.