BASEBALL ANNOUNCES STRONG RECRUITING CLASS FOR 2003 SEASON
head coach Roy Mewbourne announced Saturday the signing
of one of the deepest and most talented recruiting classes
during his tenure. Eight highly touted high school prospects,
which will play for the Commodores starting in the 2003 season,
signed national letters of intent during the opening week
of the signing period which runs through Nov. 21.
class includes the No. 1 prospect from the states of Arizona,
Ohio and Tennessee and six of the nation's top players according
to several recruiting services.
class consists of outfielder Jeff Boutwell from Panama City,
Fla., right-handed pitcher Matt Buschmann from Wildwood, Mo.,
infielder Warner Jones from Nashville, right-handed pitcher
Jensen Lewis from Cincinnati, Ohio, catcher Matt McGraner
from Germantown, Tenn., left-handed pitcher Ryan Mullins from
Nashville, right-handed pitcher Blake Owen from Cross Plains,
Tenn., and outfielder Jason Pridie from Prescott, Ariz.
added an outstanding group of pitchers, more versatile position
players and more team speed," Mewbourne said. "This ranks
among one of the better classes we've put together, especially
with the number of players we're bringing to Vanderbilt."
who will add speed and power to the Commodore lineup, earned
honorable mention All-State and All-Bay County honors last
season at A. Crawford Mosley High School after batting .326
with 11 home runs 29 RBI and six stolen bases.
served as Lafayette High School's top pitcher last season,
striking out 62 batters and posting a 5-3 record and 2.59
ERA in 46.0 innings. This summer he registered a team-low
1.74 ERA while earning a 10-1 record and 76 strikeouts in
68.1 innings pitched with the Ellisville Redbirds of the St.
Louis Amateur Baseball Association. Buschmann could serve
as a starter or reliever immediately.
a senior at Montgomery Bell Academy ranks as the top high
school player in Tennessee and No. 46 in the nation according
to Prospects Plus. He also ranks No. 65 nationally according
to the web site TeamOneBaseball.com. As a shortstop last season,
Jones batted .511 with 46 hits, four home runs, 31 RBI and
24 stolen bases in as many attempts. He has received All-Region
honors for the past three years and All-Mid-Region and All-State
recognition as a sophomore and junior. The versatile Jones
selected Vanderbilt over national powers Georgia Tech and
South Carolina. According to the Vanderbilt coaching staff,
Jones will add speed, power and defensive skills to the infield.
signs with the Commodores as the top high school player in
the state of Ohio and No. 36 according to Prospects Plus.
TeamOneBaseball.com selects Lewis as the No. 28 prospect in
the country. Last season at Anderson High School Lewis compiled
a 2.36 ERA and 5-2 record with 76 strikeouts in 44.0 innings.
He earned second-team All-Fort Ancient Valley Conference honors
and honorable mention All-City accolades. As a sophomore,
Jensen was undefeated at 6-0 with a 2.02 ERA. The VU coaching
staff says Lewis has command of three pitches and could be
a featured starting pitcher in the Southeastern Conference.
lone catcher in this year's recruiting class, McGraner helped
Germantown High School to the state championship last season
batting .340 with three home runs and 40 RBI. He was named
All-District and was listed in the top five of "Best of the
Preps" by The Memphis Commercial Appeal each of the past two
seasons. McGraner will add much needed depth behind the plate.
earned All-Region, All-Mid-Region and consensus All-State
honors at Father Ryan High School last year. He posted a 9-3
record and 0.90 ERA with 111 strikeouts and only 18 walks
in 78 innings pitched last year as a junior. Listed among
the top 200 high school prospects (No. 172) by TeamOneBaseball.com,
Mullins could boltser a developing pitching staff as another
ranks as the No. 4 prospect in Tennessee and No. 81 player
nationally according to Baseball America. He is also ranks
No. 89 nationally by Prospects Plus. He registered a 12-1
record and 0.90 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 59 innings last
season as a junior at East Robertson High School, earning
All-District honors. Known as fierce competitor, Owen could
see immediate action as a starter or key reliever. Pridie
ranks No. 11 in the country by Baseball America, No. 1 in
Arizona and No. 12 in the country according to Prospects Plus,
and No. 22 nationally according to TeamOneBaseball.com. He
was also named a Second Team High School All-American by ESPN
was chosen as the only junior on the 2001 All-Arizona team
by the Arizona Republic. Pridie led the state with a .592
batting average while recording 10 homers, 12 doubles and
11 triples at the plate for Prescott High School last year.
He is projected as a starter in the outfield.
year's recruiting class, consisting of current freshmen Jeremy
Sowers, Scott Shapiro, Tony Mansolino and Jeff Sues was ranked
in some publications as high as the seventh-best class in
the country. Mewbourne says the 2003 class may received even
another great class to match the freshmen that are now on
our campus," Mewbourne said. "In fact, this recruiting class
is probably deeper with more quality players and I expect
it will be ranked as good or better than last year's group."
Baseball Signees for 2003 Baseball Season
Name Position B/T Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Jeff Boutwell OF R/R 6-2 175 Panama City, Fla. (A.
Crawford Mosley HS)
Matt Buschmann RHP R/R 6-2 175 Wildwood, Mo. (Lafayette
Warner Jones INF R/R 5-10 165 Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery
Jensen Lewis RHP R/R 6-2 180 Cincinnati, Ohio (Anderson
Matt McGraner C R/R 6-2 210 Germantown, Tenn. (Germantown
Ryan Mullins LHP L/L 6-4 200 Nashville, Tenn. (Father
Blake Owen RHP R/R 6-3 195 Cross Plains, Tenn. (East
Jason Pridie OF L-R 6-1 175 Prescott, Ariz. (Prescott