FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU Baseball Head Coach Dave Tollett announced the signing of eight student-athletes during the early-signing period this week. FGCU is the three-time Atlantic Sun Regular Season Champions and had seven players chosen during the 2013 MLB draft.
Jordan Desguin, Kyle Gilbert, Chris Hopkins, Zeke Pietrzyk, Matt Reardon, Devin Smeltzer, Zachary Spivey and Dash Winningham have signed National Letters of Intent to join the FGCU Baseball program in 2014. Six of the eight signees come from the state of Florida. As for the remaining two, one will come from California and the other will come from New Jersey. The class has already been pegged as one of the best in the nation by Baseball America.
“We are very excited about the signing class,” Tollett stated. “It is probably the most special class we have ever put together and we are looking forward to getting them here and getting to work.”
The Eagles closed the 2013 season with a 37-20 overall record and a 19-8 mark in the Atlantic Sun.
Jordan Desguin, 5-11, 170, RHP (Newport Beach, Calif./Feather River CC) R/R
Desguin, a former shortstop, is the only signee coming from the junior college ranks. The Newport Beach, Calif. Native picked up pitching over the summer and quickly jumped on the radar of schools around the country. PerfectGame.org rated Desguin among its top 100 junior college players. “He’s a hard thrower,” FGCU assistant coach Rusty McKee said of Desguin. “He projects are a starter or back end reliever. He’s very athletic with a hard slider and really loves to compete.”
Kyle Gilbert, 6-0, 170, C (Sanford, Fla./Sanford High School) R/R
Gilbert comes to FGCU as the only catcher in this season’s signing class. He was a 2013 PerfectGame.org Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American. McKee noted that Gilbert is “very athletic with a good catch and throw and can really hit the ball. “Gilbert is one of five FGCU commits to have played for the Florida Burn club team.
Chris Hopkins, 6-5, 210, RHP (DeLand, Fla./DeLand High School) R/R
Hopkins is another 2013 PerfectGame.org Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American. “Chris is a hard throwing right-hander with tremendous upside,” McKee added. “He has a very good breaking ball and is overall a very tough kid. He should be a big part of our staff for the next four years.” Hopkins is one of the five commits that has spent time with the Florida Burn club team and drew interest from Florida State, Alabama and Virginia before choosing FGCU.
Steven “Zeke” Pietrzyk, 6-5, 200, LHP (Estero Fla./Estero High School) R/L
Pietrzyk adds a local presence to this recruiting class as he will graduate from Estero High School just down the road in the spring. The Estero native doubled as a first-baseman in high school but will serve as a pitcher only for FGCU. One of the Florida Burn five, the left-hander has been clocked in the mid to upper 80’s. “Zeke is a competitor and a strike thrower,” McKee stated. “He throws his secondary pitches for strikes and should be a valuable piece of our staff in the future.” VIDEO
Matt Reardon, 6-1, 160, MI (Stuart, Fla./Martin County High School) L/R
The fourth member of the Florida Burn five, Reardon comes to FGCU from Martin County High school and is the lone middle-infield commit for the Eagles this fall. “He’s a very athletic middle-infielder that will probably profile as a second baseman for us,” McKee added. “He can really run and hit from the left side of the plate. He could be a big piece in the lineup for us.”
Devin Smeltzer, 6-3, 190, LHP/OF (Pennsauken, N.J./Bishop Eustace High School) R/L
Smeltzer comes to FGCU as a very projectable left-hander that has touched as high as 91 on the gun. He was a 2013 PerfectGame.org Underclass Third Team All-American and will double as an outfielder for the Green and Blue. “He has a great arm and a good breaking ball,” McKee said of Smeltzer. “He should compete for a spot in our rotation as a freshman.” VIDEO
Zachary Spivey, 5-8, 150, OF (Port Orange Fla./Spruce Creek High School) L/L
Spivey is the last of the Florida Burn crew and comes to FGCU from Spruce Creek High School. He is another 2013 PerfectGame.org Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American and will patrol the outfield for the Eagles. “Zach is an ultra-competitive kid,” McKee surmised. “He can run, defend and has a plus arm. He can handle the bat and can create havoc at the top of the order.”
Dash Winningham, 6-2, 220, 1B (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic High School) L/L
Winningham is yet another FGCU athlete from Ocala, Fla. and is the lone first baseman in the class. He is a 2012 and 2013 PerfectGame.org Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American. Winningham drew interest from Florida Atlantic, Florida State and Miami before choosing FGCU. “He is a middle of the order caliber hitter,” McKee said. “He has real power and should make an impact immediately.”