Kansas Baseball Adds Eight During Early Signing Period

Dec. 7, 2009


Kansas head baseball coach Ritch Price announced that the team has added eight student-athletes, who will all compete for the Jayhawks during the 2011 season. Outfielder Jordan Brown (Blue Springs, Mo.), outfielder/pitcher Mark Brown (Detroit, Mich.), infielder/catcher Ka’iana Eldredge (Honolulu, Hawaii), outfielder Alex Harris (Murphy, Texas), catcher Tom Hougland (Parker, Colo.), infielder/pitcher Conner Murray (Overland Park, Kan.), infielder Brad Salgado (Temecula, Calif.), and pitcher Tyler Smith (Cypress, Texas) have all committed to play baseball at KU.

“Our coaching staff is thrilled about this recruiting class,” Kansas Head Coach Ritch Price said. “This may be the best class we’ve had during our time at Kansas.”

Jordan Brown, a 5-foot-11 outfielder from Blue Springs, Mo., has played for head coach Marc Hines at Blue Springs High School. He was named the school’s freshman player of the year in baseball, and helped lead the Wildcats’ football team to the state playoffs this past fall. Brown, a left-handed hitter, played for the Kansas City Barnstormers this past summer.

Mark Brown, a 5-foot-9 outfielder from Detroit, Mich., has played for head coach Norm Taylor at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. Brown is a three-sport standout who earned Michigan Chronicle Player of the Year honors on the baseball field last spring. As a junior, Brown batted .510 with eight homers, 52 RBIs and 42 stolen bases. On the mound, he also impressed with a 3-0 record and six saves in nine appearances. He also posted a 0.85 ERA. Last summer, he made the area code team and has been invited to play in the breakthrough series this year.

Eldredge, a 6-foot infielder/catcher from Honolulu, Hawaii, is a senior at Punahou High School, but spent the last three years at Cedar High School in Cedar City, Utah. He is a two-time All-Utah selection at shortstop, and was named the Utah Baseball Academy’s No. 1 player in the class of 2010. He was named the school’s defensive MVP as well as a Triple Crown All-American. He will be looking to help the Punahou baseball team capture its sixth-straight state title this spring.

Harris, a 5-foot-10 outfielder from Murphy, Texas, is a senior at Plano East Senior High. He was named First Team All-District 8-5A and First Team All-Dallas/Fort Worth last season, helping his school reach the regional quarterfinals. During the 2009 season, Harris batted .378 with six homers, 21 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He also played for the Dallas Angels in the BBI Premier League during the summer, and played in the World Wood Bat Tournament in Marietta, Ga.

Hougland, a 6-foot-2 catcher from Parker, Colo., is a senior at Chaparral High School this season and has played for head coach Tony Persichina. He earned academic all-state honorable mention last year as well as a team leadership award. Last season he played in the Colorado Connie Mack Summer League.

Murray, a 6-foot infielder/pitcher from Overland Park, Kan., is a senior at Olathe East High School and is the younger brother of current Jayhawk Colton Murray. Murray has been coached by John McDonald the last two seasons, and earned All-Sunflower League honors in 2009. He struck out 57 hitters in just 36 innings on the mound last year, and tossed a no-hitter against Lawrence High School. At the plate, Murray hit .419.

Salgado, an infielder from Temecula, Calif., has played the last two seasons at Great Oak High School for head coach Eric Morton. Last season he was named first team all-league, and was the Great Oak Offensive Player of the Year. He tied for the league lead in homers (seven) and RBIs (26), while batting .350 with 28 hits in 80 at bats. Last summer, he also played for the ABD Bulldogs, leading the team to the Perfect Game National Championship in Tucson, Ariz., hitting .600 in tournament play.

Smith, a left-handed pitcher from Cypress, Texas, has lettered three times for head coach Richard Lynch at Tomball High School. He has been named a Preseason All-American heading into this year, after being selected all-district as well as to Team Texas last year. He was named to the all-tournament team at the Houston TASO tournament in 2009, as well as the Sunbelt Classic in 2008 and 2009. Last year he was named the Houston Chronicle Greater Houston Area Pitcher of the Week on March 23 after tossing a complete game against second-ranked Klein High School.

“Obviously we’re expecting to lose a great deal of talent to the Major League draft as well as to graduation this year,” Price said. “We believe that this group of young men will help us continue to be a Top 25 program.”

The eight new Jayhawks will be looking to help the team build on its 2009 success, when it finished the season 39-24 and advanced to the Chapel Hill Region championship in the NCAA Tournament, falling to eventual College World Series participant North Carolina.