Kansas Baseball Inks Seven in Early Signing Period

Dec. 29, 2011

Fall Signing Day 2011
Baseball Signees
Name Pos. Hometown
Jacob Boylan 1B Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Hayden Edwards RHP Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Tommy Mirabelli INF Rocky River, Ohio
Nick Sweatt C/1B Mission Hills, Kan.
Tyler Watson LHP Georgetown, Texas
Marcus Wheeler INF Phoenix, Ariz.
Colby Wright INF Castro Valley, Calif.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The top high school baseball prospects in the state of Kansas and Arizona, and two other players with ties to the Major Leagues are among seven players who signed with Kansas during the fall signing period, the Jayhawks announced Thursday.

KU’s signing class includes: first baseman Jacob Boylan (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), right-handed pitcher Hayden Edwards (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), infielder Tommy Mirabelli (Rocky River, Ohio), catcher/first baseman Nick Sweatt (Mission Hills, Kan.), left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson (Georgetown, Texas), infielder Marcus Wheeler (Phoenix, Ariz.) and infielder Colby Wright (Castro Valley, Calif.).

“We were looking to build off last year’s nationally-ranked recruiting class which had five players drafted that showed up to school,” Kansas Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ritchie Price said. “These seven players address specific needs with the departure of our eight seniors and should come in and make an immediate impact on our program.”

Jacob Boylan /1B-OF/6-1/175/Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Raymore-Peculiar HS)

Boylan earned all-state, all-district and all-conference honors last season for Raymore-Peculiar High School. Boylan hit .467 in 30 games with nine homers and 44 RBIs, helping the Panthers advance to the second round of the Missouri Class 4 state playoffs. He was also named Kansas City all-metro first team and tabbed Ray-Pec’s offensive player of the year.

“Jacob has a very good swing from the left side and has shown the ability to drive the baseball up the gaps. He has a history of hitting and as he continues to get bigger and stronger, will be a very good college baseball player. We were looking for a left-handed hitter who could play first base and the outfield and Jacob stood out this fall during the evaluation period against the top baseball talent in Kansas City,” Ritchie Price said.

Hayden Edwards/RHP/6-9/195/Shawnee Mission, Kan. (Blue Valley HS)

Edwards is the No. 1-ranked high school baseball player in the state of Kansas according Perfect Game USA. The 6-foot-9 righty is a two-sport star, earning all-state honors in baseball and led his school to a football state championship in 2010. Last season on the diamond he led the Tigers to a third-place finish in the Kansas 5A state playoffs, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.10 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 49 innings on the mound. Edwards participated in the Kansas-Missouri All-Star Game at Community America Ballpark last summer, was invited to participate in the Midwest Scouts Elite 50 Showcase as well as the Kansas City Royals’ Elite Scout Team this fall.

“Hayden has a very quick arm and good mechanics, especially considering how tall he is. As Hayden gets stronger and fills into his body we expect him to only get better. He is the best pitcher in the state and we are extremely excited to watch him develop over the next four years. He has the potential to be a premier pitcher in the Big 12 Conference,” Ritchie Price said.

Tommy Mirabelli/IF/5-8/150/Rocky River, Ohio (St. Edward HS)

Mirabelli was named the Northeast Ohio Rookie of the Year in 2010, helping St. Edward High School win the Division I Ohio State championship. During his sophomore year, he batted .527 to lead the team, while last season he batted .450 with two homers, 15 RBIs and five stolen bases in 20 games. Mirabelli’s father, John, is the assistant general manager of the Cleveland Indians.

“Tommy is a really good baseball player who knows how to play the game and is fundamentally sound. He has had success against some of the top competition in the country on the summer circuit. He comes from a baseball family and has a very high baseball IQ. He will be a guy that controls the defense, takes charge in the middle of the diamond and is the leader out on the field,” Ritchie Price said.

Nick Sweatt/C-1B/6-3/232/Mission Hills, Kan. (Rockhurst HS)

Sweatt played for the K.C. Barnstormers this past summer and batted .422 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 26 games. He also participated in the Get Hits 4 Education All-Star game this past year. He is expected to bring a physical presence to the lineup with the potential to develop into a power hitter for KU.

“Nick is a big, strong kid who has very good bat speed. He should add depth at the catching position for us. As he continues to develop he has a chance to compete for playing time at the DH spot,” Ritchie Price said.

Tyler Watson/LHP/6-0/155/Georgetown, Texas (Georgetown HS)

Watson is also a two-sport star, who was an all-district pitcher for the baseball team and an all-district kicker for the Georgetown High School football team. He was also named Georgetown’s offensive player of the year as a junior, posting the third-highest batting average in school history (.418). On the mound, Watson posted a 5-1 record with one save and a 4.36 ERA in 43 1/3 innings. He also struck out 35 and walked 19. He also pitched for the Premier Baseball national champions this past summer, posting a 7-1 record on the mound and started the championship game for the D-Bat Mustangs. Tyler’s father, Gene Watson, is also the Coordinator of Professional Scouting with the Kansas City Royals.

“Tyler is a guy that knows how to pitch. He is another guy that comes from a baseball family and is very advanced on the mound. His arm action is very clean and he commands all his pitches. Tyler has had success against very good competition and should be prepared to come in and make an impact on our pitching staff early in his college career,” Ritchie Price said.

Marcus Wheeler/IF/6-1/205/Phoenix, Ariz. (Thunderbird HS)

Wheeler is the top-ranked baseball recruit in the state of Arizona according to ESPNHS. As a junior at Phoenix Thunderbird High School last year, Wheeler earned Black Canyon Region Player of the Year honors, batting .554 with 16 doubles, 10 homers and 50 RBIs. He helped the Chiefs to a 27-4 overall record last season and a runner-up finish in the Arizona 4A Division II State championship. Wheeler has also excelled on the basketball court, manning the point for Thunderbird’s basketball team the last two seasons.

“Marcus is a very advanced hitter. What stood out in the evaluation period was his approach and discipline at the plate, as well as his ability to drive the baseball using the whole field. You don’t see that very often from players his age with plus power. Marcus is a power-hitting corner infielder who has good actions defensively. We believe that once Marcus finishes his successful high school basketball career and focuses solely on baseball, he is only going to get better and has a chance to be an impact guy in the middle of our lineup,” Ritchie Price said.

Colby Wright/IF/6-1/195/Castro Valley, Calif. (Castro Valley HS)

Wright is a high-effort player who participated in the USA National Team Identification Series last fall in Cary, N.C. In addition, Wright is a two-time all-league selection for Castro Valley High School and was named the team’s best hitter following his junior season. He also played for Berchovich in the Connie Mack League this past summer.

“Colby has good actions defensively and can play anywhere in the infield. He is a strong kid who has very good bat speed at the plate and has the ability to drive the baseball. What stood out in the evaluation period was how hard Colby plays the game; he plays with an edge and intensity that was fun to watch. We are excited to have a player with Colby’s skill set and toughness joining our program,” Ritchie Price said.