Valparaiso University head baseball coach Tracy Woodson has announced the addition of nine student-athletes that make up the 2012 recruiting class. Joining the Crusader for the 2013 season are Aaron Collins, Jeff Edwards, Ellis Foreman, Jacob Hanson, Drew Hasler, Andrew Hjellming, Scott Jerge, Blayten Magana, and Bryce Yoder.
“These nine players will be outstanding for us at Valparaiso University,” Woodson said of the group. “This is a fantastic recruiting class. It is a really exciting time for the program as we continue to bring in players that can help us achieve our goals. When you look at the size, the athleticism, and the arm strength of the kids we are bringing in, you have to be excited. We believe this group will make an immediate impact on our program as soon as they step on campus.”
Collins is a 5-10, 180-pound, infielder/right-handed pitcher from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas. The two-way player is ranked in the “Top 1000” nationwide for the 2012 class by Perfect Game. As a junior, he led his high school team to a 21-13 overall record, finishing the season hitting over .300. Collins had a break-out summer and fall season participating in numerous Perfect Game tournaments and showcases. He ended the summer season hitting .550 while leading his team in hits and RBIs. Collins was just as good on the mound as he finished with a record of 5-1 with three saves. Collins also batted .530 this fall, highlighted by his performance at the 2012 Perfect Game Texas fall qualifier where he was named “Top Offensive Player” when he hit .750 with a home run, two doubles, four runs scored and eight RBIs.
Edwards is a 5-7, 160-pound, middle infielder from Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio. The slick-fielding shortstop has helped guide the Polar Bears to two consecutive Federal League championship titles. Edwards was selected to the Ohio Crossroads Baseball Showcase for the top 90 juniors in the state this past summer as well as to the Blue/Grey Classic at Coastal Carolina in the summer of 2010. Edwards attended both the Freedom Classic and Silver Spikes Showcases. This past summer he played for his high school team finishing with a .364 batting average, 13 doubles, four triples, and nine stolen bases.
Foreman is a 6-3, 190-pound, right-handed pitcher from Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas. A native of Cedar Park, Texas, he was recently named to the 2011 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Honorable Mention Team as well as being ranked in the “Top 1000” for the 2012 recruiting class. He was a member of the Tiger team that won the 2011 District championship as well as the 2010 and 2011 Bi-District championships. He was named the 2009 Most Valuable Player. In his junior year, Foreman finished with an ERA of 3.15 with a WHIP of 1.21. His success carried over during his summer season as he earned All-Tournament honors in the 2011 WWBA Perfect Game World Championship in Atlanta, Ga. and the 2011 USSSA National Championship Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla. Foreman earned 2011 Academic All-District honors while ranking in the top 25% class ranking academically.
Hanson is a 6-1, 190-pound catcher from Aurora Christian High School in Aurora, Ill. The Trail, Ill. native is listed as the No. 69 prospect in the class of 2012 in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and ranked in the “Top 1000” by Perfect Game. Hanson was named to the Beacon-News All-Area First Team this spring after hitting .395 with a .441 on-base percentage, 20 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs. In 2010 he was named First Team All Conference, Academic All-Conference, selected to the USSSA Regional Team, and participated in the USSSA All-American Games.
Hasler is a 6-6, 220-pound, right-handed pitcher from Mishawaka Marian High School. As a junior, the South Bend, Ind. native was a member of Indiana’s 3A state runner-up team as well as being named to the 2011 Honorable Mention All-Northern Indiana Conference Team. Hasler finished the 2011 season with a record of 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA, 31.3 innings pitched, 12 walks and 24 strikeouts. He was also selected to represent the Midwest by being named to the 2011 White Sox Area Code Team, which competed in California against the best players in the country. Listed as the No. 32 prospect in the class of 2012 in Indiana by Prep Baseball Report, the right-hander was named to the 2011 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Honorable Mention Team as well as to the 2011 Indiana Crossroads Top 90.
Hjellming is a 6-6, 190-pound, right-handed pitcher from Wheaton-Warrenville South High School in Wheaton, Ill. Hjellming finished the 2011 spring and summer season with a 3.31 ERA, pitching 55 innings with 49 strikeouts. In 2011, he was named to the All-DVC Academic Team and selected to attend the Stevenson Showcase/Northwest Suburban Baseball Showcase Tournament. Hjellming is also a member of the two-time state champion Wheaton-Warrenville South football team.
Jerge is a 6-2, 185-pound, right-handed pitcher from Munster High School in Munster, Ind. Jerge finished his junior year with a record of 3-1, an ERA of 1.87, and 39 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. Listed as the No. 51 prospect in the class of 2012 in Indiana by Prep Baseball Report, Jerge pitches for Top Tier, who this September, captured the 2011 USA Baseball’s Labor Day Cup championship at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Magana is a 6-1, 210-pound, right-handed pitcher from Belton High School in Belton, Texas. The Temple, Texas native was recently selected to the all-tournament team at Perfect Game’s prestigious World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla., which features many of the nation’s most talented high school players. Magana was outstanding as he pitched 4.2 innings in relief with a 0.00 ERA and eight strikeouts. Perfect Game has also ranked him in the “Top 1000” for the 2012 recruiting class. As a junior, Magana was named First Team All-District, First Team All-Super Centex, “Athlete of the Week” by Temple Daily Telegram, and KDH Pressbox Player of the Week. He was also a member of Team Texas for the Sunbelt Classic as well as the Texas All-Star game held at Baylor University. Magana was voted as the best player in Texas for his class by the Houston Post in 2008.
Yoder is a 5-11, 170-pound, right-handed pitcher from Eastside High School in Spencerville, Ind. Named All-Northeast Corner Conference Honorable Mention after his junior season, Yoder posted a record of 7-3 with a 3.78 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched. Perfect Game has also ranked him in the “Top 1000” nationwide for the 2012 recruiting class. Yoder is listed as the No. 36 prospect in the class of 2012 in Indiana by Prep Baseball Report and pitched for the Summit City Sluggers during the summer.
"I want to commend my coaching staff for putting this class together,” said Woodson. “It is not an easy task to identify the players that can be both successful on the field and in the classroom here at Valpo. I have no doubt that these players have this ability. With this recruiting class, we were able to keep some of the heralded players from our area close to home and also able to snatch three extremely talented players from Texas. We are a family here at Valpo and we are excited to be adding these new members.”