MOREHEAD – The Morehead State University baseball program has added seven athletes for the 2017 season.
The latest additions are infielder/pitcher Josh Baker, infielder Eli Boggess, right-handed pitchers Josh Baumgart, Kyle Cantu and JC Hatcher, outfielder Marion McLean and infielder Chase Teter.
“My assistant coaches Adam Brown and Graham Johnson did a great job identifying and filling some needs for us as a club,” said head coach Mike McGuire. “We’ve added seven guys from seven different states. A lot of time and energy went into signing this class. I’m very excited to add these guys to our program. They all have a chance to make an impact right away, but more importantly they are all good students and should be good representatives of MSU Baseball.”
Baker, a native of Clarksburg, W.Va., is a 5-foot-11 infielder and left-handed pitcher who attended Notre Dame High School. Baker was ranked as the second-best first baseman in the state by Prep Baseball Report. He was named First-Team All-State and First-Team All-County in 2016 when he batted .441 with seven doubles and 28 RBI.
“Josh is good left-handed hitter who handles the bat well and should hit for some power as he develops physically,” McGuire said. “He is athletic enough to play the outfield as well as first base.”
Boggess is from Versailles and attended Lincoln Trail (Ill.) Community College in 2015 and 2016. The 5-11 infielder will be a junior in 2017. In 2016, he batted .309 with 60 hits and 38 runs scored while also clubbing 14 doubles and swiping 18 bases. In 2015, he carded a .285 average with 15 doubles and 11 stolen bases. Boggess batted .291 with 32 hits and a pair of home runs in the summer Prospect League in 2016.
“Eli had a very good career at Lincoln Trail. He can play multiple infield spots as well as the outfield,” McGuire added. “He handles the bat well, and his versatility should allow him to make an impact and provide us depth at multiple positions.”
Baumgart, from Sioux Falls, S.D., originally enrolled at Creighton and redshirted in 2015. He attended Iowa Western Community College in 2016 and will be a redshirt sophomore at MSU. The 5-11 pitcher was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA for IWCC, which competed at the 2016 National Junior College World Series. He pitched in the prestigious Northwoods League in the summer of 2015 with 29 strikeouts to his name.
“Josh comes from one of the top JUCO programs in the country at Iowa Western,” said McGuire. “He is a power righthander who should have a chance to be in our rotation or have a key role out of the bullpen for us.”
Cantu is a native of Lantana, Texas, and spent two seasons at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. The 6-3 righty was 5-1 with 9.29 strikeouts per nine frames in 2016. In 2015, he tossed two complete games among his 12 appearances and was 3-2 with 31 strikeouts and just eight walks.
“Kyle has really good fastball command and fills up the strike zone,” McGuire said. “His stuff has taken a big jump from his freshman to sophomore year. Kyle played on the same JUCO team with Fall signee Jake Bublitz.”
Hatcher, a 6-2 pitcher from Fort Dodge, Iowa, will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after two years at Iowa Central Community College. Hatcher totaled 76 strikeouts in just 56 innings (12.1 Ks/9 innings) in 2016. In 2015, he was 3-0 with 11.3 punchouts per nine innings. In his two seasons, he was 7-3. He participated in the Mink League in the summers and was a league all-star in 2015 while recording more than 70 strikeouts over two summers.
“JC is a great competitor with a good arm and a plus slider,” McGuire said. “He pitched in the number one starter role for Iowa Central CC. JC should pitch in our rotation or the back end of bullpen for us.”
McLean is a 6-0 left-handed hitter who played two seasons at New Mexico Military Institute. The Phoenix, Ariz., native batted .315 with 11 doubles, 25 RBI and 51 runs scored in 2016. In 2015, he notched a .394 batting average with a .456 on-base percentage to go along with 13 doubles and six triples.
“Marion is a good left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield spots,” McGuire commented. “He is coming off a very good two-year career in one of the top JUCO leagues in the country. We expect him to impact our lineup immediately.”
Teter, whose hometown is Pocatello, Id., is a 6-0 middle infielder who played two seasons at Treasure Valley (Ore.) Community College. He batted .343 with 70 hits and 36 runs scored in 2016. He also had six doubles and 35 RBI. He scored 22 times and had a .317 on-base percentage in 2015.
“Chase is a good infielder who played shortstop and second for Treasure Valley in the NWACC – a wood bat junior college league,” said McGuire. “He handles the bat well and is a high on-base guy who should be a great addition to our club.”
These seven join nine fall signees to fill out the 2017 roster.
“The combination of our fall and spring signing classes gives us 16 new players to welcome into our program this fall,” McGuire said. “It’s a very talented group to blend with a group of returners that includes the nucleus of last year’s team. We are very excited about the upcoming year as we expect to get back to an NCAA Regional.”