Pitcher Jared Forestieri is coming from New Jersey. Pitcher Ian Krol is from Illinois. Randal Grichuk is a power hitter from Texas. Pitcher Nick Cunningham is from Indiana.
Arizona’s baseball team has expanded its recruiting base with 18 players coming from nine states.
“The interest was off the charts,” Arizona coach Andy Lopez said. “I really thought we would be making just some token phone calls, but there was sincere interest. We ended up getting kids from all over.”
Forestieri comes from the farthest point, but players from Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota also will join the frosh class in fall 2009.
“It shows the type of success we have had the last five or six years,” Lopez said. “Going to the super-regional and playing Miami like we did last year really helped us.
“Having two (major league first-round draft picks) with our pitching staff, I think helped. There were a lot of factors working in our favor.”
After losing Ryan Perry (21st pick) and Daniel Schlereth (26th) to the draft, UA needed to load up on pitchers.
Forestieri is a hard-throwing left-hander with a 90-mph fastball. He is from Elmwood Park (N.J.) High School. Krol is a projected second-round draft pick next year out of Neuqua Valley High in Naperville, Ill.
Grichuk is slated as a first-round selection by the New York Yankees for his home run power, MLBdraftsite.com said.
Cunningham is a right-handed pitcher from Wentworth High near Indianapolis. The Wildcats are looking for his good breaking ball and closer mentality to fit in right away.
Cole Frenzel from Dickinson High in North Dakota is a pure power hitter, with 17 homers and a .410 average a year ago.
Pitcher Nick Dolsky is a strikeout artist with an excellent breaking ball. He is from Apple Valley, Minn. Pitcher Joe Effertz throws in the low 90s. He’s out of Ladysmith (Wis.) High.
The Wildcats signed three of the top in-state prospects in pitcher Trent Stevenson from Phoenix Brophy Prep, first baseman Matt Helm from Chandler Hamilton and catcher Tommy Joseph of Phoenix Horizon.
Stevenson, with a 90-plus-mph fastball, is a projected third-round pick. He will be among many of the Wildcats’ recent signees who could be drafted this summer and opt to play pro ball instead of going to UA.
“Now we will see who shows up,” Lopez said.