MOUNT CARMEL -- 15 Wabash Valley College Baseball Warriors signed their National Letters of Intent to their respective four-year schools this past Tuesday at Wabash Valley College, including 14 Division I signees.
The crop of signees included four commits set to attend Southeastern Conference schools such as Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina, as well as other powerful programs such as UConn, Purdue and others.
Sophomore southpaw Cameron Tullar highlights the group, as Tullar inked his pledge to Mississippi State.
Tullar (9-1) enjoyed a sensational freshman season at Wabash Valley College, earning All-American honors and posting a lowly 2.02 ERA in 66 2-3 innings pitched as Wabash Valley's No. 2 starter. Tullar fanned 104 batters for an impressive 14.04 K/9 inning ratio. He could have been an early round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft but turned down offers to return to Wabash Valley. If he so chooses, he could once again be in early round talks for the 2020 Draft, or opt to head to Starkville, Miss.
Sophomore Jake Plastiak enters Wabash Valley College as a transfer from Wichita State, having committed to another SEC program, Kentucky.
Plastiak is a switch-hitting third baseman who possesses power from both sides of the plate. He slashed for a .209 BA in 43 plate appearances last season for the Shockers as a true freshman, and figures to be a key cog for the Warriors this year in replacing Brian Fuentes. He could play his way into early round talks as well, or opt to join Nick Mingione's club in Lexington, Ky.
Potentially joining Plastiak in Lexington, sophomore utility player Kirk Liebert.
Liebert played everywhere from catcher, first base, to outfield for the Warriors last season. He saw little action toward the beginning of the season, but quickly played his way into the order with his clutch hitting and patience at the plate. Liebert slashed for a .424 average in 66 at bats, including 22 RBIs and an impressive 3.36/1 walk-strikeout ratio last season. He certainly has the ability to head to Lexington and make an instant impact as a top of the order type hitter.
Returning as one of Wabash Valley College's most experienced and most dynamic pitchers, sophomore CJ Weins, who inked his pledge to join former teammate Noah Myers in Columbia, S.C.
The Gamecocks have long been a perennial power not only in the SEC, but nationally as well. They struggled last season with a 28-28 record (8-22 conference), but an addition such as Weins could help in 2021 for the Gamecocks. Weins (5-0) served as the Warriors' closer and posted team-bests in ERA (1.32) and saves (seven), while striking out 54 batters in 27 1-3 innings of work. His pitches clock out in the 92-95 mph range, though he's risen as high as 96 in the fall. Weins has the potential to be another early round selection, if he opts for that route.
Transferring in from Purdue, sophomore righty Austin Peterson figures to be a key addition into the Warriors rotation for the spring, while also having committed to attend UConn next fall.
A 6-foot-7 right-hander, Peterson (1-5) pitched in 48 innings last season for the Boilermakers. He fanned 49 batters on the season and amassed a 4.50 ERA in 25 appearances last season. He'll replace starters Ryan O'Connell (Alabama) and Antoine Kelly Jr. (Milwaukee Brewers) who departed from WVC. He'll be a welcome addition to Head Coach Jim Penders' rotation at UConn. The Huskies have earned five at-large trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two consecutive.
Another transfer who'll officially debut for the Warriors in the spring is sophomore righty Landon Weins.
Weins (4-3) transferred in from Morehead State, where he threw 53 innings and amassed a lowly 3.06 ERA in an impressive freshman season. Weins' fastball ranges in the 88-90 mph range and looks to be a key arm for the Warriors, whether it be in the rotation or in the bullpen. He'll be joining Purdue, a team which finished 21-34 last season in the tough Big Ten Conference and will be entering its first season with a new coach, first-year coach Greg Goff.
Though he threw just 9 2-3 innings last season, sophomore Connor Fenlong will be a guy who assumes more of a role for the Warriors and is signed to attend Indiana State, where he'll join Fuentes.
Fenlong's a tall, hard throwing righty who clocks out in the 90-94 mph range. He made 10 appearances last season for the Warriors, striking out 10 batters and posting a 5.59 ERA. That number's likely to decrease this fall, as Fenlong becomes a more dependable option out of the Warriors' bullpen. He could certainly play his way into draft consideration when it's all said and done.
Emerging as one of WVC's more potent hitters as a freshman, Mason Sykes made a considerable impact for the Warriors and inked his pledge to Toledo.
Sykes is an athletic, strong hitter who slashed 10 homers and 51 RBIs with a .377 batting average and a .482 on base percentage last spring. He returns as possibly Wabash Valley's top returning bat looking poised for a strong sophomore encore. He'll join a Rockets team that went 17-36 this past spring, but is now under the direction of first-year Head Coach Rob Reinstetle.
Though it was hard to crack a loaded WVC infield, sophomore Adam Grob still managed to make an impact and is set to attend USC Upstate.
As a freshman Grob saw just 21 plate appearances, but made his appearances count. He slashed for a .429 average, a .519 OBP, as well as a pair of homers and 13 RBIs. He's likely to see more action this season, and could very well play his way into the everyday batting order.
Chris Torres, another returning bullpen piece for the Warriors, is set to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago, and looks the part of a key piece for WVC this spring.
Torres saw limited action on the mound this past spring, but with several arms now gone, he'll be more relied on late in games. In 8 2-3 innings of work Torres struck out 12 batters and had a 2.08 ERA. He throws in the 87-90 mph range with a plus breaking ball.
Trailing only Myers in stolen bases last season, sophomore third baseman Savier Pinales was a potent threat on the bases for the 2019 Warriors and is committed to Illinois State.
Pinales is an ultra-athletic corner infielder with impressive range at the position and electric speed on the bases. Pinales' batting line last season included a .363 batting clip, a .488 OBP, 46 RBIs and a ridiculous total of 10 triples, which easily led the team. He also swiped 43 stolen bases. Pinales will join a strong Illinois State team that enjoyed a tremendous 2019, finishing 36-26, and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in a series to Louisville, who finished in the final four of the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Sophomore southpaw Jared Hart redshirted last season, but is back for this spring and will accompany Pinales to Illinois State.
Hart reaches between 87-90 mph on the radar gun and came to WVC after spending his freshman season at Temple College in Texas. He spent this summer playing for the Henderson Flash and will be one of the more reliable arms for the Warriors this spring.
Strong contributions by breakout stars such as Cael Baker, Pinales and Liebert made it difficult for sophomore Ole Arntson to break into the batting order on a consistent basis, but the SIU-E commit still enjoyed a fantastic freshman season.
Arntson, a lengthy, power-hitting first baseman, slashed for a .388 average and .523 OBP. He added a homer, seven doubles, 13 RBIs and 19 runs in 49 plate appearances.
Having transferred into Wabash Valley from Texas Tech, sophomore catcher Mason Minzey signed to continue his collegiate career once his days as a Warrior are over at Ohio University.
Minzey saw just 11 plate appearances for the Red Raiders as a true freshman, but the Grand Blanc, Mich. native will make an immediate impact for Wabash Valley this season. Replacing the big shoes vacated by catcher Zade Richardson (drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals), Minzey possesses similar potential in calling the game and limiting the opposing baserunners. The Bobcats finished 20-34 in 2019, though have made the NCAA Tournament twice in the last three seasons under the direction of Head Coach Rob Smith.
Sophomore Freylin Minyety checks in as the final fall commit for the Warriors, as the lone Division II signee, as he'll be headed to the University of Southern Indiana.
Minyety will be a key piece in the middle of the Warriors order and enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign. Minyety slashed for a .369 average, a .438 OBP, 14 doubles and 43 RBIs in 195 plate appearances as the team's everyday shortstop. Minyety could play his way into being a 2020 draft selection.
15 down, though there'll certainly be a slew of Warriors to add on to this total by the conclusion of next spring.