FAYETTEVILLE – With five players already signed, the University of Arkansas baseball team added another five to the mix to bring Arkansas’ early signing period total to 10, Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn announced on Monday.
Brian Anderson (IF/RHP), Greg Bird (1B/C), Brandon Nimmo (OF), David Masters (IF) and Tyler Spoon (IF/OF) are the latest group of players to sign with the Razorbacks. Several are ranked among the top 10 players in their state and join other early signees Conor Costello (RHP), Michael Fulmer (RHP), Mark Reyes (LHP), Jean Ramirez (C) and John Reeves (C) as the next class of Razorback baseball players.
"I feel that with this class, we took care of our needs," Van Horn said. "Once we are done signing players we’ll have several pitchers, a couple catchers, two outfielders and a few infielders including a first baseman. This could be one of the best classes that we have ever signed since I’ve been here."
Anderson is a high school teammate of Razorback signee and right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer. He is ranked as the No 320 player overall according to Perfect Game is the No. 8 player in Oklahoma. An infielder for Deer Creek High School, Anderson is also the closer for his high school squad.
"Brian is a very good athlete," Van Horn said. "He has a tremendous arm and a lot of potential with his bat. He may need to move around to find time on the field but has that ability."
Bird joins the Razorbacks from Aurora, Colo., where he was a two-time all-state player for Grandview High School. The No. 91 player overall and No. 2 player in Colorado according to Perfect Game USA, Bird broke Grandview school records for career home runs (27), season home runs (14), season batting average (.660) and RBI (42). He was an Under Armour All-American and Louisville Slugger First-Team High School All-American.
"Bird is setting records and has garnered a lot of pro interest," Van Horn said. "He has size at 6-4 and is over 200 pounds. He catches and plays first base and is a very good defender. He is also a great student. He bats left handed and it would be nice to put his bat in the middle of the order."
A native of Cheyenne, Wyo., Nimmo is a two-time MVP of the state of Wyoming and first-team all-state team member. He was an Under Armour All-American in 2010 and has batting averages of .454 as a freshman, .500 as a sophomore and .448 as a junior. He has driven in more than 230 runs in three years of high school baseball and hit 26 home runs. Nimmo is rated the No. 83 player in the nation and the top prospect out of Wyoming by Perfect Game.
"Nimmo was recruited by everyone," Van Horn said. "His visit to campus is what put him over the top. He is a pure hitter who could step right in and start. He is also a very good student."
Masters hails from St. Louis, Mo., and is touted as a top notch defender. An all-conference selection as a junior, Masters hit .333 last season with two home runs, 10 doubles and a team high 25 RBI as he led his high school to a conference championship.
"David is a very good defender who plays shortstop for his high school team," Van Horn said "He is a late bloomer who recently had a growth spurt and is now 6-3 and about 175-180 pounds. He could become a solid three-hole hitter who can provide some power. His father played professional baseball."
Spoon is an Arkansas product out of Van Buren. A potential infielder or outfielder, Spoon is a solid athlete and is rated as a top 1000 player by Perfect Game. He hit .470 as a junior in 2010 with four home runs and 11 doubles.
"Tyler runs very well," Van Horn said. "He is a gap-to-gap hitter and I’ve been impressed with his development. He is a versatile athlete and is the quarterback of the Van Buren High School football team. He plays third base, outfield and catcher but I see him more as an infielder. His bat will give him a chance to play early."
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