, Ark. –
Head baseball coach Dave Van Horn welcomed 23 newcomers to the Razorback baseball team on Monday with the beginning of fall classes at the University of Arkansas.
A group of 11 position players (three also pitch) and 12 pitchers join a roster of 16 returning lettermen and five redshirt freshmen for the 2007 season.
“This group has the potential to be the best recruiting class we have had since I arrived at Arkansas,” Van Horn said. “It has a very good mix of junior college players that have put up great numbers and high school players that are very physical and can make an impact right away.”
The Razorbacks begin preparations for the 2007 season when they open fall practice on Monday, Sept. 11, at Baum Stadium.
“It is going to be a good year for us – I really believe that,” Van Horn said. “I think the key is putting together the team. All of the new guys getting together and gelling and making us a unit. That is really what we are going to focus on in the fall.”
Below are brief biographical sketches and a roster of the Diamond Hogs’ 23 newcomers.
2007 Arkansas Baseball Newcomer Roster
4 Tim SmallingINF/RHP R/R Fr.Raleigh, N.C./Broughton
7 Casey Coon INF R/R Jr.Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado/CC of Southern Nevada
8 Dylan DurenINF R/R Fr.Tulsa, Okla./Union
9 Jacob Julius OF L/L Jr.New Albany, Ind./Providence/Spalding University
10 Andrew DarrOF R/R Jr.Gilbert, Ariz./Mesquite/Chandler-Gilbert [Ariz.] CC
12 Chad Pierce C/RHP R/R Fr.Fond Du Lac, Wis./Fond Du Lac
17 Zac Miller OF R/R Sr.Mountain Home, Ark./Mountain Home/Lipscomb Univ.
18 Murray Watts1B L/L Fr. Jonesboro, Ark./Jonesboro
20 Aaron MurpheeOF R/L Jr. Weatherford, Texas/Weatherford/NE Texas CC
27 Jeff NuttOF/C L/R Jr.Wylie, Texas/Wylie HS/Navarro [Texas] CC
28 Jess Todd RHP R/R Jr. Kilgore, Texas/Kilgore/Navarro [Texas] College
29 Dallas Keuchel LHP L/L Fr. Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelly
36 Scott Limbocker LHP L/L Fr. Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North
37 Sean Jones OF S/R Jr. Houston, Texas/Klein/Sam Houston St./
40 Travis Hill RHP R/R Jr.Spokane, Wash./Seminole [Okla.] State JC
42 Duke Welker RHPR/R Jr.Puyallup, Wash./Woodinville/Seminole [Okla.] JC
45 Sam Murphy RHPR/R Fr. Omaha, Neb./Westside
47 Chris BergmannLHP L/L Fr. Houston, Texas/Memorial
48 Evan Cox RHP/INF R/R Fr. Maumelle, Ark./North Little Rock
49 Stephen Richards LHP L/L Fr.Plano, Texas/Plano East
50 Brandon White LHP L/L Fr.Little Rock, Ark./Little Rock Catholic
51 Stuart Slakey RHP R/R Fr. Gunter, Texas/Gunter
56 Travis Mosley RHPR/R Fr.Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall
2007 Arkansas Baseball Newcomers Biographical Sketches
Chris Bergmann, LHP
Houston, Texas (Memorial)
Chris Bergman was the No. 1 starting pitcher on a well-known Memorial High School team in Houston … a left-handed pitcher that throws in the mid 80s with good command … a wiry lefty that the Razorback coaching staff believes has a lot of potential … throws a fastball between 87-89, a curveball and a changeup … went 8-3 during his senior campaign with a 1.79 ERA in 58.2 innings … struck out 73 and walked just 23 with a .172 opponent batting average … a first-team all-district selection and named to the Houston Baseball Coaches Association All-Star team … also batted .330 with nine home runs … posted a 14-2 record with a 2.48 ERA as a junior … also earned first-team all-region and first-team all-district honors in 2005 … chose Arkansas over Ole Miss, Tulane, TCU and Baylor.
Casey Coon, SS
Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado/Community College of Southern Nevada)
Casey Coon signed on with the Razorbacks in May and should make an immediate impact in the infield after earning honorable mention All-America honors in 2006 … projected as a shortstop after earning Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors … his .367 average was second in the wood bat SWAC for the Community College of Southern Nevada … he swiped 29 bases, scored 36 runs and posted a .435 on-base percentage in 57 games … Coon collected 69 total hits to rank second in the conference … had 13 doubles, three triples and three home runs while driving in 31 runs for the Coyotes … fielded .929 at shortstop with just 15 errors in 211 chances (118 assists and 78 putouts) … walked 12 times and struck out just 18 times … hit by 12 pitches … bounced back as a sophomore in 2006 after numerous injuries almost derailed his baseball career, including a broken arm, shoulder surgery and a knee injury … received limited playing time as a freshman at CCSN as he recovered from those injuries … was a standout prepster at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nev. … choose Arkansas over Georgia, Arizona State, Oregon State, TCU, Rice and San Diego State.
Evan Cox, RHP/INF
Maumelle, Ark. (North Little Rock)
Evan Cox is a hard-nosed baseball player and a two-way performer who has a lot of power offensively from the right-side of the plate … two-time all-state performer (2005, 2006) … played for the West Team in the 2006 High School All-American Baseball Game … named to the 2006 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas team after going 6-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 65 strikeouts … was named the MVP of the 2004 AAAAA State Tournament … on the mound Cox has an 89-93 mph fastball with good movement … also features a curveball, slider, changeup and split-finger fastball … has a tremendous arm in the infield where he played third base in high school … a very good competitor … chose Arkansas over Ole Miss.
Andrew Darr, OF
Gilbert, Ariz. (Mesquite/Chandler-Gilbert CC)
Andrew Darr joins the Razorbacks after two standout seasons at Chandler-Gilbert Community College … batted .291 as a sophomore with three doubles, three triples, a home run and 21 RBI … also scored 20 runs and stole two bases … played in 50 games as a freshman, posting a .270 average and 26 RBI … collected seven doubles and three triples in 2005 … scored 26 runs and swiped seven bases … earned three letters in baseball and one in basketball at Mesquite High School … was named Mesquite’s Most Improved Player following his junior season and the Team MVP as a senior … was the Region Player of the Year as a senior … also named first-team all-region as a junior and first-team all-state as a senior.
Dylan Duren, INF
Tulsa, Okla. (Union)
Dylan Duren is a big, athletic infielder that has outstanding tools at the plate … as a senior, batted well over .400 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI … selected to the Frontier Valley all-conference team and participated in the Northeastern Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game … missed almost his entire junior season at Union High School in Tulsa with back problems … he appears to be 100 percent recovered … one of the top hitter in the state of Oklahoma … has shown excellent power and good presence at the plate … a player that coaches feel has impact potential … will battle for playing time at third base in 2007 … chose Arkansas over Arizona and Oklahoma.
Travis Hill, RHP
Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville [Wash.] HS/Seminole [Okla.] State JC)
Travis Hill is a right-handed pitcher out of Seminole [Okla.] Junior College that will compete for the closer’s role for the Razorbacks in 2007 … posted a 2.70 ERA and 11 saves at Seminole State last season … has a good arm that can go into the low 90s … his 11 saves were tied for sixth nationally in the NJCAA … fanned 43 batters in 30 innings of work to rank seventh in the NJCAA with 1.43 strikeouts per inning … allowed just 16 hits and nine earned runs in 30 innings of work … played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots this summer and posted a 2-2 record with four saves and a 1.03 ERA … a 42nd round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 2005 … played for the chose Arkansas over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Sean Jones, OF
Houston, Texas (Klein HS/Navarro [Texas] CC/Sam Houston State)
Sean Jones is a switch-hitting outfielder from Navarro Community College … has a strong arm and can really run … produced a dynamic sophomore season at Navarro in 2006 … hit .363 from his leadoff spot and scored an impressive 62 runs in 204 at bats … collected 74 total hits with 13 doubles, six triples a home run and 32 RBI … used his outstanding speed to swipe 20 bases over 51 games … played his freshman season at Sam Houston State where an injured wrist midway through the year derailed his season … batted .232 with a home run and eight RBI.
Jacob Julius, OF
New Albany, Ind. (Providence/Spaulding [Ky.] University)
Outfielder Jacob Julius joined the Razorbacks over the summer after transferring from NAIA Spaulding University in Kentucky and should provide immediate help in the outfield … played for the Southwest Slashers of the Jayhawk League in the summer of the 2006 after hitting better that .370 … produced outstanding numbers at Spaulding in 2006, hitting .374 with 56 RBI, 61 runs scored and 23 stolen bases … collected 19 doubles and hit 11 home runs in 64 games … an honorable mention NAIA All-American and a member of the all-Region XII team in 2006 … batted .331 as a freshman in 2005 … hit eight home runs and drove in 31 with a .603 slugging percentage and a .400 on-base percentage … played his high school baseball at Providence High School in New Albany, Ind.
Dallas Keuchel, LHP
Tulsa, Okla. (Bishop Kelly)
Dallas Keuckel (Ki-cul) is an outstanding young left-handed pitcher out of Tulsa’s Bishop Kelly High School … led Bishop Kelly to three appearances in the state 5A finals and two state championships (2004 and 2006) … went 10-0 on the mound with a 1.57 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 59 innings of work last season … held opponents to a .170 batting average … 2006 Metro Lakes Pitcher of the Year and a first-team Tulsa World All-Metro selection … named first-team all-Metro Lakes and a second-team Tulsa World All-Metro choice in 2005 … posted a 7-1 record as a sophomore with a 1.98 ERA and 61 strikeouts … Metro Lakes Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2004 … throws strikes and competes … has an outstanding changeup and a very good curve ball … mixes his pitches well … has a chance to make an impact with the Razorbacks as soon as he steps foot on campus … very good student … also quarterbacked the Comets and was named the All-5A East quarterback by the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association … chose Arkansas over South Carolina, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Scott Limbocker, LHP
Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley North)
Scott Limbocker (Lim-BOCKER) is a big left-handed pitcher that throws a lot of strikes … continues to develop dominate stuff … finished the 2006 season with a 5-3 record and a 1.05 ERA … allowed just 19 hits over 53 innings and stuck out 80 … tossed five complete games … first-team all-Eastern Kansas League … first-team All-State selection and Kansas City first-team all-Metro choice … won five games for Blue Valley North High School in 2005 … developed a curve ball after his junior year of high school and has transformed it into a plus pitch … graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at Blue Valley North and has a chance to make an impact right away … chose Arkansas over Miami (Fla.), Tulane, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Missouri and Kansas.
Zac Miller, OF
Mountain Home, Ark. (Mountain Home/Lipscomb University)
Zac Miller transferred to the University of Arkansas after earning two letters at Lipscomb University in 2004 and 2006 … he used a medical redshirt in 2005 after breaking his left tibia on Feb. 18 against Xavier … batted .331 last season for the Bison with 13 doubles and eight home runs … led the team with 35 RBI while posting a .438 on-base percentage and slugging .536 … hit .254 with four home runs and eight doubles as a freshman in 2004 … played both baseball and football at Mountain Home High School … named to the all-state and all-conference baseball teams in both his junior and senior seasons … led all of Class 5A with a .518 batting average as a senior … led Mountain Home in batting average, home runs and RBI as both a junior and senior … named to the Arkansas Coaches’ All-Star team and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Star team … is the son of Sharon and Phillip Miller.
Travis Mosley, RHP
Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall)
Travis Mosley is a right-handed pitcher out of Rockwall High School that isn’t very big at 5-foot, 10-inches and 165 pounds, but he competes very hard … possesses a fastball in the upper 80s … would come in and strengthen the Hogs’ bullpen immediately … has a bulldog attitude and a knack for getting people out … was 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 18.1 innings in 2004.
Aaron Murphee, OF
Weatherford, Texas (Weatherford/Northeast Texas Community College)
Aaron Murphee (Mur-FREE) is a big, strong, speedy, power-hitting outfielder that committed to Arkansas in May … the 6-foot, 5-inch slugger produced staggering numbers at Northeast Texas Community College over his two-year career … a two-time unanimous selection to the Texas Eastern Athletic Conference (Region 14) team … stole 62 bases in his career at Northeast Texas, hit 17 home runs and legged out 14 triples … finished 16th in the NJCAA in 2006 with a .461 batting average (70 for 152) … posted a .875 slugging percentage with 19 doubles, 10 triples and eight home runs … finished tied for 17th nationally with 32 stolen bases and drove in 42 runs … scored 37 runs in 40 games as a sophomore … hit .250 for the Mineral Wells Steam of the Texas Collegiate League during the summer of 2006 … had four doubles, two triples and two home run while driving in 19 runs … Murphee was just as impressive as a freshman in 2005 … batted .406 with 35 RBI and a .497 on-base percentage … stole 30 bases … hit nine home runs and four triples … chose the Razorbacks over the University of Nevada, Houston and New Mexico State. Born July 10, 1984, he is the son of David and Paula Murphee.
Sam Murphy, RHP
Omaha, Neb. (Westside)
Sam Murphy is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher out of Omaha Westside High School … throws in the upper 80s all of the time and will touch the low 90s … locates well with a bulldog attitude on the mound … intelligent with outstanding grades … Arkansas coaches believer Murphy is the best pitcher in the Omaha area … named the No. 12 prospect in the state of Nebraska by Baseball America prior to the 2006 MLB Draft … can come in and make a difference early in his career … an all-Nebraska selection in 2005 and 2006 … pitched a complete game (seven innings) shutout to lead Westside to the state championship in 2006 … also recruited by Kansas, Creighton and Kansas State.
Jeff Nutt, OF/C
Wylie, Texas (Wylie/Navarro [Texas] CC)
Jeff Nutt is a left-handed hitting catcher/outfielder … an outstanding hitter and a hard-nosed kid that will find a spot in the lineup because of his tools at the plate … should make an impact in the lineup right away … batted .327 in his sophomore campaign at Navarro … pounded out 56 hits in 171 at bats with 16 doubles, two triples and four home runs … scored 45 runs and drove in 38 more … named to the Region XIV East All-Conference team in 2006 … played in the Texas Collegiate League in 2006 for the Coppell Copperheads … named to the mid-summer all-star team and was an all-league selection at the end of the season after hitting .303 with 15 doubles and 33 RBI at catcher … put up big numbers in the fall of 2005 at Navarro College … had a great summer in 2005 in a wood bat league where he led the league in hitting with a .311 average … chose Arkansas over Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
Chad Pierce, C/RHP
Fond Du Lac, Wis. (Fond Du Lac)
Chad Pierce is another high school quarterback with outstanding athletic ability … ace pitcher for his high school team … recruited as a catcher and will get a chance to help on the mound … hit .362 in 2006 with three doubles and a home run … drew 12 walks and struck out just twice … posted a 7-3 record on the mound with a 1.89 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 44.1 innings … named to the Fox Valley Athletics all-conference first team … named the No. 5 pro prospect by in the state of Wisconsin by Baseball America … second-team selection to the Wisconsin Coaches Association all-state team … 2005 second team all-state and District 4 Player of the Year after batting.322 for Fond Du Lac High School … went 7-2 with a 1.03 ERA in 61.1 innings as a junior … also threw seven complete games and stuck out 77 … hit .542 in 2004 and was named a first-team all-state catcher … has very good catch-and-throw skills behind the plate … physical enough to come in a battle as a freshman … very good student … also recruited by Minnesota.
Stephen Richards, LHP
Plano, Texas (Plano East)
Stephens Richards is a left-handed pitcher that the Arkansas coaches did not see until late last fall … came to one of the Arkansas camps and really impressed the coaching staff … really good student … strike-throwing lefty that throws in the mid-80s … as he develops and gets strong has a chance to really pick up velocity … … second-team all-district 8-5A in 2005.
Stuart Slakey, RHP
Gunter, Texas (Gunter)
Stuart Slakey is another tremendous athlete that played shortstop and pitched on his high school team … recruited to Arkansas as a right-handed pitcher … posted a 9-2 record in 2006 on the mound with a 3.87 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 59.2 innings … also hit .534 with nine doubles and nine home runs … was the 2006 district MVP and All-Texomaland by the Sports Writers Association … Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Player of the Year … three-time Texas 2A all-state team member … selected to the Texas High School Coaches Association North All-Star team … went 6-4 record with a 1.36 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 2005 … hit .431 with eight home runs and 29 RBI at the plate … played for the Dallas-Bat select team in the summer of 2006 and hit .395 with five home runs and 18 RBI while going 3-1 on the mound with a 1.52 ERA and a save in 23 innings … played in a smaller classification but he has a good arm in the upper 80s to low 90s … is only going to get better with more strength and a little age.
Tim Smalling, INF/RHP
Raleigh, N.C. (Broughton)
Tim Smalling was discovered by the Arkansas coaching staff in one of their camps … considered one of the top two-way players in the Carolinas … an infielder and a pitcher that will have the opportunity to play both positions in a Razorback uniform … an intelligent player with outstanding grades … has a chance to come in and see significant playing time … hit .463 with 31 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2006 … was 7-1 on the mound … a second-team NCPreps.com 4A all-state player in North Carolina in 2006 after also being selected in 2005 … the Cap 7 Player of the Year … also earned all-conference and all-academic honors … a first-team all-state selection by the coaches … the 2006 Diamond Sports all-Wake County Player of the Year … named to the All-Impact team for North Carolina in 2006 … batted .330 as a junior … played for Raleigh Post 1 during the summer of 2006, hitting .519 with five home runs and six doubles.
Jess Todd, RHP
Kilgore, Texas (Kilgore/Navarro [Texas] College)
Jess Todd came into the Razorbacks fold over the summer … he signed with Texas Tech out of high school in 2004 before transferring to Navarro College … committed to play for Texas following his sophomore season, but the Big 12 Conference turned down his petition to transfer to another Big 12 school after spending his first semester of college in the fall of 2004 with the Red Raiders … has a good-sinking fastball in the low 90s and a great slider … an honorable mention NJCAA All-American and the Region 14 East Pitcher of the Year in 2006 after going 9-2 with a 1.47 ERA … pitched 73.1 innings and fanned 73 … saved two games and his 1.47 ERA finished 18th nationally in the NJCAA … played for the Coppell Copperheads of the Texas Collegiate League during the summer of 2006 … led the league in strikeouts with 85 while posting a 5-2 record and a 2.21 ERA in 61 innings … Texas Baseball News Top 100 prospect out of Kilgore High School in 2004 … was the District 16-4A sophomore of the year and was named to the District 13-4A first-team as a junior … went 6-3 with a save and a 1.04 ERA as a junior at Kilgore … struck out 58 batters in 54 innings … as a senior in 2004 was a Texas Baseball News All-State selection … also named to the Texas High School Coaches Association 4A all-state team.
Murray Watts, 1B
Murray Watts is a big, strong, left-hand hitting first baseman … possesses great size at 6-foot, 7-inches and 250 pounds … has tremendous power … has a chance to play right away at first base … had 24 career home runs and a lifetime .448 batting average at Jonesboro High School … named the No. 6 pro prospect in the state of Arkansas by Baseball America … 2006 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Player of the Year… Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger preseason high school All-American … finished the 2006 campaign with a .489 batting average, 1.114 slugging percentage, 14 home runs and 50 RBI while drawing 38 walks … AAAAA Arkansas all-state selection in 2006 … batted .445 with seven home runs at Jonesboro High School in the spring of 2005 and .488 with 13 home runs with Jonesboro’s AAA American Legion team in the summer of 2005 … also recruited by Oklahoma State, Missouri and Memphis.
Duke Welker, RHP
Puyallup, Wash. (Woodinville [Wash.] HS/Seminole [Okla.] State JC)
Duke Welker is a big 6-foot, 6-inch right-hander out of Seminole [Okla.] Junior College … was a 39th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 2005 MLB Draft … he was also drafted the Mariners in the 34th round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Woodinville [Wash.] High School … ranked 20th on Baseball American’s Top 25 JUCO Prospects … named the No. 6 prospect in state of Oklahoma by Baseball America … throws 89-93 mph with a sinker and a good curveball and changeup … posted a 2.31 ERA in 74 innings at Seminole State in 2006 … fanned 61 and issued 31 base on balls … played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska Summer League in 2006 … finished fourth in the league in ERA with a minuscule 1.46 ERA in 49.1 innings of work … should make an immediate impact for the Razorbacks … selected to the second-team Region II all-conference team … also recruited by Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Brandon White, LHP
Little Rock, Ark. (Little Rock Catholic)
Brandon White is a left-handed pitcher out of Little Rock that the coaching staff found at one of the Razorback baseball camps … strike-throwing left-handed pitcher … fastball, curveball, changeup pitcher that throws in the mid 80s … two-time Arkansas AAAAA all-state baseball team selection.