Bethune Cookman Sports Information
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University baseball Head coach Jonathan Hernandez is excited to welcome the highest ranked signing class in the program’s history. He continues with the junior college transfer signees, following the July 22 announcement of the incoming high school signees.
“This group has plenty of experience playing in big games and will compliment the incoming high school class,” said Hernandez, who enters his second year. “Once again, our staff was able to identify players that will continue to build the tradition of Bethune Cookman baseball. We are very excited about what the future holds for our program.”
The class ranks 59th according to Perfect Game, the highest in program history. It features 10 Wildcats from Florida, five from Arizona, four from Puerto Rico, and one from each New Mexico and Virginia.
The newest additions to #LaFamilia are the following:
RHP Rafael Perez Guzman Valencia, Venezuela NMMI
- Had 16 strikeouts in 14 innings … made 10 appearances … Earned a 3.21 ERA.
- Hernandez on Guzman, “Rafael is an interesting arm. His FB lives in the low 90’s and he compliments it with a hard slider. Rafael will be counted on to solidify the back end of our bullpen.”
RHP Matt Henson Fredericksburg, Va. Patrick Henry CC
- Made 19 appearances and worked 26 frames … Went 4-4 with three saves … Totaled 31 strikeouts.
- Hernandez on Henson, “Matt will be a great addition to our bullpen. He is a submarine pitcher who lives in the mid 80’s with his FB and a very good slider. Matt will look to see a lot of action late in games for us. We are looking for him to provide veteran leadership on the mound.”
RHP Bryan Marrero Corozal, P.R. Frank Phillips CC
- Pitched in 12 games while working 59 frames … Registered 58 strikeouts … Went 6-4 and had a 4.97 ERA.
- Hernandez on Marrero, “Bryan is coming in to compete for innings right away. He is a competitor with three pitches that he can throw for strikes. Bryan is someone who we feel can pitch on the weekends in conference play.”
C Shamir Morales San Lorenzo, P.R. Florida Southwestern
- Suncoast Conference Defensive Player of the Year … Second Team All-Conference … Hit .309 with six doubles and 21 RBI … Threw out 16 runners and fielded at a .997 clip … Had just one error in 336 chances … Team finished #18 nationally.
- Hernandez on Morales, “Shamir is a plus defender behind the plate who can control the run game and be a general on the field. He will also provide a veteran presence to our lineup for the Wildcats.”
RHP Steven Ortiz Bronx, N.Y. Cochise College
- In 19 appearances, worked 38.2 innings and earned a 3-0 record … Had three saves and a 3.26 ERA … Struck out 46 batters.
- Hernandez on Ortiz, “Steven is another juco veteran arm with plenty of experience pitching for one of the top programs in the state of Arizona. He is coming from Cochise College, who has made numerous trips to Grand Junction for the NJCAA World Series. Steven plenty of experience to pitch in big games, and will be looked at to be another big piece to our Wildcats bullpen.”
OF Rafael Padilla Patagonia, Ariz. Pima CC
- Tallied 54 hits in 54 games … carried a .344 average with 31 runs, 10 doubles, and two triples … knocked two home runs and 39 RBI … walked 30 times.
- Hernandez on Padilla, “Rafael will provide us with some power from the left side. He’s a corner outfielder with a good baseball instincts. He will be able to provide some experience as well within our lineup to compliment the young core we have coming in.”
INF Enrique Porchas Yuma, Ariz. Pima CC
- Played in 52 games with a .335 average … hit four homers and drove in 23 runs … two-time All-ACCAC Player of the Year … NJCAA All-Academic Second Team
- Hernandez on Porchas, “Enrique is very versatile, and has the ability to play anywhere we see fit. Another left-handed hitter who can provide some power and has plenty of collegiate at bats as he graduated from Pima CC.”
RHP Nick Rogers Peoria, Ariz. Glendale CC
- Earned a 2.92 ERA over 61.2 innings … Went 7-3 in his 14 appearances … Struck out 43 batters … Glendale CC 2018-19 Scholar Athlete of the Year.
- Hernandez on Rogers, “Nick Rogers will be a guy who will see a variety of roles within our pitching staff. Rogers can be counted on in relief but also has the stuff to be a starter.
INF Elian Roman Orlando, Fla. TNXL Academy
- Played in 26 games with a .286 average … held a .438 OBP… was 11-13 in stolen bases.
- Hernandez on Roman, “Roman is a switch-hitting infielder with some speed and who can also play multiple infield positions. He shows range in the infield and compliments his range with a good arm. Offensively, Roman can get things going at the top of the lineup and will be counted on in a variety of roles for the 2019-2020 Wildcats.”