SEATTLE - (Nov. 11) On the heels of winning the 2016 Western Athletic Conference regular-season title and gearing up for the 2017 campaign, Seattle University baseball Head Coach Donny Harrel announced the signing of eight players who will join the Redhawk program beginning in the fall of 2017.
“This is an exciting class from a pure athleticism stand point,” said Harrel, who enters his ninth season at the helm of the program. “All of these young men project immediately into our system and will allow us to compete for championships each year.”
The eight-member class consists of seven freshmen and one junior college transfer, and two Washington natives and six hailing from a mix of California, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado.
Also of note is a tie to Seattle University lore as Connor O’Brien, grandson of SU Athletics Hall of Famer Johnny O’Brien, joins the Seattle U family.
Check out a breakdown of each of the eight signees below, along with comments from Coach Harrel and Associate Head Coach Elliott Cribby.
C, Justin Mazzone, 5’11” 195 lbs, Fountain Valley HS, Fountain Valley, CA
“Justin has a great opportunity not only succeed at our level, but be another professional prospect. I love his arrogance and ability to back up the presence he reveals.” - Coach Harrel
“Justin is the catcher we had waited for in this class and we can’t be more ecstatic about his future here in Seattle. He creates an immediate impact for us with his ability to catch power arms and hit baseballs all over Bannerwood Park from the left-handed side. He had a great showing this summer at the Area Code Games in Long Beach. He will fit right in with what Coach Harrel looks for in his catchers.” - Coach Cribby
1B/RHP, Drake Maningo, 6’6” 225 lbs, Green Valley HS, Las Vegas, NV
“Drake could provide big time power to surround a lineup with speed that should saturate the bases for him. I really look forward to seeing how productive he can become in our lineup.” - Coach Harrel
“Drake adds an immediate presence to our lineup with his bat and arm strength. He has the ability to be a true two-way player for us here in Seattle. He continues the trend in this 2017 recruiting class with size and athleticism. With raw power and an arm that will get into the low 90’s, the sky is the limit for Drake on and off the field. His personality and work ethic are exceptional, which will provide us with great leadership in the future.” - Coach Cribby
SS, Connor O’Brien, 6’2” 180 lbs, Archbishop Murphy HS, Everett, WA
“It is so great to have an O’Brien back on the roster with the success Johnny and Eddie had here as Chieftains. Connor has continued to improve ever since he committed here and he will be an excited player to coach.” - Coach Harrel
“We are excited about what Connor can bring to the table for us as he looks to create his own legacy here at Seattle U. He will have a lot of opportunities to play many different positions as his athleticism and arm strength will get him into the lineup right away. As of this fall he has been 87-89 on the mound also, which adds another element to his game. Our fans will enjoy watching Connor for the next four years.” - Coach Cribby
LHP, Jarrod Billig, 6’0” 180 lbs, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV
“I was only able to see video on Jarrod and it was impressive – so completely trust Coach Cribby with his make-up. His ability to throw breaking balls and change speeds gives us a pitcher who can compete for us right away.” - Coach Harrel
“Jarrod’s pitching career is just starting to take flight and it is going to be a very successful one for him. We are fortunate to have a young man of his work ethic and character in our baseball program. His ability to spin the breaking ball in any count really separates him from the rest. Compliment that with an upper 80’s fastball and we can see Jarrod settling into our rotation very quickly.” - Coach Cribby
SS, Marcus Lydon, 5’11” 190 lbs, Marist Catholic HS, Eugene, OR
“ATHLETE! We continue to try to get faster and more athletic and no doubt Marcus fits that profile for us. He should be a great table setter for our lineup and attack the base paths with an extra 90 feet all the way around the diamond.” - Coach Harrel
“Marcus is an OKG (Our Kinda Guy) who will run through a wall for his teammates. We are thrilled to have him in our program, as he will bring his football mentality onto the diamond. Another excellent athlete, Marcus has the ability to play numerous positions and provides us the resources to compete for championships in his era here at Seattle U. He has a knack for winning and will provide great leadership for us.” - Coach Cribby
RHP, Brayden Weyer, 6’11” 200 lbs, Peak To Peak Charter, Lafayette, CO
“When I met him – I loved him! How can you not like a young man of that stature that will be able to create angles with every pitch to the plate? We just have to figure out if Nike can make a big enough uniform for him!!!” - Coach Harrel
“Brayden has what could be highest ceiling of any player in the country. He is the tallest pitcher in the country with incredible athleticism that makes him an immediate prospect for the future. We have seen him 86-89 this fall with the ability to land the breaking ball. Guys like Brayden do not come around very often and we’re extremely excited to work with him. He reminds us of former New York Yankees first round draft pick, RHP Andrew Brackman.” - Coach Cribby
2B/UTL, Jake Cosgrove, 5’10” 180 lbs, Heritage HS, Brentwood, CA
“I love hitters and this guy can flat out hit! Jake was a big get for us because you can see him hitting in the 3-hole for his whole career here.” - Coach Harrel
“Jake is a big get for us as he can really hit. Over the last two seasons we have had some very offensive middle infielders and Jake will continue that trend. Jake plays the game extremely hard and has an uncanny ability to always be in the right place at the right time on defense. He should come out of the gate swinging with the expectation to drive in a lot of runs early in his career here at Seattle U.” - Coach Cribby
UTL, Jacob Prater, 5’10” 190lbs, Everett Community College, Wenatchee, WA
“Jacob can be our motor that drives us to more championships. This guy does nothing but play hard and never gives in. We have had great success in the NWAACC, and Prater has a chance to be as good or better than those players who came from the conference before him.” - Coach Harrel
“Jacob is another OKG with the rare personality with that every one he comes in contact with him becomes a better person. He will bring passion to our ball club and lead this program on and off the field for the next two years. He was a highly recruited athlete out of high school and comes from Coach Lacey at Everett CC who does a fabulous job with his players. We are thrilled to have Jacob donning the Scarlet and Black.” - Coach Cribby