WACO (November 14, 2012) -- Baylor baseball head coach Steve Smith announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. The class is comprised entirely of current high school athletes, seven of whom are from Texas.
“I am extremely excited about this class. It is a very athletic group with good size and versatility,” Smith said. “These young men are all strong students and will be good representatives of Baylor University on and off the field. Steve Johnigan and Trevor Mote have done a great job putting this group together.”
The following will join Baylor's baseball program in the fall of 2013: LHP Daniel Castano (Lake Travis, Texas; Lake Travis HS), C/1B/OF Aaron Dodson (Cypress, Texas; Cy-Fair HS), 1B/LHP Kameron Esthay (Moss Bluff, La.; Sam Houston HS), RHP/INF Nick Lewis (Flower Mound, Texas; Marcus HS), INF Steven McLean (Los Altos, Calif.; Los Altos HS), RHP Kyle Ott (Galveston, Texas; Ball HS), RHP Josh Pettitte (Deer Park, Texas; Deer Park HS), OF Darryn Sheppard (Sugar Land, Texas; Dulles HS) and 1B/RHP Case Smith (Waco, Texas; Midway HS).
Four of the Baylor signees are ranked among the top 500 nationally by Perfect Game, including a national top 105 recruit in Sheppard. Sheppard, an outfielder from Sugar Land, Texas, is ranked as the 14th best player in Texas and the No. 4 outfielder in the state by Perfect Game. Sheppard hit .400 with seven home runs and a .510 on-base percentage as a junior at Dulles High School.
Besides Sheppard, three others are rated in Texas: Ott is 62nd, Castano is 66th and Pettitte at 99th. Ott was a first-team 24-4A all-county selection in 2012 after going 7-2, with a 1.39 ERA at Ball High School in Galveston. Castano is the 11th-ranked LHP prospect in Texas and struck out 84 in 66.2 innings as a junior. Pettitte, the son of 17-year MLB veteran and five-time World Series champion, Andy Pettitte, helped lead Deer Park High School to a 32-2 record last season, earning second-team 22-5A all-district honors.
Dodson hit .305 last year at Cy-Fair High School and was selected to play in the 2012 HABCA All-Star game. Esthay, from Moss Bluff, La., was a Louisiana 5A all-state selection for Brad Book and Sam Houston High School.
The 6-2 Lewis is seen as a right-handed pitcher and middle infielder at Baylor. McLean was a first-team all-league selection out of Los Altos HS in Calif. after batting .372 during junior campaign. Case Smith, the son of BU coach Steve Smith, missed most of his junior season at Midway High School due to injury, but Smith hit .358 with 11 RBI over the summer with the Dallas DBAT Mustangs.
Baylor opens its 2013 season Feb. 15-17, with a three-game road series vs. UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif.
BAYLOR BASEBALL 2012 FALL SIGNING CLASS
POS. HT. WT. B-T HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)
Daniel Castano LHP 6-4 215 L-L Lake Travis, Texas (Lake Travis HS)
Aaron Dodson C/1B/OF 6-3 200 S-R Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair HS)
Kameron Esthay 1B/LHP 6-1 210 L-L Moss Bluff, La. (Sam Houston HS)
Nick Lewis RHP/INF 6-2 180 R-R Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus HS)
Steven McLean INF 5-9 175 R-R Los Altos, Calif. (Los Altos HS)
Kyle Ott RHP 6-1 180 R-R Galveston, Texas (Ball HS)
Josh Pettitte RHP 6-1 190 R-R Deer Park, Texas (Deer Park HS)
Darryn Sheppard OF 6-2 185 R-R Sugar Land, Texas (Dulles HS)
Case Smith 1B/RHP 6-3 210 R-R Waco, Texas (Midway HS)