PHILADELPHIA - The W. Joseph Blood Head Coach of Baseball, John Cole, has announced his recruiting class for 2012. Cole will welcome 10 student-athletes this fall: Ben Blanton (Alpharatta, Ga.), Paul Cusick (Wilmington, Del.), Will Davis (Atlanta, Ga.), Sam Gilbert (Vienna, Va.), Jeremy Mass (Alpharetta, Ga.), Mike Mariano (Monmouth Junction, N.J.), Adrian Lorenzo (Miami, Fla.), Matt Tellem (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Adrian Thomas (Columbus, Ga.) and Dan Williams (Southhampton, N.J.)
“Our 2007 recruiting class consists of three pitchers, three outfielders, two infielders and two catchers,” said Cole, “Our focus was on power arms, speed, left-handed hitting and a front line catcher. We feel as though we have fulfilled these needs with the incoming class. We welcome these freshmen into our Penn family. We expect several of these young men to contribute immediately.”
Blanton is a great competitor from an outstanding high school program at Chattahoochee who figures to come in and battle for a spot in the weekend rotation. The lefthander’s fastball sits in the mid-80’s and he has good command of his breaking ball and change up. Blanton plays for Coach Tim Lemons.
Cusick has an explosive fastball in the mid to upper 80’s with a power slider. Cusick’s high school season was slowed last season due to a wrist injury. Paul is a 6-3 righty who really came on this fall and figures to be one of the top arms in the state of Delaware. Cusickl plays for Coach Doug Nowell.
Will Davis is a solid defensive catcher who has plus power from the left side of the plate. Will has great instincts and should compete for playing time immediately. Will also has the ability to contribute at the corner infield positions as well. Will plays for Coach Mike Strickland.
Gilbert is another late bloomer who was slowed by a knee injury. The righthander’s fastball sits in the mid 80’s and has great life which makes it difficult on right-handed hitters. Gilbert has a great work ethic and should contribute as a freshman. He plays for Coach Mark “Pudge” Gjormand.
Maas is a legitimate two-way player in the Ivy League who will join high school teammate Blanton at Penn in the fall. Maas is a very good runner who has a great feel on the bases. At the plate, he is a line-drive hitter with a chance to hit for power. On the mound, Maas has a very quick hand and a plus breaking pitch that should allow him to pitch in relief. He plays for Coach Tim Lemons.
Mariano is an intelligent catcher who receives the ball very well. He has good feet and shows the ability to handle a staff. Mariano is a physical kid who should hit for power to all fields. He plays for Coach Leo Danik.
Lorenzo is a plus runner who has the ability to hit at the top of the order. Adrian is an outstanding defender who has the ability to play all three outfield positions and also contribute on the mound. Lorenzo plays for Coach Tony Meilan.
Tellem brings a great work ethic and the ability to play multiple infield positions. He is a three-year starter at shortstop for Harvard Westlake. Tellem plays for Coach Tim Cunningham.
Thomas is a top of the order hitter who has great instincts on the bases. He is a left handed hitter who handles the bat well. Thomas brings speed and athleticism to the program. He plays for Coach Bobby Howard.
Williams has the ability to play both shortstop and third base at the collegiate level. He has a plus arm and very good actions in the infield. With added size and strength, Williams projects to be a very good college hitter. He plays for Coach Dave Lafferty.