PHILADELPHIA – After coming together for the first team meeting this fall, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team welcomes the addition of 10 new faces to the program.
The newcomers come to Penn from near and far, representing seven different states – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia.
“Our coaching staff did a great job identifying and recruiting kids that would fit our style of play,” said second-year head coach John Yurkow. “We feel like we've added depth on the mound and filled some key holes with our position players.”
Yurkow described the newcomers as, “players with high baseball I.Q.’s, which should help them adapt quickly to Division I baseball.”
The incoming class joins a team that finished 24-17 overall and 15-5 in the Ivy League in coach Yurkow’s first year as head coach.
Hometown: Wayzata, Minn.
High School: Minnetonka
Lettered two years in baseball … In 2013, helped lead team to a conference and sectional championship, while finishing third in the state with a 21-4 record … Was named all-conference and academic all-state in 2014 … Also played hockey, helping lead team to a 42-4 record and a state championship in 2012-13 … Member of Minnetonka Honor Society and a four-year honor roll student.
Coach Yurkow says … “Brendan is an athletic left-handed hitting infielder with good arm strength that will add depth to the middle of our infield.”
Jordan Della Valle
Hometown: Narberth, Pa.
High School: William Penn Charter School
Lettered five years in baseball … Served as a team captain in his junior and senior seasons … Led team to a 22-6 record and Inter-Ac Championship as a senior … In 2012 was named all-league second-team and all-city honorable mention … Graduated Cum Laude.
Coach Yurkow says … “Jordan is a local player from Penn Charter with solid catch and throw skills. He will bolster an already strong group of catchers.”
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
High School: West Potomac
Lettered two years in baseball … Named second-team all-conference honors as a senior … Earned honorable mention all-district as a junior … Lettered two years in swimming and one year in diving … Graduated with honors.
Coach Yurkow says … “Billy is a physical right-handed pitcher that has potential to be a high velocity arm and impact the staff immediately.”
Hometown: Trumbull, Conn.
High School: Trumbull
Lettered two years in baseball … Selected first-team All-FCIAC as an outfielder as a senior, and selected to the Connecticut high school All-Star game … Named Connecticut Post’s Player of the Week for April 14, 2014 … Two year letterwinner in basketball … Graduated honors with distinction.
Coach Yurkow says … “Jake is the rare combination of fast and physical that can become a game changer in the outfield.”
Hometown: Wayzata, Minn.
High School: Salisbury School (Conn.)
Lettered four years in baseball … Lettered one year in hockey … Also lettered one year in football … Graduated on high honor roll and with first honors.
Coach Yurkow says … “Andrew comes to us from a very good baseball program, and makes us a faster team, with his biggest asset being base-stealing speed.”
Hometown: Brookhaven, Pa.
High School: Episcopal Academy
Lettered four years in baseball … Served as a team captain … Selected second-team All-Main Line as a senior … As a junior named Second-team All-Main Line, second-team all-league, and earned Main Line Athlete of the Week … Earned the James Straub Memorial Prize in 2014 and 2012.
Coach Yurkow says … “Russ in an athletic three-pitch right-handed pitcher from just outside of Philadelphia, and is coming off a very successful summer season.”
Hometown: Oradell, N.J.
High School/College: Horace Mann School (N.Y.)/Miami (Fl.)
Lettered four years in baseball … Served as team captain … Named 2013 All-New York and All-Bronx … Selected to 2013 All-Northeast team … Named 2013 All-Ivy League at Horace Mann … As a junior named All-New York and All-Bronx … Named Pre-Season All American in 2012 and 2013.
Coach Yurkow says … “Jesse has the potential to be a dominant arm. He was a high profile recruit out of high school with good velocity and athleticism.”
Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
High School: Orange Lutheran
Lettered two years in baseball ... Helped lead team to an 18-12 record and third-place finish in the league in 2014 ... As a junior helped lead team to a 19-8 record and second-place finish in the league ... 2013 National Classic Champions.
Coach Yurkow says … “Ryan comes from one of the top-ranked high school programs in the country and is a very good defender who plays with very high energy.”
Hometown: Greenwich, Conn.
High School: Brunswick School
Lettered four years in baseball … Served as team captain in senior season … Selected All-League in his junior and senior seasons … Helped lead team to the FAA League championship with a 16-5 record in 2012 … Earned All-League honorable mention as a sophomore … Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 36th round of the MLB first-year player’s draft in 2014.
Coach Yurkow says … “Bradley is a three-pitch right-handed pitcher that competes on the mound and is aggressive in pounding the strike zone.”
Hometown: Ingram, Texas
High School: Tivy
Lettered four years in baseball … Helped lead team to a 101-53 record in four years … Named first-team all-region, first-team all-district, and first-team all-area … Selected newcomer of the year … Named second-team all-district.Coach Yurkow says … “John comes to us from Texas and will help us with his bat and on the mound. He is explosive in both areas with good velocity and some pop in his bat.”