Green compiles top-ranked juco class for Cougars

Green

Second-year Washington State baseball coach Brian Green continued an impressive start to recruitment, reeling in 13 prospects with intriguing potential during the early signing period.

Green hauled in the No. 1-rated junior college class, according to JBB who covers junior college baseball. As a whole, the class ranks 91st in the country, according to Perfect Game, which placed his 2020 haul at 36th nationally.

Things are looking up for the Cougars, who had posted just two winning seasons since 2010 — before Green’s inaugural year at the helm, during which they went 9-7 in an abbreviated season.

Now, along with a spanking new clubhouse, Wazzu soon will be enjoying the spoils of back-to-back loaded classes.

“We’ve got the best recruiting class in the Northwest coming in,” Green said in September. “It’ll be ranked somewhere high nationally, and we’ve got to bridge those two groups together on top of the returning players that didn’t really play much, and bring that together to establish a strong locker room.

“If we can do that, we’ll have enough talent to compete in the Pac-12 in Year 2. It’s really exciting. We’re pumped up.”

One of the most touted of next year’s bunch is Hylan Hall (6 foot 2, 190 pounds), an outfielder from Ocoee, Fla.

He initially landed at Miami (Fla.), but soon after switched gears and spent 2020 at Wabash Valley College in Illinois, where he hit .380 with a .492 on-base percentage. Hall had seven stolen bases, 11 RBI and seven walks in 17 games.

His Warriors ended their coronavirus-shortened season 17-2, and ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association baseball poll.

Hall was one of BaseballAmerica.com’s top juco prospects of the year. Prep Baseball Report called him a “5-tool prospect” with power potential in his bat, scary-fast acceleration and a capable outfield arm.

Cole McMillan, a left-handed pitcher from Sugar Land, Texas, began his career at Houston in 2019 before transferring to San Jacinto College (Texas). He posted a 2-1 record in seven games there, registering a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings with 20 strikeouts.

The 6-4, 195-pounder was a district pitcher of the year in high school, and was ranked a top-70 prospect in the state by Prep Baseball Report. The lanky McMillan has a fastball in the 90s and an efficient 12-to-6 curve.

Odds are, he’ll be able to contribute quality innings immediately.

Outfielder Austin Plante, from Austin, Texas, started 20 games this year for the College of Southern Nevada, and looks poised to vie for a spot in the lineup.

The 6-4, 215-pound lefty batted .344 and slugged .609, with two homers, three triples, 22 RBI, 25 runs, 12 walks, and six stolen bases.

Perfect Game ranks Plante as a top-50 outfielder nationally. Plante, who starred in 2019 for Lake Travis High School — a top-five team in the state — originally was a TCU commit.

Willis Cresswell, from Auburn, Wash., is one of the most highly regarded catchers in the Northwest. He hit .364 and had 11 RBI as an all-league sophomore at Mountainview High School.

Baseball Northwest has Cresswell (6-0, 200), who now plays at powerhouse Puyallup, among the region’s top-20 college prospects.

Infielder Elijah Hainline also is one of the Evergreen State’s better prospects. The 5-11, 175-pound Mead High School (Spokane) senior was ranked as a top-10 baseball player in Washington by Prep Baseball Report.

Hainline batted .298 with 14 runs in 20 games as a sophomore.

Puyallup, Wash., native Drake Anderson (5-9, 170) is a top-20 infielder in the state, according to Scorebook Live. He went 24-for-80 (.300) at the plate in 2019.

Jack DeDonato, a left-handed pitcher out of Mercer Island, Wash., has a fastball in the high-80s and mixes in a mid-70s breaking ball. The 6-3, 220-pounder who played for the esteemed Mudville Pinnacle Northwest club is also a first baseman.

Griffin Myers is a 6-3, 200-pound left-handed batting option out of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, Calif. He packs considerable velocity from behind the dish, and also can play first base.

Prep Baseball Report noted he’s “a future power bat that can stay in the middle of the lineup.”

CJ Zwahlen is a powerful right-hander from Laguna Miguel, Calif. The bulky 6-3, 215-pound flamethrower hit 90 mph on the gun this summer, and mixes in a solid low-80s change-up and a slow curve.

In 79 2/3 innings in three seasons as a starter at Dana Hills High School, Zwahlen owns a 2.46 ERA. He’s also seen time in the infield and outfield.

Another addition to the staff, Canadian right-hander Loreto Siniscalchi, boasts a 91-mph fastball. The Burnaby, British Columbia, recruit played for Canada in the 2106 Little League World Series.

Outfielder/pitcher Dylan Bradford (6-2, 170) plays for Sabino High School in Tucson, Ariz., and competes with an Arizona Diamondbacks developmental team during the summer. As a sophomore, the left-hander batted .417 in 13 games with 10 RBI and 14 runs. He can pitch and play outfield.

Right-handed pitcher Kaden Schiefelbein (6-2, 180), a Peoria, Ariz., product, topped out at about 90 mph with his fastball at an All-State camp this year.

Rounding out the class is corner infielder Oskar Stark (6-3, 205), of Woodland Hills, Calif., who showcased his power with a five-RBI high school game in February.

Stephan Wiebe can be reached at swiebe@dnews.com, (208) 883-4624 and on Twitter @StephanSports.

Colton Clark may be reached at cclark@lmtribune.com, on Twitter @ClarkTrib or by phone at (208) 848-2260.

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