OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami Baseball has signed four players to national letters-of-intent on the opening day of the early signing period, head coach Dan Simonds announced today. Spencer Dull (Indianapolis, Ind.), Stephen Sada (Saegertown, Pa.), Jacob Banks (Cincinnati) and Christian Bokich (Hindsdale, Ill.) will play for the RedHawks beginning in 2014.
"The depth and strength of last year's recruiting enabled us to address specific needs for our 2013 class," Simonds said. "Although this class is small, we expect each one of these recruits to have an immediate impact on our success. Recruiting coordinator Jeremy Ison did a tremendous job in identifying top-level talent throughout the Midwest. I am very excited about the future contributions of this class."
Dull, a catcher, is a three-year letterwinner at Hamilton Heights High School, twice earning all-conference honors (first team in 2011, second team in 2012). He was a 2012 Team One Baseball Factory Preseason All-America selection and was the top catcher at the 2011 Midwest Showcase. Dull batted .397 with two home runs and 19 RBIs as a sophomore and .333 with a home run and 16 runs batted in as a junior. He earned four letters in football and was a three-time all-conference selection, including first team this fall. He is ranked 28th in the state of Indiana by Prep Baseball Report.
"We identified Spencer early on as our No. 1 catching prospect," Simonds commented. "He is a tremendous athlete who can also play the infield. He drives the ball equally well from both sides of the plate and is a proven run-producer. He is a strong leader with an exceptional academic track record. We are looking forward to working with him in all areas of his game."
Infielder Stephen Sada was the Meadville Tribune Player of the Year as both a sophomore and a junior, earning first-team all-region honors at shortstop at the same time. He was the 2011 Breakout Spring Athlete of the Year as chosen by the GoErie.com Blog and was the 2012 American Legion District 10 Player of the Year last summer. Ranked 17th in Pennsylvania by Prep Baseball Report, Sada earned all-tournament honors for the American Legion Region 8 tournament in 2011 and for the Perfect Game WWBA event in 2012. He was also on the honor roll throughout high school.
"Stephen is a prototypical leadoff hitter with the ability to get on base and change the complexion of the game," Simonds said. "His speed (6.5 for a 60-yd dash and 3.9 home to 1st) will put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses. Defensively, he has above average range with a plus arm. He is hard-nosed and loves to play. Above all else Stephen is a terrific student."
Banks is a three-time letterwinner at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, where he pitched and played shortstop. On the mound, he sported a 7-0 record and 0.81 ERA, allowing just five earned runs in 43 innings. He had 67 strikeouts and registered four shutouts, drawing a ranking of 25th in the state by Prep Baseball Report. As a batter, he hit .373 and scored 20 runs in 51 at-bats. He was the Miami Valley Conference Player of the Year and a Division III first-team all-state selection last year. The Eagles are three-time defending MVC Champions.
"We were very fortunate that Jacob had a strong interest in Miami as an academic institution prior to his emergence as a prospect," Simonds noted. "We saw him on several different occasions and he improved with each performance. We feel he is only scratching the surface of his potential. He has a very deceptive delivery and features an 86-88 mph fastball. He has put together some impressive numbers and could fill various roles on our staff."
Bokich is attending Hinsdale Central High School this season after playing at Hinsdale Adventist Academy the last two years. The right-hander is ranked by Perfect Game as the 11th-best pitcher in Illinois and 160th-best in the country and was listed by Prep Baseball Report as 39th-best player in Illinois. He earned all-tournament honors last summer at the Perfect Game Kernals Foundation in Iowa and at the Perfect Game World Series in Arizona, playing with the Indiana Prospects and Reds Midwest Scout Teams.
"Christian is one of the toughest competitors that we evaluated last summer," Simonds said. "He not only has quality stuff but competes each pitch. He possesses a power arm (88-90 mph fastball) with two quality pitches in his curve ball and change-up. He has had success against top competition and has a chance to get quality innings immediately."
Miami Baseball begins the 2013 season Feb. 15 with the first of two straight tournaments in Greenville, S.C. The RedHawks face Michigan State on opening day.