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Baseball inks four in early period

Class comprised of quality talent

November 10, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raider baseball program has signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on the first day of the NCAA early signing period as announced by head coach Steve Peterson on Wednesday.

The class includes left-handed pitchers, Murfreesboro native Johnathan Frebis and Garret Schlecht of Belleville, Ill., while Trevor Haggard of Jackson, Tenn., is an outfielder and Michael Atkins is a catcher out of Powder Springs, Ga. In addition to being a left-handed pitcher, Schlecht will join a long-line of two-way players at Middle Tennessee as he can also play the outfield.

Frebis received All-District honors as a junior at Riverdale High School and was also named Riverdale Co-Pitcher of the Year. Last season, Frebis posted a 3.12 ERA with a 4-3 record and 59 strikeouts in 42.2 innings of work.

"His upside is really, really big. Consistently, in the last year, Johnathan keeps improving and is going to be a good sized young man with great body strength," Peterson said." His arm strength is improving all the time and I wouldn't be surprised if his senior year he pitched in the upper 80s and touches 90mph. As a left-hander that is going to create a lot of attention from professional scouts but just really shows the success Riverdale High School and Coach Messer, the summer league programs and the great amateur baseball in Rutherford County. Johnathan is a result of that and we are really proud that he saw the advantages of staying at Middle Tennessee and in Murfreesboro to achieve all of his goals."

Schlecht, a senior at Waterloo High School, played three seasons at Belleville West High School before transferring. The Millstadt, Ill., native played in the Perfect Game 2010 National Showcase at Tropicana Field and is ranked the 12th pro-prospect in the state of Illinois and 330th nationally by Perfect Game USA.

"We started recruiting Garrett late and really got lucky that we were able to get a commitment and sign him. He had committed to South Alabama and with the coaching changed decided that wasn't what he wanted to do and we started recruiting him," Peterson said. "Right now he is probably a better outfielder hitter than he is a pitcher but before his collegiate career is over he might be more noted as a pitcher. He has a good arm and falls in line of those two-way players we have had a lot of success recruiting."

Haggard received All-District and All-Region honors as a junior on his way to leading the state in stolen bases (42) and runs scored (78). The Jackson, Tenn., native is currently ranked eighth in the state of Tennessee and 421st as a professional prospect by Perfect Game USA.

"We are looking at Trevor as a prototypical centerfielder. He is a top of the order guy who is going to steal bases and a catalyst in the lineup. He has the ability to set things up, drag bunt but not to say that he doesn't have power. Trevor will have an opportunity to play right away due to his defensive skills and running ability.

In 2009, Haggard received All-State and All-Region honors as well as being named the District Player of the Year. He played summer ball for Dulins Dodgers out of Memphis and in the fall competed for the Kansas City Royals Scout Team in Nashville, Tenn.

Adkins is a three-year letterwinner under head coach David Richardson at Hillgrove High School. As a junior, the Powder Springs, Ga., native received Honorable Mention All -Region honors and was named to the Georgia Dugout Club All-Tournament team. As a sophomore, Adkins was named Second Team All-Region.

"Michael is a good athlete and really impressed me behind the plate. We were looking to sign another catcher because we will lose Tyler Acker after this season due to graduation and you always try to bring in other catchers behind them. I have not been a coach who recruits junior college catchers so bringing in freshmen catchers is always important," Peterson said. "Michael is a good addition as he is athletic, has a good arm, great hands and has a great future behind the plate."

Adkins posted a .981 fielding percentage with 24 assists last season while also performing well at the plate batting .333 with six doubles and 19 RBI. He played summer ball the past two seasons for the East Cobb Astros 17 and East Cobb Titans 16 out of Marietta, Ga. While playing with the East Cobb Titans Adkins received 16U Most Valuable Player honors.

"I thought Coach McGuire and Coach McLaury, with the limited resources available because we have so much scholarship money already invested, did a good job finding quality players. We knew this was going to be a small recruiting class because last year, for us, was such a large class. I thought the quality of the players in this class is much greater than the quantity as we only signed four today. The quality is very good and satisfies some needs we had," Peterson said.

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