Fresh off of signing a five-man 2014 class, California pitching coach Mike Neu scored his second commitment of the 2016 class in 6-foot-2, 195-pound power pitcher Jared Horn out of Napa (Calif.) Vintage on Saturday.
"Cal is one of the most elite schools in the country, so I'm just excited that they came and watched me throw a bullpen. It sounded great to me," said Horn. "Cal was the biggest school to come around, and they were my favorite choice."
At just 15-years old, Horn is projected to grow to 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5, and already has an 88-89 mph fastball and a 12-6 curve that, he said, can sometimes come out as a big, sweeping breaking ball, depending on the day.
"My curveball and my change up are my strikeout pitches," Horn said. "They're pretty well-developed."
Neu tripped out to Vintage to check out a rare bullpen by Horn about a month ago, while the sophomore was in the midst of his football season as the Crushers' starting quarterback.
"To be honest, when I threw the bullpen, I hadn't picked up a baseball in two or three months, so I was just throwing a football every day, keeping my arm strong," Horn said.
Neu – who brought in a much-heralded class last year, highlighted by two pitchers picked in the Major League Draft -- offered on the spot.
"It was my arm strength, and my poise – how I carry myself," Horn said. "He really liked it. He said I was an all-around stud."
Horn split his time between the diamond and the gridiron for the past two years, but he has found a balance as far as his workouts go.
"It's not that difficult," Horn said. "During summer workouts, I try to get bigger and stronger to play football, but then, during winter – like now – I'm working on more arm strength and core work just for baseball."
Horn's offer and commitment are odd, in that he has yet to play an inning of varsity baseball. The Crushers had a sparkling 2.75 team ERA last season, with 14 of 20 starts coming from a trio of senior pitchers.
"He did get called up to varsity for the section playoffs," said Horn's father. "Vintage varsity was really strong last year, with a lot of senior pitching, and rather than have him go up and just be a spot starter and spot player, he played third base and was the Friday starter for the JV team. I don't think he took a loss last year and had pretty impressive strikeout numbers. It was a good growth year for him."
Horn paid a visit to Berkeley on Saturday with his parents, and that's when he decided to pull the trigger.
"I brought the whole gang – the whole family," Horn said. "I thought it was incredible. It was much nicer than anything I ever saw before."
As for Neu and the rest of the staff, Horn was instantly taken.
"They're all very nice, and you can tell that they coach and the players play at a different level," Horn said. "Everything about them is great. It's exciting, and I can't wait to play for them."
Horn currently holds a 3.5 GPA, and enjoys Geometry, and math in general, though he doesn't know what he wants to do in college, other than play baseball. Right now, he's just focused on getting his learner's permit. He plans to come out during the 2014 season to check out his future teammates.
Horn joins Santa Rosa (Calif.) Maria Carrillo shortstop Andrew Vaughn as the first two members of the 2016 class for the Bears.
Bears Snag Second Commit for 2016
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