Sooners still on the recruiting trail

Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway talks about the developments with the Sooners' signees who are contemplating turning pro, including the latest on prized recruit and outfielder Devin Shepherd, who was a fifth-round pick of the Minnesota Twins. (Photo/Lisa Hall)

Baseball is the most complicated of sports on the collegiate charts, because every summer you never know how the next team is going to look because of the Major League Baseball Draft, transfers and academics throughout the summer. Heck, OU's 1994 National Championship team picked up pitchers Mark Redman and Bucky Buckles at semester. And those two players were the two players who carried the Sooners to the top.

On Tuesday, OU head coach Sunny Golloway appeared on Sports Morning on WWLS with Bob Barry Jr. and I ot give us his perspective on how recruiting is going at this point.

"Next year's team is shaping up really good right now, but we say that with a grain of salt and knock on wood," said Golloway. "In our business, these players can sign right up to the first day of school and we still have a number of guys who are being coveted by Major League Baseball teams very hard. I talk to (outfielder) Devin Shepherd all the time. We can make unlimited phone calls, because he has already signed with us. He is a fifth-rounder out of Oxnard, Calif. He is a right-handed swinging Joe Dunigan, is what he is. He is a power bat that will play in our outfield and who would sit in the middle of the Sooner line-up for three years if we can get him to school.

"Right now it is between the Oklahoma Sooners and Minnesota Twins," Golloway continued. "What we get to offer is a scholarship and what they get to offer is a lot of money. I don't know if that is ever going to quite be fair, but we are going to stay in there and battle. Everything that we are hearing right now from Devin is that he is excited about being a Sooner and that he is looking forward to coming. But again, we do recognize that he could sign right up to the first day of school."

"Several other of your guys have held on," Golloway continued. "Right now we can't comment on who they are, but there are two outstanding arms out there that we are right in the middle of. We have Coach (Tim) Tadlock and Coach (Fred) Corral recruiting those two young men right now. I really feel those two guys are going to be the two guys who will take us over the top next year. We are still working really hard on finishing things up. You always know you are going to lose some guys in the draft that you have signed, which we have done with a couple of arms, who we are going to go out and replace now.

"We just have to get the right guys and bring them in here, so we are probably looking at 15 to 17 new recruits coming in. We are really excited about getting them to blend with some of our returning talent like Jackson Williams, Aaron Reza and Joseph Hughes. I am really looking forward to it. And, on the flip side of that, getting to talk to guys like Chuckie Caufield and Daniel McCutchen. Those guys are doing so well in pro ball that it has been exciting for us day in and day out."

The two pitchers in the recruiting class that the Sooners have lost so far are lefthander junior college pitchers Chad Lee, who signed with the Oakland A's, and Tanner Chitwood, who has decided to pitch at a Division II college.

Right now, the rest of the class is still coming in, including hard throwers Teddy Hubbard, a righthander from Hooks, Texas, and righthander Andrew Doyle from Rock Island, Illinois. Closer/shortstop Tyson Seng from Enid is having a great summer and right now is projected as the closer for the Sooners.

The Sooners are also in on two college starting pitchers that are transferring from other programs. Both are hard-throwing righthanders, but that is it at this point.

Ryan Mottern is having a great summer and has been hitting 94 miles per hour on the radar gun. Brad Burns has struggled some, but pitched well in his last start. Joe Dunigan is not hitting for average, but he is hitting for power. He has been hitting the ball on the nose, but right at people. Dunigan still needs to work on lifting the ball.

And Infielder/centerfielder Aljay Davis from NEO and Lakewood, Calif. made the all-star team with righthanded pitcher Matt Lovelady in the Texas Collegiate League. Davis has great speed and will lead-off for the Sooners next year.

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