Vanderbilt announces baseball signees

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin announced the addition of six student-athletes to play baseball for the Commodores during the fall signing period.

Catcher Curt Casali, first baseman Aaron Westlake, outfielder Joey Manning and pitchers Chase Reid, Sean Bierman and Taylor Hill will join the program next fall.

The six student-athletes represent six different states as the Commodore baseball program continues its national recruiting efforts.

"With a good deal of this year's team leaving after 2008, it was important that we brought in players who would have a chance to make an immediate impact in our program and I believe we did that," said Corbin. "Although small in class size, we met our needs in the pitching area and behind the plate. We also added more offensive punch with Casali, Manning and Westlake."

Below is a brief listing on the players with coach's comments.

Curt Casali – C – New Canaan High School – New Canaan, Connecticut
Curt is one of the nation's best high school catchers and the 94th top prospect in the country by Baseball America's Prospects Plus rankings and No. 136 overall by Perfect Game, USA. He has a strong 6'3" 210 pound athletic body and also excels on the football field as quarterback for his high school. He can hit for power and excelled in every tournament and showcase this past summer. Casali was named a 2006 Louisville Slugger High School All American after a tremendous junior season. Curt chose Vanderbilt over the University of Virginia.

Chase Reid – RHP – Southlake Carroll High School – Southlake Carroll, Texas
Chase is one of the top pitchers in Texas and is regarded as having one of the best curveballs in the country. At 6'3'' 195 pounds, he dominated summer competition for the elite Dallas Mustangs, including throwing a perfect game in a regional semifinal game in the Connie Mack playoffs this past July. Chase is the No. 381 overall player in the nation by Perfect Game, USA, and chose Vanderbilt over Stanford, TCU and Arkansas.

Joey Manning – OF – Bartow High School – Bartow, Florida
Joey is one of the top position player prospects in the nation as evidenced by his No. 25 national ranking by Baseball America and No. 108 ranking by Perfect Game Baseball. Standing in at 6'4'', 235 pounds, he is also one of the top power hitters in the state of Florida and the entire southeast. Joey starred all summer in numerous showcases and tournaments throughout the country, and is widely regarded as a top professional prospect with five tool ability. Joey chose Vanderbilt over the University of Miami.

Aaron Westlake – 1B – Shasta High School – Redding, California
Aaron is one of the top hitters in the nation and the No. 1 position player prospect in Northern California. Standing in at 6'3'' 225 pounds, he is also the No. 116 ranked player by Baseball America and No. 161 by Perfect Game, USA. He excelled all summer with the elite Nor Cal Baseball program, which also include current Commodores Alex Feinberg, Parker Hanks, and Ryan Davis. He stood out at numerous events this past summer including the Perfect Game National Showcase in Fayetteville, AR, the Perfect Game WWBA tournament in Marietta, GA, and the Area Code Games in Long Beach, CA. Aaron chose Vanderbilt over Cal, Cal State Fullerton, and LSU.

Sean Bierman – LHP – Kinnelon High School – Kinnelon, New Jersey
Sean is one of the top left handed pitchers in the Northeast. Baseball America has him ranked 172nd and he is No. 215 overall by Perfect Game, USA. He has excelled for the past two years with the elite Bayside Yankees traveling team, the former team of current Vanderbilt players Pedro Alvarez, Nick Christiani, and David Macias. He also played for the Boston Red Sox at the East Coast Pro Showcase in Wilmington, NC, as well as the Chicago White Sox at Area Code Games in Long Beach, CA, this past August. Sean chose Vanderbilt over Virginia, Tulane, and Arizona State.

Taylor Hill – RHP – Mt. Juliet High School – Old Hickory, Tennessee
Taylor is the #1 ranked pitcher in the state of Tennessee and the No. 230 overall player in the nation by Perfect Game, USA. At 6'3'', 195 pounds he has a great pitcher's frame and already possesses a fastball that's sits in the low 90's. He starred all summer for the Twitty City Knights after a dominant junior season that garnered him first team all-state honors. Taylor chose Vanderbilt over Tennessee and Georgia Tech. Top Stories