ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure baseball head coach Larry Sudbrook has announced the addition of five student-athletes who will join the program in fall 2021 – Dom Fasolo, Aaron Herbst, Bryce Hediger, Gabe Watts and Jacob Yager.
Fasolo is the lone junior college transfer of the group, starting his collegiate career at Herkimer County Community College. A left-handed-hitting outfielder, he played in 13 games during the 2019 season at Herkimer, producing a .393 on-base percentage before the 2020 season was canceled. He played his high school ball at Whitesboro High outside Utica, hitting .366 with a .580 on-base while driving in 27 runs during his senior year. He helped his team to a 2017 Section III championship. He plans to major in marketing.
SUDBROOK ON FASOLO: "Dom will be the third left-handed hitting outfielder we've had from Herkimer and the other two, Taishi Terashima and Brendyn Stillman, turned out extremely well. Those guys were national junior college All-Americans, but Dom is a guy that really blew up between his freshman and sophomore year at Herkimer to be a really good power hitter. Unfortunately, he didn't get to play because his sophomore year was wiped out by COVID. We think he is going to bat somewhere in the middle of the order; he has a lot of pop and a good swing. He has some really good bat speed and will be a guy who comes in and competes for playing time immediately."
A product of nearby Chaffee, N.Y., Hediger plays for Pioneer High. His team's defensive MVP who also hit .300 at the plate, Hediger comes to the Bonnies as a right-handed pitcher with a fastball, curveball, changeup repertoire. An Honor Roll student in the classroom, he plans to major in health science.
SUDBROOK ON HEDIGER: "We've seen Bryce play for a couple of years. He has good arm action and throws mid-to-upper 80s. He's the type of kid that we feel like will become a good Atlantic 10 pitcher after we work with him in the weight room with the ability to get into low 90s velocity-wise. He has that type of arm strength to project very well."
Herbst is one of four incoming freshmen, and traveling the furthest distance to SBU, hailing from Mooresville, N.C. A product of Lake Norman High, playing for former MLB All-Star Ty Wigginton, where he hit .421 in 2019 before the 2020 season was canceled, he has the ability to play second, short or third and was named the No. 18 middle infielder in the state of North Carolina by Perfect Game. He was also named to the 2020 Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American Team and landed a spot on the 2019 Atlantic Coast Prospect Showcase Top Prospect Team.
SUDBROOK ON HERBST: "Aaron is a guy who is a product of the current climate where we couldn't see him play live, but his actions as a middle infielder and at the plate were so good on video that we think he is going to be an outstanding college baseball player. He has tremendous work ethic, a good-looking swing, and great instincts in the field. We are going to bring him in to compete in the middle infield, especially with a graduating senior at second base this year."
A 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher from Johnsonburg, Pa., Watts was part of the District 9 champions for Johnsonburg Area High. He recorded 60 strikeouts during his sophomore season of 2019 for the Rams and is a multi-sport star, also earning all-league honors in basketball and football as well. Though his 2020 season was wiped out due to the pandemic, he was featured at the Prep Baseball Report's Pennsylvania State Games this past July. A National Honor Society member, he plans to major in finance. Johnsonburg is also the hometown of former Bonnies All-Atlantic 10 shortstop and current Detroit Tigers prospect Cole Peterson.
SUDBROOK ON WATTS: "Gabe is a loose-armed left-handed pitcher and is a guy who has pitched at a high level in summer ball for the last several years. We have known about him for a couple of years and think he is the type of guy who will excel at St. Bonaventure. He has the right type of frame and arm action to build on to become an Atlantic 10 conference pitcher for us."
Yager joins the Bonnies from Grahamsville, N.Y., where he is a two-way player as both a first baseman and right-handed pitcher. Before the pandemic, he hit .519 with five homers and 26 RBIs during his last high school season while posting an 0.59 ERA on the mound, earning team MVP honors at Tri-Valley High. He participated in tryouts for Team USA in North Carolina and was selected to attend another tryout in Florida as one of 50 national representatives. He plans to major in environmental science at Bonaventure.
SUDBROOK ON YAGER: "We're bringing him in as a dual guy. Like a lot of dual guys he could end up just playing one spot, but he is a guy with exit velocity over 100 mph and has tremendous bat speed. He projects as a home run hitter. He also is a mid-to-upper-80s arm that you at least want to give a chance on the mound. And, being a first baseman, he is a guy who could be a closer or even a starter and play at first base the rest of a series. He'll have the opportunity to help us both ways."
"This has been probably the most difficult recruiting situation during my time here. With the pandemic and the NCAA recruiting dead period, we haven't been able to see guys play live this year," Sudbrook said. "We expect to be adding more guys through the junior college route later this spring and summer as those guys are getting extra years of eligibility. There are a lot of kids out there that are good players but no one has gotten to see them."
St. Bonaventure's 2021 schedule will be announced at a later date.
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