Penn State Baseball Adds Three Recruits To 2020-21 Signing Class
Penn State baseball has added three recruits to its 2020-21 recruiting class, the team announced Tuesday morning.
Jake Cooper, Devin Fletcher, and Derek Cease join a recruiting class that already ranked fourth in the Big Ten before their arrival.
INF/C Jake Cooper
Hailing from right down the road in State College, Cooper is a four-year letter winner under State College High School head coach Jeremy Dinsmore. Cooper also played on the Keystone War Eagles travel team and is ranked in the top 500 recruits by both Perfect Game and Prep Baseball reports.
During his high-school tenure, he led his squad to two district championships and led his team in batting average in 2019. With a batting exit velocity that ranks in the 75th percentile, according to Perfect Game, Cooper should have no trouble doing damage at the plate in college.
Cooper, who is the son of head coach Rob Cooper, will now join his brother, Tyson, on the team.
RHP Devin Fletcher
A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania resident, Fletcher played his high school ball at Liberty High School under head coach Andrew Pitsilos and played travel with the PA Stars squad.
Although his spring season was cut short due to COVID-19, Fletcher dominated in his 10 innings of work, striking out 12 batters. During his fall season, Fletcher racked up a 1.70 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 19 innings.
According to his Perfect Game profile, Fletcher’s fastball currently sits at about 88 mph. Coming out of high school, the hope is that he can use his 6’8″ frame to improve on that velocity and make an impact for the Nittany Lions.
RHP/MINF Derek Cease
A native of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, Cease played at Greater Nanticoke Area High School for head coach Joe Yudichak. Cease also played travel ball with the North East pride, winning team MVP three times. During his summer season last year, Cease hit .400, led the team in stolen bases, and accumulated a sparkling 1.03 ERA.
This two-way versatility will be a valuable asset to a Penn State team that showed a lot of promise in a pandemic-shortened season last year. According to Prep Baseball Report, Cease’s fastball sits at 88 mph but can top out at 91 mph. He also boasts three secondary pitches that compliment his above-average heater.
Penn State’s coaching staff is very optimistic about this particular trio of Pennsylvania recruits, as each has specific areas of their game that the coaches are particularly eager to harness at the college level.
After posting an impressive 10-5 in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Nittany Lions will open their season with a series at U.S. Bank Stadium against Northwestern beginning on March 5.
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