Pitt baseball is going to have a significantly new look for the 2020 season, and not just in regards to the brighter blue and gold of the Panthers’ new color scheme.
Second-year head coach Mike Bell is expected to make a significant overhaul to Pitt’s roster, and that process is already well underway, with 10 freshmen committed and eight of them already enrolled and on Pitt’s campus for summer classes. Even more reinforcements expected in the form of junior college transfers later this summer.
The Panthers, which finished 21-34 in Bell’s first season and missed the ACC tournament, had just four seniors and two early MLB departures in pitchers Dan Hammer and Derek West.
Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that pitchers Andrew Beauvais, who redshirted as a true freshman last year, and Kevin Henriksen, who missed 2019 with a shoulder injury, are not expected to return. Infielder Gregory Ryan, Jr., will transfer to VCU.
There will likely be more departures before the offseason is over, as Bell is aggressively adding talent across the board.
Here are player profiles on the 10 incoming freshmen:
⚾ Jarett Bach, LHP, 6-foot-4, 200 lbs, Yough High School
Rated as the No. 57 player in the state of Pennsylvania by Perfect Game, Bach, a big lefty from Yough, has big expectations coming into Pitt. He combines a low-90s fastball and a sharp breaking ball that led him to a WPIAL-leading 87 strikeouts and 7-1 record as a senior with the Cougars.
— Dynamic Baseball (@DynamicBaseball) July 22, 2018
⚾ Cameron Barto, INF, 5-foot-11, 175 lbs, Lancaster (Pa.) Catholic
A switch hitting shortstop that can also play across the infield, Barto was the No. 60 player in Pennsylvania according to Perfect Game.
— PBR Pennsylvania (@pbrpennsylvania) March 15, 2017
⚾ Adam Bloebaum, LHP/1B, 6-foot-5, 195 lbs, Cardinal Gibbons High School (N.C.)
A big lefty with a mid-80s fastball that was recognized as an all-state player as a senior, he worked primarily out of the stretch as a reliever. Bloebaum also held down a .523 batting average as a first baseman.
1B from Grant Jarmin pulls @JHRbaseball to within 1 at 4-3 in bottom 7. Double by Ryker Galaska moves tying run to 3B and winning run to 2B with 2 outs. @Baseball_cghsnc looks to close with Adam Bloebaum. Issues a walk to load them and then ⬇️⬇️⬇️📽 pic.twitter.com/VjbiqcRWJU
— PBR North Carolina (@PrepBaseballNC) March 23, 2019
⚾ Tom Colcombe, LHP, 5-foot-10, 165 lbs, Peters Township
A two-way weapon for the Indians, Colcombe will most likely ply his high-80s fastball from the left side and nasty slider for the Panthers.
Peters TWP's ace Tom Colcombe. 89 last month at Liberty U. He heads to Pitt tomorrow shooting for 90. Tom had a pre showcase velo day Wednesday evening @ PVS. Tom is a LHP thus far uncommitted. #SouthPawU #nWo pic.twitter.com/Ju7tvg8HYT
— PVS Baseball (@PVSbaseball) October 18, 2018
⚾ Michael Holdsworth, SS, 6-foot-2, 190 lbs, St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio
Holdsworth was committed to Nebraska, but flipped to Pitt after Cornhuskers head coach Darin Erstad stepped down in June. That happened days before Holdsworth led his team to an Ohio state title with the go-ahead RBI in the 10th inning. A few days later, he visited Pitt and changed his commitment.
“For me, it’s all about people,” Holdsworth said to ignatius.edu. “Pitt’s coaching staff is upfront, and they told me the truth. I got a good feel for the coaching staff and the people. They were very welcoming and made me feel like part of the family. On top of that, it’s an amazing campus. It didn’t take me long to determine that’s where I wanted to be. I felt at home, it wasn’t a tough decision.”
Holdsworth is rated as the No. 30 player and No. 2 shortstop in the state of Ohio by Perfect Game.
⚾ Christopher Pouliot, LHP, 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Cardinal-Roy Secondary School, Boischatel, Quebec
A big left-hander, Pouliot was rated the No. 20 player in Quebec by Perfect Game and has big-game experience, throwing four no-hit innings in an elimination game for an all-Quebec team at Rogers Centre in Toronto in September.
— BF Scouting (@BFScout) July 6, 2018
⚾ Grant Santangelo, UTIL, 6-foot-1, 215 lbs, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Originally committed to Lehigh out of Hershey (Pa.) High School, Santangelo decided instead to take a postgraduate year at IMG Academy, a national powerhouse in the Tampa suburb of Bradenton, Florida. He primarily catches and plays outfield.
⚾ Zion Spearman, OF, 5-foot-9, 220 lbs, Kensington High School, Philadelphia, Pa.
A slightly undersized but quick outfielder, Spearman committed to Pitt way back in 2017 and stuck to his commitment even after Pitt’s coaching change from Joe Jordano to Bell. The No. 21 player in Pennsylvania according to Perfect Game, Spearman should hit for average and has usable speed on the bases.
⚾ Nick Vera, C, 5-foot-11, 190 lbs., St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Considered a strong defensive backstop, Vera showed offensive potential as a senior at one of South Florida’s top powerhouses, hitting .413 with 28 RBIs. He led STA to a Florida state title game appearance and was named a second-team All-American.
— PBR Florida (@PBRFlorida) April 25, 2019
⚾ Mason Walker, INF, 6-foot-3, 210 lbs., Red Land High School, Lewisberry, Pa.
A big infielder with some power, Walker was rated the No. 129 player in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game and led Red Land all the way to a PIAA state title in Class-5A.