Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns baseball head coach Tony Robichaux announced the signing of 11 players to a National Letter of Intent for the 2019 season on Tuesday.
Caleb Black (Spring, Texas), Nathan Camp (Ringgold, Ga.), Connor Cooke (Sulphur, La.), Colton Frank (Lake Charles, La.), Connor Joffrion (Baton Rouge, La.), Dexter Jordan (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Blake Schultz (League City, Texas), Jacob Schultz (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Chance Stone (Sulphur, La.), Sebastian Toro (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Brandon Young (Lumberton, Texas) make up the 11-player signing class.
“Again, our coaches did a great job of getting out on the road and putting together another great signing class,” Robichaux said. “Anthony Babineaux, Jeremy Talbot and Daniel Freeman have been tireless in recruiting a group of players that are strong and athletic. They went out this summer and fall and spent countless hours in order to put together what we think is a class loaded with potential.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns added five pitchers, three position players and three two-way players in the class with four signees hailing from the state of Louisiana. Eight of the 11 players come from the high school ranks with three more on junior college rosters for the 2018 spring season.
“Having a completed Russo Park has allowed us to increase the level of players that we are recruiting,” Robichaux added. “This type of class helps to protect us if we were to lose juniors to the draft. At the same time, we feel that we have some guys in this class who are going to be drafted. It’s a good problem to have when the players you sign are also being looked at by professional programs. You know you are upgrading in recruiting when you are dealing with the draft.
“Our goal is to do the work on the front end to find guys who want to go to college and have the college experience, but also have aspirations to play professionally. We want players to play through us and not to us, and at the same time we don’t want a player’s athletic mission to undermine his academic mission.”
Caleb Black – RHP – 6-3, 215 – Spring, Texas (Concordia Lutheran HS)
Black was named a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass High All-American Honorable Mention selection at Concordia Lutheran High School. Black earned all-district honors in 2017 with the Crusaders.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Caleb Black
“Caleb is a big physical righty that operates anywhere from 88-92 and tops at 94. He’s primarily a fastball/power slider guy with ability to throw strikes. Caleb was also recruited by teams from the SEC. HE has the frame to continue to get better. Caleb comes from a quality family as many of our recruits have and will represent our program very well off the field. His ability should allow him to contribute right away as a freshman.”
Nathan Camp – SS/P – 5-10, 160 – Ringgold, Ga. (Ringgold HS)
Camp was tabbed a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass All-American Honorable Mention at Ringgold High School. A two-time 6-AAA All-Region selection, Camp hit .355 as a junior with a .455 on-base percentage. He finished the season with four homers, 16 stolen bases and 28 RBIs as Ringgold went 29-8, won the region title and advanced to the Elite Eight in the state playoffs. On the mound, Camp went 7-2 and with a 1.96 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Nathan Camp
“Nate comes to us from one of the premier summer programs in the country and has been exposed to a high level of competition for years now. He’s the only middle infielder in this class and has enough actions and arm strength for the left side, but enough versatility to also be a premium second baseman. Offensively his run tool is plus at 4.06 to 4.10 from the right side, with a quick simple stroke. Nate is also a guy that we may look at as reliever as well with an upper 80’s fastball along with great feel to spin the breaking ball. Nate received interest from both ACC and SEC programs before signing with us.”
Connor Cooke – RHP/OF – 6-1, 180 – Sulphur, La. (Sulphur HS)
Cooke is a three-sport athlete from Sulphur High School where he played baseball, football and basketball. His teammate Chance Stone also signed with the Cajuns. Cooke helped the Tors reach the 5A State quarterfinals in 2017 after posting a 3-2 record with 34 strikeouts and a 0.81 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Connor Cooke
“We signed Connor for his overall athletic ability and ceiling for development. He’s been a three-sport athlete for his high school, and his better days are in front of him for baseball. His physical tools are special, and it will be interesting to see how those translate at the next level. He will get a look at being a two-way player in his first fall here. Although primarily a pitcher, his body and athletic ability are comparable to a very athletic pro player.”
Colton Frank – OF/LHP – 6-0, 190 – Lake Charles, La. (LaGrange HS)
Frank was the District 3-4A MVP at LaGrange and earned Class 4A all-state first-team honors at utility. Named a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass High All-American Honorable Mention selection, Frank hit .426 with a home run and 20 RBIs to go with a pitching record of 4-2 with a save, a 3.37 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 44 innings as a junior at LaGrange. Frank is a two-sport star for the Gators playing as a quarterback and defensive back.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Colton Frank
“Colton comes to us from the Lake Charles area and brings speed and strength along with being quality person. He will certainly represent Cajuns Baseball in a first class manner, the way that many have come to associate with a Tony Robichaux program. He was recruited both as a quarterback and free safety by several D1 football schools including LSU and Texas A&M, which is a testament to his versatility as an athlete. He plays the game of baseball with passion and is simply “us”. It’s hard not to love everything about this young man. Colton is a serious student with high leadership qualities, and very goal orientated. He also may be a guy we look at on the mound as a left-handed pitcher.”
Connor Joffrion – OF – 5-10, 185 – Baton Rouge, La. (Parkview Baptist HS)
Joffrion, an all-district selection the last two seasons, has helped guide Parkview Baptist High School to the state playoffs the last three seasons including a run to the 3A State finals in 2015. As a junior, Joffrion hit .350 with 37 RBI and 19 stolen bases. Joffrion also played football for the Eagles rushing for 930 yards and 21 touchdowns helping guide Parkview Baptist to the Division II state championship game in 2016.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Connor Joffrion
“Connor is a guy that didn’t run the normal summer circuit as he was a big time high school running back. He’s an electric athlete that ran a hand timed 4.32 40 late this summer. That would have been fourth in the NFL combine last year. As an outfielder, he can run and go get it. His swing is short and fast twitch. He’s another tough-minded, throw-back player who will fit well into our culture. Connor projects as a guy who can disrupt the game with his legs, but generates gap pop from a compact strong athletic build.”
Dexter Jordan – OF – 6-0, 200 – Hattiesburg, Miss. (Hattiesburg HS)
Jordan was named a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass First Team All-American at Hattiesburg High School. In three seasons, Jordan has a .347 average with 19 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 67 RBI. As a junior, Jordan hit .398 with four homers and 31 RBI while posting a .472 on base percentage. Jordan is a two-way player for Hattiesburg tallying a 6-3 record on the mound with 66 strikeouts in 59 innings and a 3.08 ERA.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Dexter Jordan
“Dexter is a physically mature bodied player with big time strength, and looks to have MLB options this June. What we love most about Dexter is who he is and his ability to light up a room with his infectious personality. He will be a clubhouse magnet and have the ability to lead as his career progresses here. His bat speed is real, and the ball jumps off the bat. He plays the game with a high degree of confidence and attitude. Dexter was highly recruited and chose Louisiana over several teams from the SEC.”
Blake Schultz – RHP – 6-2, 190 – League City, Texas (Clear Springs HS)
Schultz was tabbed a 2017 Perfect Game Underclass High All-American Honorable Mention selection at Clear Springs High School. Schutlz has been named all-district the last two seasons and pitched the Chargers to the Texas 6A regional quarterfinals.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Blake Schultz
“Blake impressed us at an early age with his pitchability and feel for a three-pitch mix. As he’s matured, his velocity has continued to climb. He will operate anywhere from 87-91 and be able to function and execute in Coach Robichaux’s pitching system. He’s had big success on the high school level and we expect that to continue at this level. He is also an excellent student in the classroom.”
Jacob Schultz – RHP – 6-2, 180 – Oklahoma City, Okla. (Northeastern Oklahoma CC)
Schultz was named a 2017 Perfect Game West Region Honorable Mention All-American at Westmoore High School. As a senior, Schultz went 6-3 with 61 strikeouts and a 2.24 ERA in 59.1 innings pitched while earning all-district honors. Schultz helped guide Westmoore to the Oklahoma 6A State Title game in 2017.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Jacob Schultz
“We fell in love with Jacob while he was in high school, and will sign him as a freshman out of his junior college. He compares to Evan Guillory with a heavy sinker/slider mix complemented by a true split finger. It will be very tough for hitters to get to the bottom of the baseball against him. He’s got a whippy loose arm that has jumped from 82-84 in high school to low 90’s at present; and could potentially make another velocity bump with future strength and maturity gains.”
Chance Stone – RHP – 6-0, 185 – Sulphur, La. (Sulphur HS)
Stone was selected as a Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-American in 2016 and a Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention All-American in 2017 at Sulphur High School. His teammate Connor Cooke also signed with the Cajuns. Helped the Tors reach the 5A State quarterfinals in 2017.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Chance Stone
“Chance has an easy delivery and sits 89-92, occasionally topping at 93 with a potential swing and miss breaking ball. When we committed him, it was the tight breaking ball that was most intriguing. Now, the velocity has projected to where we had hoped. His change-up is a work in progress and could be the pitch that vaults him from shut down reliever to starting pitching. Chance brings a quality arm and is also a quality person.”
Sebastian Toro – C – 6-0, 210 – Bayamon, Puerto Rico (Seminole State CC)
Toro hit .273 with a pair of home runs and 33 RBI in his first season with Seminole State Community College. Toro ranked tenth in NJCAA Division II in stolen bases allowed.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Sebastian Toro
“Seb comes to us via Seminole State which has typically been one the better JC’s in Oklahoma. He has advanced catch and throw skills. His hands are simply special and will be an asset to our pitching staff in expanding the strike zone and getting tough calls. There’s quickness in the exchange, carry and finish to the throws; and an overall ability to control the running game.”
Brandon Young – RHP – 6-6, 220 – Lumberton, Texas (Howard CC)
Young was named a 2016 Perfect Game Texas Region Honorable Mention selection at Lumberton High School. In his first season with Howard Junior College, Young went 8-3 with 74 strikeouts in 64.1 innings pitched while posting a 4.34 ERA. In 14 appearances, Young notched three complete games with one shutout.
Recruiting Coordinator Jeremy Talbot on Brandon Young
“Brandon is a big imposing righty with even more room to add strength to his frame. He has power stuff at 90-95, and a plus change-up. We thought he was the best arm from a current pitchability and future projection stand point in the entire class of JC’s in Texas and New Mexico. He pitches in an extremely hitter friendly ballpark at Howard JC in West Texas, and still managed to put up very good numbers as a freshman last year with only the change as a secondary pitch. Currently he’s working to develop the slider which has shown flashes of being a solid average pro pitch. He will have draft decisions to make in June, but loves Ragin’ Cajuns baseball as he turned down multiple SEC and Big 12 offers.”