CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- In its 31st annual breakdown of college baseball's top recruiting classes, Collegiate Baseball newspaper ranked the Miami Hurricanes' 2013 group as the fourth-best group nationwide.
The ranking is the best for a Miami Hurricanes’ class since 2006, when head coach Jim Morris’ incoming group was ranked No. 2 by the publication.
“The fact is Gino [DiMare] and J.D. [Arteaga] have worked very hard on this class,” Morris said. “Gino coming back as our recruiting coordinator has had a big impact. Having such a high ranking correlates to having a good team, and I’m excited about this group of guys.”
The Hurricanes class is comprised of 14 freshman and two junior college transfers. Four of Miami’s newcomers were selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft: outfielder Willie Abreu (Cincinnati Reds), first baseman/pitcher Derik Beauprez (Boston Red Sox), catcher Zack Collins (Cincinnati) and outfielder Jacob Heyward (Atlanta Braves).
“It’s very exciting. We always want to be ranked among the top 10 - that’s our goal every year,” DiMare said. “So to have a class ranked fourth certainly says a lot about how hard all of our coaches are working.”
The newcomers will be joining a strong nucleus of returners that guided Miami to its college baseball- record 41st consecutive appearance in the NCAA postseason.
“The strength of our team is our veteran pitching, but I think we have a good combination of young guys that are working hard,” Morris said. “Our new strength coach Brian Gabriel is doing a great job with them, and we have a chance to be really successful.”
Despite the ranking, DiMare says the focus is on where this group ends up down the road rather than when they first arrive on campus.
“We’ve got a big group of really talented players that have shown up,” DiMare. “From this stage forward, we have to develop them as much as we can. The proof is where they end up in three or four years. We have to work hard to make sure they reach their potential.”
Florida State (No. 3), NC State (No. 13), North Carolina (No. 17), Virginia (No. 22), Clemson (No. 32) and Georgia Tech (No. 35) round out the ranked ACC classes. To read the full release from Collegiate Baseball newspaper, click HERE.