Nov. 28, 2011
Siena baseball has received five early commitments from current high school seniors. The quintet will enroll as freshmen in the 2012-13 school year, and head coach Tony Rossi is thrilled about the group's potential.
"We are extremely excited to have this group of young men in our program," Rossi said. "It's a very talented class. Each one of them has a chance to have an impact athletic career at Siena, and they will be a positive part of the Siena community."
The group of early signees consists of Brett Connors (New Canaan, Conn.), Kyano Cummings (Brewerton, N.Y.), Dave Hoffman (Niskayuna, N.Y.), Tyler Martis (Berkeley Heights, N.J.), and Tom O'Brien (Watertown, Conn.). They all have chances to see substantial playing time, and Rossi (who will be entering his 43rd season this spring) is convinced the future is bright.
"We have addressed some important needs for the long and short term of bringing in some outstanding pitchers and positional players to replace a group of quality seniors," he said. "These five players are a nice complement to the players we have here already and will enhance the future of the program."
An infielder, Connors hit .491 as a junior at St. Luke's School, also posting a .571 on-base percentage and a .702 slugging percentage. He played summer ball for the prestigious Team Connecticut program, and was honored with spots on both the Perfect Game Northeast Top 40 and the Rawlings 2011 Top Prospect Team.
"Brett is a middle infielder with great upside," Rossi said. "He can swing between second base, shortstop and third base and will add depth to the infield."
A 6'2" left-handed pitcher, Cummings went 8-1 with a 1.87 ERA as a junior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. An All-League and All-Central New York selection, he racked up 57 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched, and also dominated his summer ball, going 7-1 as part of the New York Thunder.
"Kyano is a diamond in the rough," Rossi said. "He is just now starting to come into his own as a pitcher. We're extremely happy to have Kyano with us, and we feel that he should get quality innings immediately."
A local product from Niskayuna, N.Y., Hoffman hit .367 as a junior at Niskayuna High School, with 15 RBI, a .500 on-base percentage, and a .633 slugging percentage. He played his summer ball with the Schenectady County Indians American Legion program, and plays both catcher and the outfield.
"We feel that David can be an impact player in our program in a very short time," Rossi said. "His versatility, speed and offense should allow him to get playing time immediately, and he will be a welcome addition to our program."
The second infielder in the class, Martis posted a .550 on-base percentage as a junior at Governor Livingston High School. He also batted .350, with 35 hits, 30 walks, and 21 stolen bases in 21 attempts. In the field, he was part of a double-play combination that set a state record with 61 twin killings in a single season.
"Tyler is a slick fielding infielder with great instincts," Rossi said. "He is a polished player and will be ready to be a major contributor as a freshman."
Finally, O'Brien is a 6'5" left-handed pitcher from Watertown High School. He improved by leaps and bounds this past summer, where he pitched for the prestigious Baseball U program.
"Tom is one of those 'under the radar' athletes who just keep getting better and better," Rossi said. "He has an outstanding change-up to compliment his fastball, and he's a big strong kid who should get quality innings in a short period of time."