Head baseball coach Tony Rossi announced the early commitments of 10 players during the recently completed Early Signing Period. Nico Ramos (Rome, N.Y.), Alex Brickman (Andover, Mass.), Jon Crimmin (Worcester, Mass.), Mark Levesque (Milton, N.H.), Matt Pierce (Schenectady, N.Y.), Shane Barringer (Wilton, N.Y.), Chris Davignon (Slate Hill, N.Y.), Rich Gilbride (Beverly, Mass.), Danny Hobbs (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction, NY..) are all set to join the Saints beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.
“We are extremely excited to have this group of young men in our program,” Rossi said. “It’s a very talented class, and one of our largest ever. Each has a chance to have an impact athletic career at Siena, and most important, they will be a positive part of the Siena community.”
In recent years, Siena has had a great deal of success with its recruiting classes, gaining significant contributions from their freshmen and other incoming players each season. The Saints have boasted the MAAC Rookie of the Year each of the last two seasons (Dan Swain in 2014 and Joe Drpich in 2015). Ramos is a 6-2, 215-pound catcher who attends Holland Patent High School outside of Rome, N.Y. He is a two-sport athlete, excelling in football as well as baseball. Ramos was named All-Conference (Mohawk Valley League) three times, and was a New York State All-Star as a junior. He was named Most Valuable Player of the MVL, and was a three time MVL All-Academic All-star. Ramos led his team in batting average and is Holland Patent’s all-time leader in career batting average.
“Nico is an outstanding hitter with raw power from the left side.” Rossi said. “He should be ready to make a major contribution as a freshman.”
Brickman is a 6-4, 260-pound corner infielder who attends Worcester Academy. He hit .361 with 30 RBI and six home runs as a junior, and played with the prestigious EvoShield Canes Mid-Atlantic team during the summer.
“Alex is a big, strong power hitter with a great upside,” Rossi said. “He can hit, and is also a quality pitcher. We expect him to receive immediate playing time. He is a welcome addition to our school and community.”
Crimmin is a 6-2, 185-pound outfielder who is a current teammate of Brickman at Worcester Academy. He hit .380 with 23 RBI during the 2015 high school season, and played for the Northeast Baseball Jaxx during the summer.
“We feel Jon’s aggressive style will enable him to gain quality playing time his first year,” Rossi said. “He will be a major addition to our program and community.”
Levesque is a 6-2, 180-pound right-handed pitcher who attends Nute High School in New Hampshire. He struck out 78 men in 39.2 innings while posting a 1.71 WHIP last season.
“Mark is a diamond in the rough,” Rossi said. “He is a raw talent with a huge upside. He has a really good arm with a sharp breaking pitch.”
Pierce is a 6-3, 215-pound right-handed pitcher who attends Guilderland High School. He was named First Team Section II as a pitcher his sophomore and junior years.
“Matt is a big, strong right-hand pitcher with very good command,” Rossi said. “He can be an immediate contributor in a very short period of time.”
Barringer is a 6-3, 180-pound left-handed pitcher who attends Saratoga High School and plays for the Saratoga Stampede program during the summer. He’s described as a late bloomer who garnered attention this summer for his performance with the Stampede and in the Empire State Games. During the summer, he stuck out 32 in 30 innings with a 3.90 ERA.
“Shane is a lefty with a mid-80’s fastball and a very good curveball,” Rossi said. “I believe with hard work he will become an outstanding pitcher in the MAAC. We are extremely excited to get him on campus.”
Davignon is a 5-10, 160-pound outfielder who attends Minisink Valley High School. He was an All-County and All-State selection as a junior after hitting .340 with 25 hits, and 23 stolen bases. Davigon plays summer ball for the prestigious Bayside Yankee, where he posted 40 hits, 31 RBI and 35 stolen bases this past summer.
“We are extremely happy Chris has chosen to continue his education and baseball career at Siena,” Rossi said. “He is a top student, and possesses great speed and exceptional defense. He can be a major force in our outfield right away.”
Gilbride is a 5-11, 165-pound shortstop who attends Cheshire Academy. He is a three-time League All-Star, and was named team MVP after hitting .325 with 15 stolen bases last year. This past summer he hit .390 with 40 stolen bases for the ECNE Expos. Gilbride was rated as the No. 10 prospect in New England by the Prep Baseball Report.
“Rich is a slick fielder who should add additional speed to the club,” Rossi said. “He will help solidify an already good defensive infield. We are extremely happy to have him in the program.”
Hobbs is a 6-3, 200-pound right-handed pitcher who attends Saratoga High School. He was a Second Team All-League, and Third Team State Large School All-Star last year, and was named the Saratogian Player of the Year. Hobbs helped propel his team to the New York State Large School Finals, finishing with 40 strikeouts in 44 innings, a 0.50 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. He led the area with a 10-0 record.
“Danny is a strong, hard-throwing right-hander who has an outstanding changeup,” Rossi said. “He was a workhorse in high school, and we feel in a very short period of time he could be a force for us.”
Pragana is a 5-7, 150-pound outfielder who attends John Jay East Fishkill High. He was named All-League, All-Section, All-County, and team Most Valuable Player after hitting .381 with an on-base percentage of .456, a slugging percentage of .478, and no strikeouts as a junior. He played his summer baseball with the prestigious Taconic Rangers program.
“Antonio is one of those players who makes things happen,” Rossi said. “He’s an outstanding hitter with plus-speed, and terrific defense. He puts the ball in play and he creates havoc on the basepaths.”
Rossi was very pleased with the incoming group.
“We have addressed some important needs for the long and short term by bringing in some outstanding positional players and quality pitchers to replace a group of quality seniors,” Rossi said. “Assistant Coach Pat Carroll did an outstanding job assembling this diverse, skilled group.”