SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San José State University baseball team signed two catchers, two right-handed pitchers and an infielder to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period. Head coach Dave Nakama made the announcement.
Brendt Citta (C/OF, Leland HS-San Jose, Calif.) headlines the trio of position players that includes Cal Koga (C, Kauai HS-Lihue, Hawaii) and Aaron Plescher (INF, Carlmont HS-Belmont, Calif.).
Joe Balfour (RHP, Mount Hood CC-Gresham, Ore.) will join the Spartans as a junior in the fall of 2015 while fellow hurler Nate Jones (RHP, Salinas HS-Salinas, Calif.) will graduate early and begin at San José State in the spring.
“First of all, it’s a small class. Because of what we’ve done in the past – we’ve invested a lot in our sophomores and our freshmen for this year,” said Nakama. “It’s a small class as far as needs, it’s a small class as far as numbers and how much roster space we had.
“I like the five guys. I think it’s a really good class and I think they’re going to add a lot of depth at a critical position, which is our catching position. I think the other three guys will help us with our infield and pitching depth as well.”
RHP Joe Balfour (Sherwood, Ore. / Mt. Hood CC)
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound right-hander will play his sophomore season at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., in the spring… Spent his freshman campaign at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., an NCAA Division II school… Pitched 22.0 innings for the Saints in 2014 and tallied a team-high four saves… Helped his team to a pair of 5A state championships at Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Ore.
Nakama on Balfour
“He’s playing this year at Mount Hood Community College and I think he’s going to be one of their front-line guys, so we’re hoping that when he gets here he’ll be a weekend pitcher for us. He’s a lot like Kalei Contrades as far as stature, he’s a fastball guy with a pretty good slider and a very good changeup – that’s his out pitch. He’s a guy that has three-pitch command and he has some good velocity, so I think he’ll hopefully be a really good starter for us when he gets here.”
C/OF Brendt Citta (San Jose, Calif. / Leland HS)
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound backstop can also play the corner outfield spots… Played for the 2014 Oakland A’s Area Code Team… Named the Most Outstanding Catcher at the 2014 Bay Area World Series… As a junior in 2014, hit .443 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 26 RBI at Leland High School in San Jose, Calif. … Led the Chargers to the Central Coast Section Open Division championship in 2014.
Nakama on Citta
“Brendt Citta was an Area Code player and he’s a talented catcher. I think he’s your prototypical catcher as far as size and skill, so he’s going to be an interesting guy for us. I think he’ll be a solid catcher, but he’s going to be able to play a couple of other positions for us. We’re looking for him to hit in the middle of our order – he’s a really good offensive player. He definitely is going to give us a presence in the middle of the order that we need.”
C Cal Koga (Lihue, Hawaii / Kauai HS)
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound defensive standout was a 2014 first team Division II All-Hawaii selection… Named MVP of his Kauai High School team as a junior in 2014 after leading the Red Raiders to a third-place finish in the Division II State Tournament.
Nakama on Koga
“Cal Koga is definitely going to add a lot of depth to our catching position. He is a really, really good defender and he’s a really good catch-and-throw guy. I think he’s pretty good with the bat and he’s going to be a solid defender for us that gives us a lot of depth at that position.”
RHP Nate Jones (Salinas, Calif. / Salinas HS)
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound righty will join the Spartans in the spring of 2015… Named the Salinas Prep of the Week April 8, 2014… Played summer baseball with Trosky Baseball.
Nakama on Jones
“Nate Jones is going to graduate early and come a semester early. He’s a right-handed pitcher with a lot of potential. He was really good as a sophomore and junior in high school, so we’re excited to get him early. He’s going to be able to work with Coach Kunis and he’ll probably end up as a redshirt for us because our pitching is so deep right now, but I think he has a bright future here for us."
INF Aaron Pleschner (Belmont, Calif. / Carlmont HS)
Versatile infielder stands 6-foot, 165-pounds… Hit .318 as a junior at Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif. … Named Honorable Mention All-Peninsula Bay League in 2014.
Nakama on Pleschner
“Aaron Pleschner is a very good shortstop that will give us added depth to our infield. He’s also a guy that can play the corner spots, so he gives us a lot of options to use him. He’s good at short, he can really play third base and I think he’s going to develop into a good hitter. He has a good frame in him, so when he fills out I think he’ll be a physical player for us.”