On Wednesday, the Texas Longhorns announced the 12 signees in the 2022 recruiting class, currently ranked No. 12 nationally by Baseball America.
“First of all, congratulations to all of our 2022 signees. Texas fans will not be disappointed in this group,” Pierce said. “Our staff did an incredible job putting this class together. It really meets the needs for the 2023 season. The class brings excellent speed and potential power to the lineup with big power arms. The class also includes a pair of two-way players and one additional left-handed pitcher as well. We recruit great players every year but the class of 2022 has a chance to be very special and give Texas baseball continued success. It has a level of talent to step in and contribute right away.”
With nine signees from Texas and three from California, the signing class filled key needs for outfielders and more left-handed hitters to provide a little more balance to a right-handed heavy lineup.
Max Belyeu | OF | L/R | 6-2 | 195 | Aledo, Texas | Aledo
The No. 2 outfielder in the state and the No. 12 player overall, Belyeu hit .356 with nine doubles, seven triples, and five home runs as a junior, as well as 10 steals. Capable of playing all three outfield positions, Belyeu is known as a pure left-handed hitter with good power and speed. He’s expected to contribute as soon as he arrives on the Forty Acres.
Henry Bolte | OF | R/R | 6-3 | 195 | Palo Alto, Calif. | Palo Alto
Considered the top player in the class by Baseball America, getting Bolte on campus may be a challenge — he’s the No. 1 player in California and the No. 13 player nationally. Based on his performance as a junior, however, he’s still more potential than production after hitting .305 with three home runs last season. Nonetheless, assistant coach Phillip Allen believes he might be the best outfielder in the country.
Cutter Coffey | INF/RHP | R/R | 6-2 | 195 | Bakersfield, Calif. | Liberty
A two-way player with a low-90s fastball and a plus slider, Coffey also plays shortstop and can hit for power and average, batting .479 with five home runs in 2021. Coffey could well emerge as an intriguing MLB prospect after this season, but might end up benefitting from coming to college and determining which position best fits his future while playing both for the Longhorns.
Brenner Cox | OF/RHP | L/R | 6-3 | 190 | Prosper, Texas | Rock Hill
The other two-way player in the class, Cox had a 0.91 ERA with 42 strikeouts and nine saves and hit .355 with seven home runs and 20 stolen bases. Cox fits Pierce’s most preferred mold — a good quarterback in high school with strong leadership skills. He’s also expected to contribute immediately on the mound and in the outfield, but his speed and power may make him more valuable as a position player.
Jayden Duplantier | INF | R/R | 6-1 | 180 | Houston, Texas | Summer Creek
The younger brother of Andre Duplantier II is a middle infielder ranked as the state’s top second baseman. Duplantier is known as a hard worker, strong defender, and a contact hitter after batting .324 last season who could emerge as the longterm replacement for Mitchell Daly.
Jalin Flores | INF | R/R | 6-2 | 185 | San Antonio, Texas | Brandeis
An effective pitcher in high school, Flores is ranked as the No. 10 player in the state after hitting .318 with seven home runs as a junior. Flores is known as a complete player with length, athleticism, and the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark. His improvement trajectory makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in the class, but could also attract the attention of professional evaluators ahead of next year’s draft if his trajectory continues.
Rylan Galvan | C | R/R | 6-0 | 185 | Sinton, Texas | Sinton
Coached by former Texas great Adrian Alaniz, Galvan is a longtime commit with extremely impressive tools — he’s capable of handling pitching staffs and playing his position at a high level, but he also hit .404 with four triples and six home runs in 2021. Galvan looks like the replacement for Silas Ardoin and may provide an upgrade in the batter’s box.
Pierce George | RHP | R/R | 6-6 | 215 | Austin, Texas | Lake Travis
Also a wide receiver on the Lake Travis football team, Pierce has a projectable arm with a fastball featuring lots of carry and some potential unlocked velocity. His frame makes him a projectable player, but his ability to contribute at Texas may depend on developing a secondary pitch and maximizing his velocity.
Max Grubbs | RHP | R/R | 6-1 | 180 | Arlington, Texas | Martin
A potential early contributor, Grubbs doesn’t have the impressive frame of George, but he does have a sinker-slider combination with an excellent slider who fits the profile of pitchers this Longhorns coaching staff has developed well over the last several seasons.
Matthew Porchas | RHP | R/R | 6-3 | 215 | Ladera Ranch, Calif. | Santa Margarita Catholic
Porchas competed at a high level in California and attended a handful of elite events where he showed a quick arm and a fastball reaching 91 mph and showing some arm-side run at times, according to Perfect Game USA. The coaching staff expects him to contribute immediately as well.
Jared Thomas | INF/OF | L/L | 6-2 | 175 | Waxahachie, Texas | Waxahachie
The top first baseman in the state of Texas, Thomas hit .484 with 14 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 38 RBI, and 22 stolen bases. A lifetime Longhorns fan, Thomas reminded Pierce of the Clemens brother with his passion for the university — a compliment of a highest degree — and is expected to emerge as a team leader.
Collin Valentine | LHP | L/L | 6-3 | 170 | Dallas, Texas | Highland Park
Valentine fills a big need for a left-handed pitcher. Given that need, there’s a little bit of extra pressure on him to develop and perhaps even outperform his ranking as the No. 17 left-handed pitcher in the state and the No. 120 player in Texas. Valentine’s deceptive delivery and ability to compete on the mound convinced the coaching staff of his high ceiling.