It had been an unusual month for the new Texas baseball head coach. After landing a seemingly endless stream of recruits to the Longhorns upon his hiring, David Pierce had finally started to slow down as his future rosters filled out. In fact, after gaining 25 pledges in his first three months, Pierce didn’t have any commits from November 15 until Monday afternoon, when he gained maybe his best talent yet.
Right-handed pitcher Simeon Woods is ranked as the 53rd best player in the class of 2018, and the sixth-best recruit in the state of Texas. A brief scouting report on his Perfect Game profile simply states that the Houston native has low 90s speed “with more in there”. And most importantly if you’re a Texas fan — he’s going to be a Longhorn.
Woods originally committed to Texas A&M on July 18th. The Aggies had a far superior 2016 campaign compared to the ‘Horns, as A&M hosted a regional as a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament, while the Longhorns missed out on the tournament entirely. If there was ever any doubt that Pierce is an elite recruiter, it should be erased by the fact that the new coach has made a pivotal step in reclaiming the state of Texas.
At 6-3, 198 pounds, Woods already has the frame to succeed at the college level, despite being just 16 years old. David Pierce now has 16 pitching commits who stand at 6-1 or higher.
But raw size alone isn’t what made the righty one of the most coveted recruit of the 2018 class. In addition to a fastball in the 90s, Woods throws an effective curve and a slider as well. A WWBA scouting report from this July described the Sugar Land native as having “very impressive athleticism on the mound”.
Woods currently plays club ball for Marucci Houston under former MLB All-Star Adam Dunn. Coincidentally (or not?), Texas baseball’s last commit before Woods was fellow Marucci RHP Andre Duplantier.
Woods is also more than competent at the plate, batting a .498 in 76 at bats last season for Kempner High School last season as a sophomore. For the 6A high school team, Woods threw 28 innings for a solid 3.17 ERA. Though Pierce undoubtedly recruited the Kempner star primarily for his pitching prowess, Woods could undoubtedly be a two-way player for the ‘Horns.
Texas’ 2018 recruiting class is much more exciting than its 31st national rank. The ‘Horns now have nine commits in the class, many of whom are in the sweet spot of being talented enough to be college ready, but raw enough to not enter the pros out of high school.
However, though it’s far from set in stone whether Texas’ newest recruit will enter the draft out of high school, it’s certainly a possibility that Woods could forego college ball for the pros. Woods has only recently hit a growth spurt, and could continue to fill out and develop his talents before he signs for college.
Snatching a top 100 talent from the hands of Texas A&M is clearly a huge moral victory for the Longhorns, but only time will tell if it will become a tangible one as well.