SDSU Baseball Signs Seven to National Letters of Intent

Nov. 9, 2017

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State baseball team has announced the signing of seven high school student-athletes, all of whom signed their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday or Thursday. A year after Perfect Game ranked the 2017 recruiting class as 14th best in the nation, the Aztecs add a pair of two-way players, two pitchers, two outfielders, and an infielder, all set to join the roster prior to the 2019 season. All seven incoming student-athletes hail from California high schools, while five of the commits are considered top 500 high school players in the nation according to Perfect Game.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Joe Oliveira and Sam Peraza for them working tirelessly to put together an unbelievable 2018 class,” said head coach Mark Martinez. “This is a group of guys that can add to the nationally ranked recruiting class we have right now on campus. These strong recruiting classes will continue to help us grow as a program and hopefully will soon put us in the national conversation.”

Winners of four of the last five Mountain West tournament championships, the Aztecs start the 2018 season on Friday, Feb. 16 at home against UC Santa Barbara.

Jaden Fein- OF-R/R- 6’3 200-Royal HS- Simi Valley, Calif.

Fein ranks as the ninth best outfielder in California and 304th best overall player in the country according to Perfect Game. The Simi Valley native was a three-time Perfect Game Underclass All-American and was invited to the Perfect Game national showcase this past summer. Entering his senior season at Royal HS next spring, Fein is a career .285 hitter with 24 RBI and 11 extra-base hits in 59 varsity games, according to MaxPreps. Fien was a part of the 2015 15u USA team that won the gold medal and he spends his fall seasons competing for GBG Marucci.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Jaden was one of our first commits in this class so we’ve had a long relationship with him. He has continued to develop and get better and has put himself in position to come in next year and make an immediate impact. He’s a physical outfielder who fits our style of play and is very athletic for his size. He’s a great student and a high character kid who will fit the culture of our program. We are excited to get Jaden on campus.”

From Fein on decision: “The culture that SDSU possesses is one that I couldn't pass up. I fell in love with everything at SDSU; the campus, the education, the baseball program. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else.”

Aaron Eden- RHP- R/R- 6’2 210- Norco HS- Corona, Calif.

Eden ranks as the 19th best pitcher in California and 354th best overall player in the country according to Perfect Game. The Corona, Calif., native was named a Perfect Game Underclass All-American in 2016 and 2017 and he competes for CBA Marucci during the summer and fall, alongside fellow signees Brian Leonhardt and Mike Paredes.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Aaron has a chance to be really special. He’s a physical right-handed pitcher with a high ceiling. He already has command of 3 pitches which puts him in a position to come in and make an immediate impact. He’s a good student and another high character kid who has continued to develop due to his work ethic.”

From Eden on decision: “I chose to go to SDSU because when I visited the campus I felt like I was already a part of the team. I can also see my game skyrocketing to a whole another complete level with the well-rounded amazing coaches that they have there.”

Devyn Lopez- INF- R/R- 5’9 175- Cajon HS- San Bernardino, Calif.

Lopez was named to the All-League team after his junior year after hitting .347 with eight extra-base hits and seven stolen bases. In addition, he served as the team’s closer posting a 2.22 ERA with five saves. The San Bernardino native competes for the Colton Nighthawks during the summer and fall.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Devyn is a dynamic infielder who can really pick it at SS with a plus arm. He has continued to develop as a hitter and has added some strength. We feel like he has the skill set and the baseball IQ to make an immediate impact in the middle of the field. He’s another kid with strong character who fits the mold of the type of guys we want to bring in.”

From Lopez on decision: "I've always been one decision away from a totally different life. That decision was San Diego State."

Brian Leonhardt- LHP/1B- L/L- 6’2 195- Eastlake HS- San Diego, Calif.

Leonhardt is ranked as the eighth-best left-handed pitcher in California and a top 500 player in the country in Perfect Game’s Class of 2018 rankings. The local product was named to the All-CIF San Diego team after his junior season, in addition to earning All-League honors. Leonhardt competes for CBA Marucci during the summer and fall, alongside fellow signees Aaron Eden and Mike Paredes.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Brian is a local kid that we are excited to keep home. He comes from a strong high school program with 3 current guys on our roster from the same school. Brian can do a number of things on a baseball field. He is talented on both sides of the ball making him a legitimate two-way guy for us. He has the ability to come in and get major innings on the mound as well as work his way into our lineup offensively. He has only just tapped into his potential. Another high character kid that we think he is set up for a great career as an Aztec.”

From Leonhardt on decision: “Signing with SDSU was a decision that I made with confidence and extreme pride. When I was deciding on a university to attend, I considered both academics and athletics. SDSU was the leader in both areas. My decision also means that I will continue our family legacy since both of my parents are alumni. Lastly, I am honored to be a part of a program with a phenomenal coaching staff and outstanding baseball program.”

Mike Paredes- RHP/UTL- R/R- 6’0 175- San Diego HS- San Diego, Calif.

Paredes was named the City League Player of the Year in 2017 and first team All-League in 2016 and 2017. Paredes makes the 9.5-mile move from San Diego HS to SDSU after finishing last season with a 1.59 ERA in 48.1 innings with 50 strikeouts. A two-way player, Paredes also hit .417 with 13 extra base hits. He competes for CBA Marucci during the summer and fall, alongside fellow signees Aaron Eden and Brian Leonhardt.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Mikey is another local kid that we are excited to keep in San Diego. He has proved to be one of the best players in the county throughout his high school career. He’s a dynamic athlete with a special arm. He has already been up to 91mph with more to come and he can also play multiple positions and swing the bat. He has earned all A’s on his high school transcripts which shows the type of kid he is. We are excited for him to join our program next year.”

From Paredes on decision: "There's nothing better than playing for my hometown school and staying close to the people that have supported me through it all"

Alex Benavides- RHP- 6’4 185- Gilroy HS- Gilroy, Calif.

Benavides ranks as the 38th best right-handed pitcher in California and a top 500 player in the country overall. The Gilroy, Calif. Native was named a 2016 and 2017 Perfect Game Underclass All-American, and during the summer and fall, Benavides competes for Dub baseball.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Alex has a prototypical pitcher’s body that scouts look for and a very athletic delivery with a loose arm. He has a ton of movement on his FB and a swing-and-miss slider. We were lucky to be able to draw him away from northern California. He’s an immediate impact guy and another great student with high character. He’s going to fit nicely in our program.”

From Benavides on decision picking SDSU: “I knew I'd be taken care of, I knew I'd get better as a player, and I felt confident in the coach’s ability to win at SDSU.”

Noah Kaagan- OF- 6’1 200- Rancho Bernardo HS- San Diego, CA

Kaagan ranks as the 11th best outfielder in California and 390th best overall player in the country. The Rancho Bernardo HS product finished his junior year with a .317 batting average with 12 doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI, while showing strong plate discipline with 23 walks against 11 strikeouts. Kaagan was tabbed a Perfect Game Underclass All-American in 2016 and 2017, and during the summer, Kaagan competes for the San Diego Show.

From SDSU head coach Mark Martinez: “Noah has made himself a part of our program since the day he committed. He attends practices and games regularly which means he knows what to expect once he steps on campus. He has taken advantage of the opportunity to play close to home. He is the definition of a grinder and his work ethic will pay immediate dividends when he steps on campus. He can really hit with power to all fields. He definitely fits the culture of our program.”

From Kaagan on decision: “I chose San Diego State because I fell in love with the campus and the rest of the facilities, it made me feel at home. Also, the coaching staff is full of unbelievable guys.”

 

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