Head coach John Anderson and the Gopher Baseball coaching staff has announced the signing of eight athletes to its incoming class, each signing National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period. Each player will first step foot on campus in fall of 2018 and don the Maroon & Gold for the spring 2019 season.
"The coaching staff and I feel strongly that this 2018 recruiting class embodies the values of competitive excellence, hard work, integrity and selfless leadership that make them good matches for our program's purpose and mission," said Anderson. "These players have a strong desire to wear the `M' as well as the talent and make-up that will translate to consistent, optimal performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I am confident they will significantly impact our long and proud tradition as members of the Golden Gopher Baseball family starting in the Fall of 2018. I would also like to recognize the exceptional leadership and daily effort of assistant head coach Rob Fornasiere and of assistant coaches Patrick Casey and Ty McDevitt in identifying and securing commitments from this talented group of student- athletes."
|Position: Infielder | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 190 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Janesville, Wis. | High School: Craig
Scouting Report: Outstanding all-around athlete ... Talented shortstop from one of the top high school prep programs in the Midwest.
Ranked as the #3 infielder and #18 overall player in the state of Wisconsin by Prep Baseball Report. Ranked as the #5 shortstop in Wisconsin and #264 infielder nationally by PerfectGame. Named preseason honorable mention All American by PerfectGame. Berghammer arrives in the Twin Cities after an outstanding prep career at Janesville Craig where he was a three-sport standout in baseball, basketball and football. 3-year starter for the Cougars in football where he played running back, wide receiver, quarterback and doubled on defensive as a cornerback. 3-year starter in baseball where he played for head coach Victor Herbst, has helped lead Craig to three Big 8 Conference Titles and a Wisconsin State Championship in 2015. Named 1st Team All Big 8 (2016), 1st Team All-Area (2016) and 1st Team All District while batting .351 with one homerun, 25 RBI’s and 15 stolen bases. Played club baseball for the Top Tier Americans where he was a team captain and named Most Valuable Player. Batted a team best .408 this past summer with 23 RBI’s, 14 stolen bases, 4 triples and 11 doubles. Named to Team Wisconsin as a sophomore in the PBR Futures Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also participated in student council, choir and the investment club at Janesville High School. Plans to major in business and journalism at Minnesota. Son of Michael and Jean Berghammer.
Assistant Head Coach Rob Fornasiere on Berghammer: "Noah is a polished infielder with pop in his bat who carries great energy and plays with passion. He is a natural leader who comes from a winning program in Janesville, Wisconsin, and will immediately help fill the void of losing three of our current infielders to graduation in 2018."
Berghammer on why he chose Minnesota: "Entering the campus grounds and feeling the energy and excitement I could could tell Minnesota was the place for me. The education is great and a degree from the U of M is very valuable. Add a phenomenal coaching staff that knows how to win and facilities that are second to none it really checked all my boxes and it is the perfect fit."
|Position: Outfielder | Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 180 | B/T: L/R
Hometown: Bemidj, Minn. | High School: Bemidji
Scouting Report: One of the top overall talents in the Midwest ... Extremely gifted athlete who possesses rare five-tool talent.
Ranked as the #1 outfielder in Minnesota and #8 overall player by Prep Baseball Report. Grimm comes to Gold Country following an impressive prep career for Bemidji High School and head coach Mike Fogelson. He was named the newcomer of the year during his freshman campaign, an All-Section selection as a sophomore and All-State as a junior. Heads into his final season where he’ll serve as the Lumberjacks captain for a second consecutive year, has twice been named the team’s MVP. Finished his junior season as one of the top high school hitters in the country posting an incredible .507 batting average in 25 games to go along with 5 homeruns, 63 total bases, 40 runs scored, 26 stolen bases and led the state of Minnesota in RBIs with 35. Batted an outstanding .692 in sectional play with 10 total bases, 5 stolen bases and 8 runs scored. Has also played four seasons for the Bemidji American Legion team and head coach Nate Blumhagen. His father, Jim Grimm, was a two-sport athlete at Bemidji State University in both baseball and football and was also the Beavers Head Baseball Coach from 1996 - 2002. Currently undecided on a field of study at Minnesota. Son of Jim and Susan Grimm.
Fornasiere on Grimm: "Otto is a multi-tool outfielder that runs well, throws well and can hit for both high average and power. He was not well known outside of Minnesota, but is a terrific talent that has just scratched the surface of his ability. Otto reminds us of current Gopher senior outfielder Alex Boxwell."
Grimm on why he chose Minnesota: "I chose Minnesota because the most important part to the coaching staff is education. They care about players' futures after their baseball career is over. The team has a real family feel and everyone has each other's back. The moment I got to campus and met the coaches and players, I knew it was where I wanted to play baseball."
|Position: Right-Handed Pitcher | Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 170 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Chicago, Ill. | High School: Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
Scouting Report: An electric performer ... One of the top-rising 2018 hurlers in the country heading into next spring.
Ranked as the #10 right-handed pitcher in the state of Illinois and #33 overall player by Prep Baseball Report. Ranked as the #4 right-handed pitcher in the state of Illinois and #210 nationally by PerfectGame. Named Preseason All American Honorable Mention by PerfectGame this past summer. Massey arrives in the Twin Cities after a standout prep career at Gwendolyn Brooks Preparatory School in Chicago, Illinois where he was a 4-year starter, and two-time team Captain for the Eagles in baseball playing for head coach Anthony Beale. Led the Jackie Robinson South Conference in ERA this past spring in addition to leading the Eagles with the highest team batting average. In the summer played for the Chicago White Sox ACE Program where he played for head coach Kevin Coe and Robert Fletcher. This past summer helped the ACE program read the RBI World Series where they finished third in the National Tournament. National Honors Society Member. Plans to Sports Medicine and Finance at Minnesota. Son of Velma and Jeffery Massey Sr.
Fornasiere on Massey: "Jeff has a very loose arm with great life on his pitches. He is a developing pitcher with a lot of room to grow and an outstanding student that is a great fit for the Gopher program. We are fortunate to attract such a fine young man and prospect from the MLB RBI program in Chicago."
Massey on why he chose Minnesota: "I chose to play Big Ten baseball at the University of Minnesota for multiple reasons. Not only do I feel that the academic and college experience is a perfect fit for me, but I also feel that the team and coaches I will spend the upcoming years of my life with, will help mold me for my future and instill, in me, life lessons on and off the baseball field."
|Position: Infielder | Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 160 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Forest Lake, Minn. | High School: Forest Lake
Scouting Report: One of the top all-around prep talents in the state of Minnesota ... Gifted middle infielder with outstanding baseball instincts and advanced offensive approach.
Ranked as #1 overall infielder and #6 overall player by Prep Baseball Report. 3-year starter for the Rangers in baseball where he played for head coach Tal Gravelle. Has led Forest Lake to State Runner up finish at the Class 4A Minnesota State High School Tournament this past spring. Named to the Suburban East All Conference, All-Section and Class 4A State Tournament Team as a junior. Posted team highs with .360 average, 13 stolen bases, and 20 RBI’s. Played club baseball for East Metro Baseball, played for coaches Brian Raabe and Robb Gamm. Helped lead East Metro to 2016 Siebert Fall Championship, recipient of the Phil Isakson Courage & Honor Award after hitting .312 with 10 runs scored and a .406 slugging percentage. Raabe is the son of former Gopher All American infielder Brian Raabe and Valerie Raabe.
Fornasiere on Raabe: "Zack is a high energy player, a great leader and comes with a strong Baseball IQ and pedigree. He is a very good student and can really hit. We are thrilled to attract a second generation Raabe to the Gopher program."
Raabe on why he chose Minnesota: "Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a Gopher and playing baseball at the University of Minnesota. I also chose Minnesota because of the culture created to not only develop baseball players but to develop men."
|Position: Right-Handed Pitcher | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 220 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Sioux Falls, S.D. | High School: Roosevelt
Scouting Report: Highly regarding pitching prospect ... Considered one of the top right-handed pitchers in the nation following an impressive junior year.
Ranked as #4 overall pitcher in Iowa/South Dakota and #48 nationally by Prep Baseball Report. #1 ranked overall pitcher in South Dakota and #159 nationally by PerfectGame. Named Underclass High Honorable Mention All American by PerfectGame in the summer of 2017. Radel will arrive on campus following a dominant four-year career for Roosevelt High School where he starred on the mound and at third base for head coach Joel Sage and the Riders. Entering his senior campaign the Sioux Falls native has received back-to-back All-Region South Dakota and 1st Team All-State honors. The past spring posted a state best 0.39 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 55 innings this past helping lead Roosevelt to the Class-A South Dakota State Championship. Named to Team Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska as a sophomore in the PBR Futures Games, and named to the Chicago White Sox Area Code Team and competed in Long Beach, California this past summer as a junior. Played four seasons of club ball for the Sioux Falls Cyclones for head coach Steve Phillips. Off the diamond, he started two seasons for the Roosevelt football team as a lineman, earning honorable mention honors, and played center for the basketball program. Plans to study business at Minnesota. Son of Chad and Angela Radel.
Fornasiere on Radel: "Gus is a power arm with good secondary pitches as well. He burst onto the scene last year and was highly recruited. Gus reminds the coaching staff of former Gopher Matt Loberg. He is a high-end talent with a bright future."
Radel on why he chose Minnesota: "I chose Minnesota because I want to compete at the Division I level, and it is a good fit for me to continue my baseball and educational career."
|Position: Catcher | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | B/T: L/R
Hometown: Sugar Grove, Ill. | High School: Marmion Academy
Scouting Report: Widely regarded as one of the top prep catchers in the country.
Ranked as the #1 overall catcher in the state of Illinois, and #22 overall backstop in the nation by Prep Baseball Report. Ranked as #3 catcher in Illinois and #79 overall backstop in the country by PerfectGame. Named 2016 Underclass Honorable Mention All American and 2017 Underclass High Honorable Mention All American by PerfectGame. Stanke heads to Minneapolis after an outstanding prep career for the Cadets at Marmion Academy where he played for head coach Frank Chapman in Aurora, Illinois. 3-year starter and 2-time team captain for the Cadets in baseball where he’s helped lead Marmion to 38 wins over the past two seasons in the Chicago Catholic League in addition to a 3rd Place finish in the Chicago State Tournament. Batted .317 this past spring with 26 hits in 31 games with 4 homeruns, 15 extra base hits, 20 RBI’s and 20 runs scored with 6 stolen bases. Named to Chicago Beacon-News All Area Team, IHSBCA 1st Team All State, 1st Team All Chicago State and two-time All-Conference performer. Played club baseball for the Cangelosi Sparks where he played for head coach Tyler Thompson and Top Tier Hoffman where he played for Glen Hoffman where he played with fellow Gopher signee Andrew Wilhite. Batted .345 with 29 hits this past summer with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 1 homerun, 24 RBI’s, and 12 runs scored while also throwing out 8 would-be-base stealers. National Honors Society Member. Plans to attend to the Carlson School of Management at Minnesota. Son of Michael and Stacey Stanke.
Fornasiere on Stanke: "Chase is very athletic and versatile. He is a strong Catcher and a very good hitter. He is a superior student and is a great fit for the University of Minnesota. His personality is one of a natural leader. Chase is exactly the kind of student athlete this University has charged us to look for."
Stanke on why he chose Minnesota: "I chose Minnesota for the opportunities It offers both on the baseball field and in the classroom. With a rich tradition of winning and developing players on the field as well as a top ranked business school, it was a no brainer."
|Position: Catcher | Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 190 | B/T: R/R
Hometown: Chaska, Minn. | High School: Chaska
Scouting Report: Solid all-around player ... One of the top backstops in the Midwest ... Quickly emerging as one of the state's top talents.
Listed as the #16 overall player in the state of Minnesota and #2 overall catcher by Prep Baseball Report. Swenson comes to the Gophers as a 3 year lettermen, and 2 year starting catcher for the Chaska Hawks, playing for head coach Craig Baumann, helping lead to a 17-6 overall record and a 1st place finish in the Metro West Conference in the spring of 2017. Named team captain, Most Valuable Player and Metro West All Conference performer as a junior after posting .301 average with team leading 19 RBI’s to go along with 22 hits, 8 doubles, one homerun and posting a .452 slugging percentage., also threw-out 5 would be base-stealers from behind home plate. In the summer of 2017 broke out offensively for the Chaska Hawks American Legion program posting a team best .444 average with 3 homeruns, 33 total bases and a .733 slugging percentage. Swenson is the son of Robyn David and Minnesota’s Director of Baseball Operations Lee Swenson and Tore Swenson.
Fornasiere on Swenson: "Riley brings a strong fundamental base of catching skills to our program. He performs the basic three of catching - blocking, throwing and receiving - very well. Riley is very physical and has shown power at the plate. We have watched Riley grow up before our eyes and we are very excited to continue to help him develop."
Swenson on why he chose Minnesota: "As long as I could remember, I've wanted to be a Gopher. Ever since I could walk, all I could think about was playing with `Minnesota' across my chest and being part of an outstanding team."
|Position: Infielder | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 175 | B/T: L/R
Hometown: Stillman Valley, Ill. | High School: Stillman Valley
Scouting Report: Fast-rising player and talented athlete ... Capable of playing multiple positions ... Possesses one of the strongest bats in the 2018 recruiting class.
Ranked as #6 shortstop and #37 overall player by Prep Baseball Report, tabbed as the #286th ranked player nationally by PerfectGame. Garnered PerfectGame All American Honorable Mention accolades this past spring in addition to being named Pre-season All American by Baseball Factory in both 2014 and 2015. Comes to the Gophers after an outstanding prep career at Stillman Valley High School where he lettered 4-years in baseball and 3 years in football for the Cardinals. 3-year starter in baseball where he played for his father and head coach Scott Wilhite. Named to 1st Team All-Conference three straight years, 2-time Rockford All-Area, Named Cardinals Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger recipient winner and Top Pitcher from 2015 – 2017. Over the past two seasons the Byron, Illinois native has amassed one of the more impressive prep resumes in the state of Illinois posting a .426 average with 84 hits, 67 runs scored, 25 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homeruns and 50 RBI’s. Played club baseball for Top Tier Hoffman where he played for head coach Glen Hoffman and with Gopher signee Chase Stanke. Over the past two years has hit .386 for the Illinois based club team with 77 hits, 60 runs scored, 21 doubles, 6 triples, one homerun and 46 RBI’s. Plans to study business at Minnesota. Son of Scott and Stacy Wilhite.
Fornasiere on Wilhite: "Andrew is a very good hitter from the left side, a versatile infielder, and can pitch with either arm. He is an outstanding student and comes from a baseball family. Andrew keeps getting better and better."
Wilhite on why he chose Minnesota: "I chose Minnesota for many reasons. The academics are outstanding as I am looking for a challenge in school. Also, the coaches and players are great people that will push me to become not only a better player, but a better person as well."
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