Hawkeyes Sign 5, Including 4 Top-500 Players

Dec. 13, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head baseball coach Jack Dahm announced the signing of a five-player recruiting class Thursday. Four of the five players are ranked in the top 500 in the country by Perfect Game.

“We are very excited about this recruiting class,” said Dahm, who is entering his 10th season as head coach. “It is not a very big class with only five players, but it is a very talented one with all four high school commits ranked in the top 500 by Perfect Game. We feel like we have filled our needs for the future of Iowa baseball.”

The five player class consists of: Zach Burdi (6-3, 195, RHP, Downers Grove, Ill.), Kendall Coleman (6-4, 195, OF, Rockwall, Texas), Will Kenny (6-3, 190, LHP, Fort Dodge, Iowa/Iowa Central CC), Jake Reinhardt (6-2, 180, RHP, West Des Moines, Iowa), and Juan Carlos (JC) Pena (6-1, 185, SS, Syracuse, N.Y.) will join the UI program prior to the 2013-14 season.

“A special thank-you goes to our staff of Zach Dillon and Chris Maliszewski, along with the support staff and players that play such a big part in the recruiting process,” said Dahm. “We have put together three consecutive outstanding recruiting classes, and that is how you win Big Ten Championships.”

Zach Burdi

Zach Burdi (6-3, 195, RHP, Downers Grove, Ill., Downers Grove South High School)
Burdi, the No. 330 ranked prep by Perfect Game, was an all-area and all-conference selection in 2012, serving as a team captain for Downers Grove South High School (Ill.). As a junior, Burdi went 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA as a junior, finishing with 43 strikeouts-to-14 walks in 41 innings of work.

Burdi played for Team Longshots during the summer, tossing 22 innings. He posted a 2-1 record with a 2.74 ERA and 38 strikeouts. Burdi is the fifth member of Team Longshots to sign with Iowa, joining Jeff Maitland, Sean Flanagan, Dan Sheppard, and Blake Hickman.

Dahm on Burdi:
“Zach is a true power pitcher that has a huge upside, a tremendous work ethic and passion for the game. Zach has been very successful in high school and over the summer playing for the Longshots against outstanding competition. We believe Zach will develop into a top of the rotation type pitcher for us early in his career.”

Kendall Coleman

Kendall Coleman (6-4, 195, OF, Rowlett, Texas, Rockwall High School)
Coleman, currently ranked No. 282 nationally by Perfect Game and 11th in the state of Texas, was selected to the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA All-Tournament Team in Jupiter, Fla., and the 2012 Perfect Game U17 WWBA All-Tournament Team in East Cobb, Ga. He represented North Texas at the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series in 2011 and 2012 in Cary, N.C. Coleman, who was a Texas Rangers Area Code invitee in 2012, earned preseason All-America honorable mention honors in 2012. He played summer ball for the Texas Blackhawks, coached by Eddie Aguiar.

Dahm on Coleman:
“Kendall is a tall, rangy player that has incredible upside. He is a tremendous athlete that can really run and will develop into a tremendous hitter. We believe he will be an everyday outfielder or first baseman very early in his career. He plays against some of the best competition in Texas, which should help his transition to collegiate baseball.”

Will Kenny

Will Kenny (6-3, 190, LHP, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Fort Dodge High School — Iowa Central Community College)
Kenney posted a 5-2 record with a 3.75 ERA over 62 innings as a freshman at Iowa Central Community College. As a prep, Kenny was a second team all-state selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior at Fort Dodge High School. He was also a three-time all-conference selection. Kenny earned academic all-region honors during his first season at Iowa Central.

Dahm on Kenny:
“Will is a very talented left-handed pitcher that can be used as a starter or a reliever. We have watched Will since his days at Fort Dodge High School, and we are very excited to have him in the program. He has had great coaching throughout high school and at Iowa Central, and we believe he will make an instant impact in our program.”

Jake Reinhardt

Jake Reinhardt (6-3, 180, RHP, West Des Moines, Iowa, Dowling Catholic High School)
Reinhardt, the No. 500 ranked prospect by Perfect Game, posted a 4-2 record as a junior at Dowling Catholic High School, finishing with a 1.29 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Reinhardt was an honorable mention all-conference selection at the conclusion of the season.

Dahm on Reinhardt:
“Jake is a very talented right-handed pitcher that has a good feel for pitching, and he is a strike thrower. Jake has a great presence on the mound, being 6-foot-3 and working fast. He was Dowling’s ace as a junior on one of the most talented pitching staffs in the state. Jake has a very bright future in our program, and will make an impact early in his career.”

JC Pena

Juan Carlos (JC) Pena (6-1, 185, SS, Syracuse, N.Y., West Hill High School)
Pena is currently ranked No. 318 nationally, seventh in the state of New York, and as the No. 1 shortstop in New York by Perfect Game. He was also tabbed in the 2012 ESPN/Area Code “Super 60” Class of 2013 rankings, coming in at No. 48 nationally, No. 7 among shortstops, and No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Pena competed in the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., earning All-Tournament team honors after leading the Syracuse SportsZone Chiefs into the Sweet 16 of the event. He led the Chiefs in batting average (.357), on-base percentage (.536), and slugging percentage (.526) at the tournament. Pena was a 2012 Area Code Northeast Yankees Regional selection and a 2012 East Coast Professional Showcase selection in 2012. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native was an ESPN New York All-State team honoree and a Section III All-CNY (Central New York) selection in 2011 after leading Westhill High School to the state semifinals. Pena played all 25 games at shortstop, leading his team in batting average (.469), RBIs (18), runs scored (28), and steals (25), while posting a .985 fielding percentage.

Dahm on Pena:
“We are very excited about J.C.’s skill level. He is a true shortstop that has all the tools to be a big-time player in this league. J.C. has played a lot of baseball and has a very good feel for the game. He will be a player we expect to battle for playing time right away when he steps on to campus.”