The jury is still out on whether Chip Hale and his staff can develop the talent they bring to Arizona, since this past season’s roster was almost entirely comprised of players inherited from Jay Johnson.
The 2023 campaign will be much different, with several members of the class the Wildcats signed last fall expected to contribute right away. And based on how recruiting appears to be going, prospects are liking what Hale et. al have to offer.
The UA has picked up a trio of commitments this weekend, two from the 2024 class and another from 2025, giving it 26 pledges in the 2023-25 classes according to Perfect Game. PG only tracks high school prospects.
On Sunday the Wildcats picked up commitments from Smith Bailey, a right-handed pitcher/outfielder from Peoria, Ariz., and Anthony Lira, an IF/RHP from Citrus Heights, Calif. Both are part of the 2024 class, which wouldn’t play for the UA until 2025.
I am blessed and humbled to announce that I will be continuing my baseball and academic career at the University of Arizona. I would like to thank my friends, family and coaches for all making this happen and helping me though the process. #beardown pic.twitter.com/pesGYqTkzA— Smith Bailey (@smithbaileyyy) September 4, 2022
I am excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic/baseball career at the University of Arizona!Thank you to my family and all of my coaches who have helped me along the way. Lastly thank you to God! #BEARDOWN @NorCalU1 @ohshardball @ArizonaBaseball pic.twitter.com/s2L6ZDlVV9— Tony Lira (@AnthonyLira2024) September 4, 2022
On Saturday they got a pledge from 2025 recruit Caleb Danzeisen, a left-handed hitting 2B/OF/C from Laveen, Ariz.
Staying home. @ArizonaBaseball pic.twitter.com/qj0IfKSMBz— Caleb Danzeisen (@CalebDanzeisen) September 3, 2022
Of the 26 players committed to the UA, 14 are in-state prospects.
While all of those guys won’t wear a Wildcat uniform for quite some time, the first chance to see some of the 2022 signees and transfer portal additions comes in October. Arizona has three fall exhibition games scheduled, including one Oct. 6 against professional team Hermosillo as part of the Mexican Baseball Fiesta at Kino Stadium.