Illinois Baseball Signs Six to Letters of Intent

Head coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing of six players in the class of 2011.
Head coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing of six players in the class of 2011.

Nov. 10, 2010

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing of six student-athletes to national letters of intent Wednesday. At this point, the 2011 signing class is composed of Josh Ferry, of Lemont, Ill., Michael Hurwitz, of Springfield, Ill., John Kravetz, of Lansing, Ill., Charlie Naso Jr., of Orland Park, Ill., Jordan Parr, of Chillicothe, Ill., and Charlie Tilson, of Wilmette, Ill.

"Our 2011 class has shaped into one of the top classes of pure athletes that we have recruited," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "From top to bottom we have filled immediate needs with athletes who will have an opportunity to contribute during their inaugural season at Illinois. All of the young men in this class have the skills and ability to develop into impact players. This group of special student-athletes has had great success at all levels of competition.

"Included in the class is the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois - who also is ranked as the 13th-best high school player in the country - three outstanding arms and two versatile infielders, all of whom are highly ranked in the state of Illinois and the Midwest. We are very fortunate to have landed a group of highly sought-after players. We are looking forward to coaching these athletes and are extremely excited that they are a part of our close Illini family."

Biographical sketches of the 2010-11 Illinois baseball signees:

Josh Ferry, RHP
6-3 // 190 // S/R // Fr. // Lemont, Ill. // Lemont HS
Notes: Listed as the No. 19 prospect in the class of 2011 in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report...Listed as the No. 10 pitcher in the state in the class of 2011 by PBR...PBR says of him "Athlete has dominant stuff, including hard-biting slider"...Named a class 3A All-State pitcher by the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2010...Went 8-1 with a 0.88 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 65 innings in 2010...Posted eight shutouts in 2010 and five in South Suburban Conference play...Broke the Lemont record with 20 steals and also had 31 RBIs in 2010...Played in 2006 Little League World Series...Selected to the USSSA All-American team in 2009-10...Selected to the USA Midwest Great Lakes team in 2009...Uncle, Mark, played football at Indiana...Grandfather, John Papierski, played in the White Sox organization.

Assistant coach Ken Westray on Ferry: "Josh is a solid athlete with a high ceiling for continued development. He has good size and overall innate skills. He also plays wide receiver for the Lemont football team, which is 11-0 and will be playing in the IHSA quarterfinals this weekend. He has a solid fastball-slider-changeup skill package and is a young man who expects to win."

Michael Hurwitz, IF
5-6 // 180 // S/R // Fr. // Springfield, Ill. // Sacred Heart-Griffin HS
Notes: Ranked No. 58 in the state by Prep Baseball Report...PBR says "Can flat-out swing it from either side of the plate"...Hit .438 in 2010 with 27 stolen bases and 45 runs scored...Earned IHSBCA Class 3A All-State honors in 2010...Named an All-Central State 8 selection in 2010...Named to the CABA World Series All-Tournament team in 2010 after leading his team to a second-place finish...Played in the 2010 Springfield State Journal-Register All-Star game.

Associate head coach Eric Snider on Hurwitz: "Michael is a good athlete who will be an impact player for us. He has a solid middle-of-the-field approach from both sides of the plate. He has good base-running instincts, soft hands and a strong arm. He's a throwback player and a grinder who knows the game and has the ability to play multiple positions. He reminds me of Casey McMurray in a lot of ways."

John Kravetz, RHP
6-4 // 215 // L/R // Fr. // Lansing, Ill. // Mount Carmel HS
Notes: Listed as the No. 22 overall prospect in the state and the No. 13 pitcher by Prep Baseball Report...PBR says "Everything Kravetz throws moves a lot. With a deceptive, coiling motion and a three-quarters arm slot, Kravetz showed a fast arm with a lot of upside"...Went 6-4 with a 2.75 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 73 innings in 2010...Went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 2009...Helped Top Tier Baseball to the 2010 CABA World Series title...Led Mount Carmel to regional championships in 2009 and 2010.

Coach Westray on Kravetz: "Has a good ceiling for development and will continue to gain strength. Effectively uses a sinking fastball-slider package. Comes from a successful athletic background and expects to win."

Charlie Naso Jr., RHP
6-2 // 210 // R/R // Fr. // Orland Park, Ill. // St. Laurence HS
Notes: Ranked 21st in the class of 2011 in Illinois by Perfect Game USA...Named a 2010 All-Chicago Catholic League selection and a 2010 Regional News All-Area honorable mention...Was a 2010 Under Armour Preseason All-American...Named the top prospect at the 2010 Perfect Game USA Illinois indoor showcase...Primarily played catcher until the summer of 2010, when he began converting to a starting pitcher...Went 5-1 with a 0.90 ERA with 45 strikeouts and five walks in 31 innings, allowing only eight hits during the summer of 2010...Led St. Laurence to an appearance in the finals of the summer state tournament...Hit .367 with four homer runs and 27 RBIs in 2009...Played for the Illinois Sparks during the summer and with Cangelosi Baseball in the fall.

Coach Snider on Naso: "Charlie has good size and strength. He has been a solid catcher with a good arm, but spent time this summer and fall converting into a starting pitcher. Has a sound arm with a fastball-curveball-changeup three-pitch mix. He pitches in the mid-80s and touches 91. In a short time, he has cleaned up his mechanics and is quickly becoming a pitcher rather than a thrower. He's a hard worker who is very competitive and has a very high ceiling."

Jordan Parr, IF/OF
6-3 // 195 // R/R // So. // Chillicothe, Ill. // Illinois Valley Central // Parkland College
Notes: Ranked 63rd in the class of 2009 and the No. 13 infielder in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report...Named an All-North Central Illinois Conference selection in baseball and basketball in 2009...Helped IVC to a second-place finish at the 2008 IHSA Class 2A state tournament...Redshirted last season...Earned MVP honors at the Great Western Basketball Shootout in 2009...Named to the Bloomington Holiday Classic all-tournament team in 2009...Brothers, Josh and Justin, currently play for the Illini...Justin is his twin.

Coach Snider on Parr: "Jordan has a physical and athletic presence that will help our team immediately. He has a solid hitting approach with some power. He has soft hands and a plus arm, which give him the ability to play multiple positions. He's an outstanding worker and competitor who has a good feel for the game."

Charlie Tilson, OF
6-0 // 175 // L/L // Fr. // Wilmette, Ill. // New Trier HS
Notes: Ranked the No. 1 overall prospect in the state by Perfect Game USA and No. 2 by Prep Baseball Report ...Ranked the No. 13 national prospect by Perfect Game USA...PBR says "A top-level prospect, Tilson has the tools to play at a high level. He does it all well and does it very easily."...Hit .439 in 2010...Earned Chicago Tribune honorable mention all-area and Chicago Sun-Times third-team all-area honors in 2010...Led New Trier to the 2009 IHSA Class 4A state championship while hitting in the No. 3 spot in the order and also pitching...Runs a 6.6 60-yard dash.

Coach Snider on Tilson: "Charlie is an outstanding athlete who will be an immediate impact player for us. He has all-around baseball skills and knowledge. He's a true leadoff hitter and center fielder, doing both with great presence. He's a game-changer. Charlie is a plus-plus runner with great base-running instincts, is a hard worker and is very competitive."