The Rutgers baseball team inked six recruits on National Signing Day. Danny Kerr, Joshua Kuroda-Grauer, Joe Mazza, Danny Rogers, Matthew Rowe and Jason Shockley signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Scarlet Knights next fall.
Kerr is a right-handed pitcher, set to play his third year of varsity baseball at Bishop Eustace Prep. He has clocked as high as 92 mph on his fastball.
"(Kerr) is a high-energy pitcher with an aggressive mentality. He consistently attacks hitters with three very good pitches and challenges in the zone. He had an incredible summer and we look forward to following his continued development throughout his senior year. His talent and confidence will be a great addition to our staff," said head baseball coach Steve Owens.
The 6-foot-1-inch righty called his decision to join Rutgers a “no brainer."
Kuroda-Grauer is set to play his fourth year of varsity baseball at Franklin, where he was named First Team All-Skyland Conference in 2018 and 2019 and won team MVP (most valuable player) as a sophomore. He is ranked third in the state among shortstops by Perfect Game.
“Recruited as a middle infielder with good speed, range and arm strength, (Grauer) can play outfield equally well and may be utilized in many areas. We are excited that he is staying (at) home and can't wait to get to work with him. His personality and attitude are off the charts," Owens said.
Kuroda-Grauer credits Owens as a driving force for his decision.
“But what sealed the deal for me was Coach Owens coming to Rutgers. I knew he would bring a winning culture that I would love to be a part of. The competition in the Big Ten as well as representing my home state are why I am proud to be going to Rutgers," Kuroda-Grauer said.
Mazza is set to play his fourth year of varsity baseball for Manalapan. The 6-foot-2-inch left-handed pitcher played in the New Jersey North-South All-Star Game and helped lead the Manalapan Braves to the 2019 Group IV Sectional Championship.
"(Mazza) is a lefty pitcher with good size, a whippy arm and a smooth delivery. We are excited about his potential to develop into a front-line type of arm with starting potential,” Owens said.
"I chose Rutgers because I wanted to play for my home state and get the opportunity to get a great education while playing Division I baseball for a great program in the Big Ten," Mazza said.
Rogers is a four-year varsity starter for Troy High School and has played nine years with the South Troy Dodgers, including three years with the 18U elite team.
"Danny (Rodgers) falls into a long line of players that I have recruited over many year(s), a tough-nosed upstate New York kid who gets dirty and plays hard. We feel that he can play both third base and second base for us defensively, and he can really swing the bat well from the left side. In addition to hitting for a high average and bat handling, Danny (Rogers) has above-average power and uses the entire field well. His love of playing and old-school mentality will be a great fit here at Rutgers," Owens said.
Rowe is ranked in the top 500 players nationally by Perfect Game and was selected to the 2020 Perfect Game Underclassmen All-America First Team Northeast Region. He also was chosen for the Perfect Game Mid-Atlantic World Series All-Tournament Team and the Mid-Atlantic Elite Fall Championship All-Tournament Team.
"(Rowe) is another local player that we are really excited to have. He is a righty pitcher with a power arm and a good slider that is generated with a low-effort delivery from a good slot. We are confident that he will emerge this high school season as one of the top arms in New Jersey and he should be in play to compete for a starting role early in his collegiate career," Owens said.
Shockley was named First Team All-State and Second Team All-Conference by the News Journal in 2019 and played travel baseball for Titus Sports Academy and TKR Reds.
"(Shockley) is one of the top catching prospects in the region this year. He has very good size and emerged into a power hitting threat this past summer. In addition, he has advanced glove skills behind the dish and pro-type arm strength and accuracy. His tools should allow him to develop into a very complete player at the hardest position to play on the field," Owens said.
With a pop time of 1.83 seconds and an exit velocity of 90 mph, Shockley is a solid addition behind the plate.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article referred to Joshua Kuroda-Grauer as Grauer.
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