Stetson University baseball coach Pete Dunn announced today the addition of eight players for the 2015 season. The group of signees brings the total number of newcomers for the year at 14.
“Experience, versatility and athleticism aptly describe these eight players,” Dunn said. “All of them will compete for major roles next spring. These eight players, along with the six fall signees, give us one of our strongest recruiting classes in recent years.”
The 2015 campaign will be the 36th as head coach in the Hall of Fame career of Dunn, who will be looking to take his program back to NCAA post-season play for the 17th time during his tenure.
Vance Vizcaino – INF/OF – Wake Forest, NC
Vance Vizcaino comes to Stetson from a baseball family.
He started his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee where he saw action in 27 games as a freshman in 2013. He batted .213 in 61 at bats that season with four doubles, a triple and 10 runs batted in. He also stole four bases on five attempts.
“Vance will make an immediate impact in our lineup,” Dunn said. “His left-handed bat should drive in runs from the middle of the order and his experience playing in the SEC will be a plus.”
He took a year off from baseball while attending Glendale Community College in Arizona in 2013-14, but was still selected in the 29th round of the MLB First Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
Vizcaino was originally selected by the New York Mets in the 31st round (950th overall) in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Wakefield High School. He was a 2012 Rawlings All-Atlantic Region Honorable Mention selection and twice participated in the Area Code Games, playing with the Oakland Athletics squad in 2010 and Washington Nationals team in 2011.
Vizcaino hit .394 as a junior to help lead Wakefield to a 20-4 record and a conference championship in 2011. He was ranked as the 47th-best shortstop in the 2012 draft by BaseballDraftReport.com and was listed as one of the Top 1000 players in the nation by Perfect Game.
The North Carolina native is the son of Junior Vizcaino, who was a 1987 Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick out of Valdosta State. The elder Vizcaino now serves as a national scouting supervisor for the Kansas City Royals. In addition to his dad, his mother, Debra, was a volleyball player at Wake Forest and his grandfather played multiple sports at Rutgers.
Jack Machonis – SS – Tampa, Fla.
Jack Machonis comes to Stetson from Eastern Florida State College where he played first base, shortstop and third base over his lone season. He earned first team All-Southern Conference honors last spring after hitting .344 with two home runs, 29 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
“Jack joins out program after an outstanding spring at Eastern Florida State,” Dunn said. “He is an extremely versatile defensive player but will most likely vie for the starting job at second base. He was a very productive leadoff hitter and will compete for the same role here.”
Prior to his time at EFSC, Machonis (6-1, 185) was a member of the baseball team at UNC Pembroke, but he saw action in just four games as a freshman, getting one hit and driving in two runs. He was a standout at Sickles High School in Tampa. He was an honorable mention All-County selection in 2012 after helping the Gryphons to the regional quarterfinals.
Will Mackenzie – 1B/OF – Ocala, Fla.
Will Mackenzie comes to Stetson from St. Johns River State College where he helped his team to a conference title in 2014 by hitting .325 with nine home runs and 45 RBI.
“Will brings left-handed offensive punch to the lineup as well as being an outstanding defensive first baseman,” Dunn said. “He excelled at an outstanding program at St. Johns River State and will make us better, both offensively and defensively.”
A true left-hander, Mackenzie (6-3, 210) is a plus defender at first base and, over two seasons he batted .291 with 10 home runs and 68 RBI in 86 games while posting a .470 slugging percentage.
Mackenzie played at North Marion High School where he was named Marion County Player of the Year in 2011.
Evin Lynch – RHP – Deltona, Fla.
Another player who comes from an athletic family, Evin Lynch comes to Stetson from the State College of Florida at Bradenton. A towering right-handed pitcher, Lynch stands in at 6-8, 220. He made 10 appearances on the mound for the Manatees in 2014, posting a 3-4 record with a 5.52 ERA. He recorded 31 strikeouts in 31 innings of work.
“Evin is a great addition to our pitching staff,” Dunn said. “We are extremely excited that he is returning to Volusia County. We recruited him out of Trinity Christian before he went to the State College of Florida. He is a very imposing figure on the mound.”
Before his two seasons in Bradenton, Lynch played at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona. He was an All-County selection as a junior wen he posted a 0.78 ERA in 72 innings of work. He helped his team to back-to-back state titles in 2009-10.
Lynch has a brother, Paxton, who is the starting quarterback at the University of Memphis, and his dad, David, played college basketball at Texas Wesleyan.
Charlie Watters – INF/RHP – Gahanna, Ohio
Watters, like others in the Hatters’ signing class, comes from an athletic family. He comes to Stetson from The Columbus Academy in New Albany, Ohio, where he played baseball, football and basketball for the Vikings.
“Charlie is a versatile athlete who can swing the bat from both sides of the plate, play both corner infield spots and pitch,” Dunn said. “He was a three-sport performer in high school and comes from a very athletic family.”
The son of former NFL player Scott Watters, who played linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in 1987-88, Watters’ brother, R.J., is a member of the baseball team at Northwestern.
In his prep career Watters posted a 12-5 record on the mound while posting season batting averages of .436, .397 and .416. He also served as the quarterback for the football team, passing for more than 1,300 yards as a senior while also averaging better than nine tackles per game.
John Fussell – INF/OF – Briarcliff Manor, NY
Fussell comes to Stetson from San Jacinto North College in Texas where he hit .302 with two homers and 25 RBI in 48 games as a sophomore. Prior to his season at San Jacinto, Fussell played for one year at Westchester State where he hit .359 with four home runs and 41 RBI to earn first team All-Region honors.
“John will compete immediately for one of the three outfield spots,” Dunn said. “He comes to Stetson from one of the top junior college programs in the nation. He runs and throws well and has power from the left side at the plate.”
Fussell was a standout at Briarcliff High School where he collected scholarship offers from Wake Forest and Virginia Tech among others. He was an all-state selection in 2011 after hitting .506 with six homers and 32 RBI.
Walker Sheller – RHP – Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Another Florida native who comes to the Hatters from the junior college ranks, Sheller played one season at Lake Sumter College in Leesburg after completing his prep career at Ponte Vedra High School.
“Walker has the unique ability to attack the zone from different arm slots and could be highly effective in the set up role,” Dunn said.
At Lake Sumter last spring Sheller appeared in 25 games on the mound in relief. He posted a 3-2 record with two saves and a 4.68 ERA in 32.2 innings of work.
At Ponte Vedra Sheller was of the 2013 state championship team, posting a 1.14 ERA during that season. He closed the last two games in the Final Four, earning the win in both games, to clinch the state title. He was also named All-County as an outfielder and led the county in doubles as a senior.
Brooks de Montluzin – LHP – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The final member of the signing class comes to Stetson from Seminole State College in Sanford where he played as a sophomore after playing at Florida State College in Jacksonville as a freshman.
Last spring, at Seminole State, de Montluzin posted a 2-2 record in 11 appearances, including five starts. He had a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings of work. During his freshman season in Jacksonville the left-hander posted a 2-3 record with a 4.89 ERA in 13 appearances.
“Brooks has experience in different roles,” Dunn said. “He could become a valuable left handed situational guy and/or a possible midweek starter. Both he and Walker bring experience and are great additions to the staff.”
His highlight that year came against Lake Sumter when he threw a complete game no-hitter, allowing just one walk and facing the minimum.
Over his final two seasons of prep baseball at Palm Beach Gardens, de Montluzin was a combined 11-4 with an ERA of just over 2.00. He was a first team All-District selection and was selected to play in the Dick Howser All-Star game.
The eight newest signees join a group of six players who signed with the Stetson baseball program during the fall early signing period. That group includes Austin Hale (Catcher, Maitland, Fla.), Ben Onyshko (LHP, Winnipeg, Manitoba), Cory Reid (OF, Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Shelton Schimming (OF, DeLand, Fla.), Will Whitlock (RHP, Gainesville, Fla.) and Brooks Wilson (RHP.INF, Lakeland, Fla.).