RIVERDALE, N.Y. - 2009 MAAC Coach of the Year Kevin Leighton announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA's Early Signing Period. Leighton welcomes four pitchers and three positions players who have confirmed their decision to attend Manhattan College beginning next fall. The Jaspers' Class of 2014 features right-handed pitchers Kevin Bonanni (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK), Jared Hirschberg (Katonah, N.Y./John Jay Cross River), Scott McClennan (Cornwall, N.Y./Cornwall Central), and southpaw Mike Martin (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Chaminade). Infielders Yoandry Galan (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian), Jeff Mathers (Elmira, N.Y./Elmira Free Academy) and catcher Mike Miranda (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) also highlight the incoming class.
Bonanni is a local product from Plainview JFK High School who played summer ball for East Coast Select. In 2009 he recorded six wins, one save and posted a 2.63 ERA in 21 games. Bonanni notched 93 strikeouts, while yielding just 66 hits and 31 earned runs over 80 2/3 innings of action. He is a 2010 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America selection and ranked #13 on Blue Chip Prospects Class of 2010.
"Kevin is an exciting guy for us who we think can push for a spot in our rotation right away," explained Leighton. "He has a very good out pitch with his slider, and he has a fastball that has shown very good run clocking at 87 mph. We expect Kevin to only get better as he matures and develops."
Galan, a middle infielder from Florida Christian High School, is another Jasper prospect out of Miami. As a junior, Galan hit .365, drove in 18 runs and stole 11 bases. Galan can also see time at third base.
"Yoandry is a very talented defensive infielder who we are excited about," stated Leighton. "He has very good hands and an accurate arm. Yoandry has shown some pop at the plate and we think as he gets stronger he will be a solid line-drive hitter for us."
Hirschberg, a big right-handed pitcher, is another local product from Katonah, N.Y. Last year he posted a 5-1 record and 2.24 ERA for John Jay Cross River High School. He struck out 23 batters and allowed just eight runs in 25 innings. Hirschberg is a multi-talented player who also hit .356, drove in 18 RBI and had two home runs in 2009. He played summer ball with the Taconic Rangers posting a 2.17 ERA and 20 strikeouts in five starts.
"Jared has an upper 80s fastball right now," stated Leighton. "He has the potential to be a two-way player for us, but we feel that his potential on the mound is the greatest. Jared is another guy who has been part of a very good high school program and has played very competitive summer ball."
McClennan is a four year starter at Cornwall Central High School. In his first three seasons he recorded a 21-2 overall record, including seven complete games and a no-hitter versus Rondout Valley High School. In his career he has 65 strikeouts and a slim 0.65 ERA. McClennan was named First Team All-Section IX and Third Team All-New York State Class A after posting a perfect 9-0 record as a junior. He was 9-1 on the hill as a sophomore earning Second Team All-Section IX and Fifth Team All-New York State Class A honors.
"Scott is a guy who we think will develop nicely here," stated Leighton. "He is a good student and has been part of a winning tradition at Cornwall. He was Cornwall's go to guy over his career and pitched in the big games."
Martin is a left-handed pitcher from Chaminade High School on Long Island. A four year Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society, Martin posted a 13-1 record, 1.34 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 74 innings between his high school and summer ball seasons as a sophomore. During his junior year Martin recorded eight wins, 2.94 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 56 innings. He is listed #8 on Blue Chip Prospects Class of 2010.
"Mike is a guy we feel is a tough competitor on the mound," said Leighton. "He has very good off-speed stuff that he can command well. Mike has been 84-to--87 mph on the gun. We feel he can contribute immediately."
Mathers is a four year varsity letter winner at Elmira Free Academy. He was named team captain in 2009 and earned the program's Most Valuable Player Award at the conclusion of his junior season after batting .441, driving in 21 RBI, blasting four home runs and stealing seven bases. He was named to the Southern Tier All-Conference Team twice. Mathers is a four year Honor Roll student who serves as the Student Council Treasurer.
"Jeff is a hard-nosed ball player," Leighton emphasized. "He is a tough kid who we are excited to have join our program. Jeff has shown a solid bat from the left side and good instincts in the infield. He is a product of Raleigh Baseball Institute in Endicott, N.Y."
Miranda was named Third Team All-County after hitting .462 with 22 RBI, two home runs and eight doubles as a junior at Florida Christian High School in Miami. He is a talented defensive catcher who will give the Jaspers another option behind the plate.
"Mike has a very good work ethic," noted Leighton. "He does a nice job blocking, receiving, and throwing. Mike does everything right and makes all the plays. We feel that he has the ability to help us right away."