The three junior college signees increases Minnesota Crookston's signing class to 20 for the 2018 season.
The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team announced the signing of three junior college players to National Letters of Intent. The Golden Eagles bolstered their roster with the additions of Gregory Diaz (RHP, 6-2 180, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Northland C.T.C.), Mason Ruhlman (IF, 5-8 195, Algonac, Mich./Riverland C.C.), and Carlos Turpo (C, 6-1 165, Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico/Northland C.T.C.).
“These three junior college transfers all have great tools and increase our talent level,” said Head Coach Steve Gust. “We believe, with time, that they can help take our program to the next level. Carlos and Gregory will likely redshirt, but all three of these guys have big-time ability.”
The three junior college signees increases Minnesota Crookston’s signing class to 20 for the 2018 season. The three incoming players increase the late signees for the Golden Eagles to 13 joining: Bobby Chu (C, 5-10 200, Redwood City, Calif./City College of San Francisco), John Dormanen (LHP/IF, 6-0 200, Catalina, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge H.S.), Scott Finberg (3B, 6-2 205, Stillwater, Minn./Century College), Garrett Hohn (RHP, 5-10 170, Wausau, Wis./Century College), Bryce Jorgenson (UT, 6-0 175, Thunder Bay, Ontario/Century College), Luke Kinnunen (IF/RHP, 6-3 210, Grand Rapids, Minn./Grand Rapids H.S.), Matt Nelson (RHP, 6-5 250, Afton, Minn./St. Croix Lutheran Academy), Jack Peppel (IF 6-4 215, Olivia, Minn./BOLD H.S.), Colton Schrempp (UT, 6-1 171, Victoria, Minn./Chanhassen H.S.) and Landyn Swenson (OF, 5-8 170, Devils Lake, N.D./Lake Region State College).
The Golden Eagles had previously signed seven players during the early signing period with the additions of: Phillip Champagne (UT, 5-10 180, Henderson, Minn./LeSueur-Henderson H.S.), Eric Graham (OF, 6-1 170, Casper, Wyo./Natrona County H.S.), Tyler Hegg (RHP/1B, Thompson, N.D./Thompson Public School), Trey Larimer (C/OF, Thompson, N.D./Thompson Public School), Anthony Lupa (LHP, 6-0 175, Brule, Wis./Northwestern H.S.), Alex Mushitz (2B/SS, 5-9 150, East Grand Forks, Minn./East Grand Forks H.S.) and Conner Richardson (RHP, 6-4 215, Grand Forks, N.D./Red River H.S.).
The 20 signees help replace 11 graduating seniors for Minnesota Crookston. The Golden Eagles are looking for depth and competition especially in the field where they have to replace six players who started at least half the games during the 2018 season. Additionally, Minnesota Crookston is seeking to add strength to their pitching staff. The Golden Eagles are looking to improve on a 5.08 ERA on the season. Minnesota Crookston has the benefit of returning 12 players who have been on the hill this season with just three graduates to replace on staff.
Minnesota Crookston currently is slated to have their largest roster in program history with 51 players set to begin competition during the 2019 season.
Gregory Diaz (RHP, 6-2 180, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Northland C.T.C.)
Diaz was an All-MCAC Central Division pick in 2018. He was also selected Second Team All-State as a pitcher during the 2018 season. Diaz posted a 6-2 mark as a sophomore with a 2.72 ERA in 43.0 innings pitched. He notched 64 strikeouts to just 17 walks. He appeared in 10 games with one start for the Pioneers. Diaz averaged 13.4 strikeouts per nine inning game. As a freshman, he went 1-4 in 25.0 innings pitched with 27 strikeouts. Diaz was a college teammate of Carlos Turpo.
Diaz is the son of Felix Diaz and Florangel Furcal. He was born Nov. 2, 1997.
“Gregory is just starting to tap into his potential on the mound,” Gust said. “He has a plus fast ball and has tight spin on his breaking pitches. He came into his own on the mound last year for Northland. We believe he will continue to develop and mature as a pitcher.”
Mason Ruhlman (IF, 5-8 195, Algonac, Mich./Riverland C.C.)
Ruhlman was selected MCAC Southern Division Player of the Year for 2018 and All-MCAC Southern Division First Team. Ruhlman was a 2017 NJCAA D3 Baseball All-Region pick as he helped Riverland Community College to the MCAC State Championship. He was also named ABCA/Rawlings NJCAA Division II All-America Second Team as a freshman. Ruhlman hit .423 as a sophomore with 40 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 38 RBIs. Ruhlman also pitched with a 3-0 mark in 16 innings pitched as a sophomore. As a freshman, Ruhlman posted a .400 batting average with 31 runs scored, nine doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 37 RBIs.
Ruhlman is the son of Stella and Jim Ruhlman. He was born Feb. 6, 1998.
“We've worked hard over the last several months recruiting Mason,” Gust said. “He instantly adds some pop to our offense. He can hit for power and average. He had two great years for Riverland Community College, and we believe he is only going to get better.”
Carlos Turpo (C, 6-1 165, Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico/Northland C.T.C.)
Turpo was selected to the MCAC All-State First Team as a sophomore. In addition, he was named MCAC All-Central Division in 2018. He was a junior college teammate of Gregory Diaz. Turpo hit .386 as a sophomore with 25 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, one home run and 19 RBIs. He notched five stolen bases on the season. Turpo caught five runners stealing as a sophomore behind the dish. As a freshman, Turpo hit .313 with 26 runs scored, nine doubles, three triples, four home runs and 24 RBIs. He threw out eight runners on the base paths as a freshman behind the plate.
Turpo is the son of Magda Malagan and Carlos Turpo. He was born Feb. 6, 1998.
“Carlos is a high energy guy who has great arm strength and good bat speed,” Gust said. “With another year of development, Carlos has a chance to do some special things within the program.”