And then there were three — the list of Mingus Union High School baseball players committing to playing at the next level grew on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
Seniors Andrew Kulis and Jordan Huey penned their commitments to pitch for Chandler-Gilbert Community College beginning in the 2018-19 season.
“It’s real exciting to have three so far. We should have another one in the next couple of weeks,” first-year head coach Tim McKeever Jr. said. “It’s really exciting, it’s just a testament to the program and all of the stuff Coach [Bob] Young built, training these guys. It’s a great thing to be able to be a part of it even though I’ve just taken over; it sure is exciting to watch kids that you’ve coached the last three years finally get the accolades and their hard work is paying off, it’s awesome.”
Huey also considered Vanguard University in Orange County, Calif., and Phoenix College. Kulis’ other option was Cochise College.
Knowing that there would be at least one familiar face on the Coyotes roster helped them make their decisions. Signing months before their final season begins somewhat lifts a weight off of their shoulders as well.
“Definitely, because it gets it off your back, because you don’t have to show yourself as much as I guess you could say, and you don’t have to worry about it,” said Kulis, a Second Team All-Grand Canyon Region position player last season.
“I’m not going to put myself out there as much as I did before, just do what I’ve got to do,” added Huey, a Second Team All-Division III, Section I pitcher as a sophomore.
Huey, who intends to do his prerequisites to become a dentist, had five wins as a starting pitcher in the 2015-16 season and a 2.92 ERA, giving up 57 hits, 20 earned runs with 12 walks and 38 strikeouts in 48 innings. He also played first base and outfield last season, but statistics were not available online.
“Jordan’s a great left-handed pitcher. He’s amazing, I trust that guy; if I had to give somebody the ball to get me an out, he’s the guy that I would go to,” McKeever said. He added that Huey is more of a location pitcher while Kulis throws harder.
During last year’s Grand Canyon Region championship season, Kulis, who plans on studying mathematics, played first and third base as well as outfield and had three wins as a starting pitcher. In 20 innings, he gave up 19 hits and 13 earned runs with seven walks and 20 strikeouts. He had a .449 batting average with 21 runs scored, 31 hits [10 for extra bases] and 22 RBI in 23 games played. He struck out only six times and drew 10 walks and had an on-base percentage of 1.156.
“Kulis is just an unbelievable athlete. He can hit, he can field, he can pitch,” McKeever Jr. said. “Both those guys are complete package guys. And it’s well deserved. We knew that they would sign with somebody."
After finishing at Chandler-Gilbert, both hope to move on to a four-year university and continue playing.