Youngstown State head baseball coach Steve Gillispie has announced that Fabian Gutierrez has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Penguins' program for the 2016-17 season.
Gutierrez is currently a sophomore shortstop at Taft College near Bakersfield, Calif. He is a native of Selah, Wash., and he is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound, left-handed hitter.
"Fabian is a player who fills a spot that will depleted by graduation, and he brings a left handed bat into that program, which is something we have a shortage of," Gillispie said. "He is a physical player who can play most anywhere on the field at a very high level. Our staff was quite impressed with his character and mental makeup, and we have no doubt that he will fit into our program very nicely."
As a freshman at Taft, Gutierrez committed just three errors in 139 chances while boasting a team-best .333 batting average. He added 19 runs scored and 17 RBIs, and, impressively, he struck out just six times in 117 plate appearances. He was a second-team all-Central Valley Conference pick at Taft. He was named first-team all-state at Class 2A as a senior at Selah High School.
The Penguins have just four seniors in the 2016 roster, but there are 12 freshmen. Gillispie said that allowed the coaching staff to be selective with many players returning in 2017.
"With only four seniors on our roster, we felt we could be very selective in the recruiting process this fall and target a specific player or two," he said. "This allows us to use the spring to finalize where our needs could be, because we there are unknowns with having such a large freshman class."
Youngstown State is scheduled to begin the 2016 season at Western Kentucky on Feb. 19.