D1Baseball.com has projected Youngstown State freshman pitcher and infielder Travis Perry to be the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in its 2019 conference preview. Three other Penguins were noted as top draft prospects for 2019 and 2020.
During his prep career, Perry was ranked the No. 24 overall prospect in the state of Pennsylvania and the No. 9 pitcher by Prep Baseball Report. The Oil City, Pa, native helped lead Rocky Grove High School to three straight district titles, and was named the District 10 Region 1 Player of the Year two seasons in a row. Perry also played under legendary coach Don Pletcher of the Baird Brothers Youngstown Class B summer team that earned a third-place finish in the Palomino 18U World Series. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound freshman is expected to be an immediate contributor to the Penguins' pitching staff and lineup.
D1Baseball also noted junior infielder Blaze Glenn, sophomore infielder Jeff Wehler and sophomore outfielder Lucas Nasonti as top draft prospects in the conference. Glenn was ranked the No. 7 prospect for the 2019 draft, while Wehler and Nasonti were No. 3 and 4 respectively for 2020.
Glenn, a Second-Team All-Horizon League honoree last season, ranked in the top 10 of the conference in nine different offensive statistical categories. He hit .325 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs while going a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen base attempts. The Toronto, Ohio, native added a. 558 slugging percentage, a .445 on-base percentage, 34 runs scored, 110 total bases and 39 walks. Glenn reached base in 46 consecutive games from Feb. 24 through May 15, a streak that was believed to be the longest in the country when it ended. He was also ranked the No. 56 draft-eligible hitter in the nation by D1Baseball this past fall.
Wehler was named Second-Team All-Horizon League and to the league's All-Freshman Team after leading YSU and ranking second in the conference with 25 stolen bases. That total was the most ever by a YSU freshman, and he became the first Penguin since 1988 to record at least 25 steals in a season. Nasonti was also named to the league's All-Freshman Team in 2018 after hitting .264 with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, 19 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 10 attempts.
D1Baseball picked YSU to finish fourth in its projected conference standings. Defending-champion Wright State was tabbed as the preseason favorite, UIC was picked second and Milwaukee was selected third. Oakland and Northern Kentucky were listed fifth and sixth, respectively. The website projected Wright State outfielder Peyton Burdick to be Horizon League Player of the Year, and Raiders right-hander Bear Bellomy as the league's top pitcher.
The Penguins will begin the 2019 season on Feb. 15 at No. 9/14 Mississippi State.