SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Perfect Game, one of amateur baseball's most prominent scouting websites, unveiled on Wednesday the top incoming freshmen set to enter the college ranks this season, and UC Santa Barbara landed four student-athletes on the list.
Included among the newest Gauchos were right-handed pitcher Ben Fariss (No. 75), catcher Chris Troye (91), infielder Jason Willow (108), and left-handed pitcher Jorge Arellano (225). The quartet makes up a huge part of UCSB's incoming recruit class that has been ranked as high as No. 19 in the nation.
Among Big West teams, no other school had more players on the list than UCSB's four. In addition, the Gauchos had the top-three highest-ranked freshmen in the conference and four of the top six.
Fariss, a two-way player out of Valencia High School, slugged his way to a 1.088 OPS as a high school senior and flashed a fastball that reached the mid-90s. His strong play led to him being selected in the 39th round by Toronto in last year's MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Troye arrives at UCSB after a standout prep career at Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif., where he was an Under Armour All-American. Already possessing a sturdy frame (6-4, 220 pounds), he has shown the ability to excel against top competition, evidenced by his MVP honors in last year's Gatorade All-America Game.
A 24th round pick by Baltimore, Willow is UCSB's highest-drafted incoming player. The 6-2 infielder out of Vancouver, BC, slugged an astounding .634 as a high school senior and even earned a call-up to the Canadian National Team for this summer's U-18 World Cup, a tournament in which Canada finished fourth.
A southpaw out of Downey High School in Bell Gardens, Calif., Arellano authored a 2.53 ERA and struck out 51 over 38 2/3 innings as a senior en route to Perfect Game All-American honors. That standout performance led the Cleveland Indians to select him in the 36th round of the 2017 Draft.
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