Nov. 26, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team has inked two high school seniors to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Bob Brontsema announced Monday. Local prospect Christopher Joyce, a Dos Pueblos High School pitcher/first basemen, and Bay Area native Ryan Palermo, a centerfielder/third basemen at Serra High School, will don the blue and gold for the 2008-09 season.
"Given our limited scholarship availability, I'm excited to be able to fill particular needs on the team by landing two quality athletes," Brontsema said.
Joyce is entering his senior season at Dos Pueblos after recently being selected #72 overall in Student Sports Baseball's Top 100 High School Prospect List. While hitting .347 with two homeruns, 14 runs batted in, a .500 on-base percentage, and a stellar .592 slugging percentage at first base, Joyce's career as a starting pitcher is even brighter. In 2007, Joyce was selected to the All-California Collegiate League Team after becoming the youngest player ever to pitch for the league's Santa Barbara Foresters. Joyce compiled a 5-1 record in seven starts with the Foresters, sporting a 1.34 earned run average, while striking out 50 in 40.1 innings. He allowed just 16 hits along the way.
"Chris is a very good athlete that will be joining us as a left-handed pitcher, even though he could probably hit as well. He has great pitch-ability with command of three pitches. I expect Chris to come in and compete right away for big innings as a freshmen," Brontsema said.
In addition to receiving First Team All-Channel League honors, Joyce was also selected to the Milwaukee Brewers Blue Area Code team, as well as being nominated to pitch in the California Major League Baseball Scout Ball All-Star Game at the MLB Academy in Compton, Calif.
Palermo signs with UCSB after a stellar junior campaign at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. where he led the West Catholic Athletic League with a .466 batting average and 37 runs batted in. A First Team All-WCAL selection, Palermo set an all-time league record with 16 doubles while amassing six homeruns, two triples, and an impressive .867 slugging percentage.
"Ryan is very physical with the ability to play multiple infield positions," Brontsema said. "His power plays very well in our park and I expect him to be a very good offensive player for the Gauchos."
At 6'2", 185 pounds, Palermo earned his high school honors playing centerfield, but primarily played third base on his summer and fall ball teams. A first team all-county selection by The San Mateo Times, a First Team All-CCS pick by The San Jose Mercury News, and a First Team All-Metro choice by The San Francisco Chronicle, Palermo played every position in his junior year except pitcher and catcher and did so without committing a single error all season long.
With the addition of Joyce and Palermo, UCSB will look to continue to improve their already strong 2008-09 recruiting class in the months to come.