Nov. 25, 2012
BERKELEY - On Nov. 15, the Cal baseball program announced the signing of an outstanding class of eight in-state athletes to national letters of intent - featuring five pitchers and three position players. In the coming weeks Calbears.com will be doing short spotlights on each of the eight signees, beginning today (Nov. 25) with John Riley, a 6-0, 205-pound third baseman/catcher from San Jose (Willow Glen High School).
A 2012 Max Preps All-American, Riley batted .489 with eight home runs and 30 RBI during his junior season. Also as a junior, he finished with a .578 on-base percentage and a .870 slugging percentage. Riley was tabbed the Central Coast Section Junior of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News, was the unanimous Mt. Hamilton League MVP, a member of the Oakland A's Area Code Team and a Underclassman Second-Team All-American by Perfect Game USA.
In 2011, Riley was named the Mt. Hamilton League MVP and was the CIF Central Coast Section Sophomore of the Year.
Riley has started every varsity game at Willow Glen High School since his freshman year in 2010. During his three varsity seasons, he has helped the Rams compile a 72-15 record with three straight trips to the CCS playoffs. Riley was selected the Mount Hamilton League MVP in both his sophomore and junior seasons and was selected the Central Coast section junior-of-the-year and freshman-of-the-year by the San Jose Mercury News.
For his high school career, he has now played in 85 games with a .436 batting average, 16 home runs, 82 RBI and a .720 slugging percentage. On the mound, Riley has compiled a 5-1 record and is perfect in 10 save opportunities, as well.
"John should be an immediate impact player for us," said Cal hitting coach Tony Arnerich, a former All-Big 12 catcher at Texas Tech. "His hitting skills and physicality are there already. He is very advanced as a player and understands the game well. His dad (James) is a coach and you can tell that John understands the small parts of the game and is able to make quick adjustments. He continues to develop as a defender. John's biggest attribute is that he wants to be the best and beat the best. He swings hard and has an aggressive mentality. He is a perfect fit for the type of players we are looking for here at Cal and I see him having a very successful career at Cal from the very first day he steps on campus."
The schedule for the 2013 Cal baseball team is still being finalized, with potential games being televised on the Pac-12 Networks, but the Bears will be hosting a three-game series against Michigan, Feb. 15-17 at Evans Diamond to open the 2013 campaign. Cal will also be hosting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford this spring at Evans Diamond.
Cal Baseball fans should make plans to attend the second annual Fan Fest, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Evans Diamond. Following the Fan Fest festivities, there will be a Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage beginning at 1 p.m.