The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Baseball Team is excited to announce that Sophomore Matthew Gaskins and Freshman Jacob Shultz have signed to four-year universities. Gaskins in a pre-engineering major from Jenks, Okla., and has made his mark as an upper 80s right-handed starting pitcher. He earned All-Region during the 2017 season and boasts an Earned Run Average of 2.81. He will transfer to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa to play for the Golden Eagles. Gaskins is joined by Jacob Schultz, a pre-engineering major from Oklahoma City. He is also a right-handed pitcher, throwing in the upper 80s. As a freshman, Schultz is projected to be a starting pitcher in the spring. Following this season, he will transfer to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to play for the Ragin’ Cajuns. “We’re very excited for both of these guys,” said Head Coach Roger Ward. “They are very talented athletes, and I know that they will continue to produce results for both the Golden Eagles and the Ragin’ Cajuns.” Building the tradition of excellence for the Norse Baseball Program, NEO will have five young alumni playing professional baseball this season, with Dean Deetz, Jake Jewell, and Ramon Leureano all landing spots on the 40-man roster. All three players competed on the NEO team in 2014 and were picked up during the draft. “As part of the 40-man roster, these guys are protected players on the major league reserve roster going into spring training,” said Ward.
Deetz is a right-handed pitcher from Nixa, Mo. The 23-year-old plays for the Houston Astros program and has built a combined 4.25 ERA while playing with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. During his time in the minors, he has earned Midwest League Pitcher of the Week twice and was named the Quad Cities Pitcher of the Month.
Jake Jewell is a right-handed pitcher from Norman, Okla. The 23-year old plays for the Los Angeles Angels program and has been busy playing 140.2 innings across Double-A and A+ baseball. Jewell’s impressive strikeout to walk ratio has made him an attractive choice for the 40-man roster, as many see him as a prime candidate for development within the club.
Ramon Laureano is an outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The 23-year-old plays for in the Oakland A’s program and has shown incredible hitting potential for the team. Following some last-minute moves, the Houston Astros traded Laureano and the injured Bobby Wahl was sent to Triple-A in Nashville for recovery, which opened the 40-man spot for Laureano. Showing promise in all three outfield spots, Laureano’s value lies in his ability as a power hitter, with a chance to be a double-digit home run/stolen base hitter.
Two NEO alumni are also making waves in the minor leagues. Outfielder Daniel Johnson from Vallejo, Cal., and left-handed pitcher Dalton Moats from Kansas City, Mo., were both drafted in 2016 from their four-year programs. Johnson currently plays for the Washington Nationals program and was named the 2017 Washington Nationals Minor League Player of the Year. Moats plays for the Tampa Bay Rays program. For more information on the NEO Baseball Program, contact Roger Ward at Rward@neo.edu.