Santa Clara baseball is working for the long-term future by receiving National Letters of Intent from current high school players due to join the Broncos in the 2014-15 season. Beginning today, the Broncos will announce one player per week to highlight the future of the baseball program.
The first of these players is 6-foot-5, left-handed pitcher Alex Barden from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif., about 45 minutes north of the Mission Campus.
"The hands-on coaching style of the baseball program, combined with the strength of the West Coast Conference, were major factors in choosing Santa Clara," Barden said.
As a junior with the Wolves in 2012, he went 2-2 with a 1.69 ERA, 20 strikeouts and nine walks in 41 innings pitched for head coach Chris deClercq. Barden threw two complete games en route to being named the SRVHS Most Valuable Pitcher. He was the No. 1 ranked junior pitcher for 2013 in the East Bay Athletic League and the No. 4 ranked junior for 2013 in the Division I North Coast Section.
Barden plays for the travel team EJ Sports Warriors under coach Erik Johnson. He competed in the 2013 Reebok Norcal World Series and was a 2013 High School Prep Player to Watch, according to Sports Stars Magazine, among other accolades.
"This is a pitcher that commands both sides of the plate very well," Bronco pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Gabe Ribas said. "He has been outstanding in high school and has shown a great deal of maturity."
Barden plans to major in business and said his career goals include investment banking or marketing hi-tech. He has been a member of the California Scholarship Federation for four years, and off-field activities include serving as a coordinator for the Adopt-A-Classroom nonprofit organization.
"On the academic side, the Leavey School of Business is one of the best in the country, so between academics and athletics, becoming a Bronco was a very easy decision for me," Barden said.
Next week's new Bronco is right-handed pitcher/third baseman Michael Bono.