Q&A College Coach Edition: Colorado Mesa University Coach Hanks

By Jeff Markle

Assistant State Director

The early college signing period has come and gone and Colorado had great representation among in-state and out of state schools.  Prep Baseball Report Colorado would like to bring you a closer look at many of the schools who have signed 2015 Colorado baseball players.  We start our Q&A College Coaches feature with Colorado Mesa University and Coach Chris Hanks.  Colorado Mesa University is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  The Mavericks finished last year 47-13 and were the NCAA Division II National Runner-up.  

PBR:  Describe Colorado Mesa Baseball to those who have not seen you play.

Coach Hanks:  We play a tough, aggressive, energetic brand of baseball.  Our kids play together and compete very hard.  We believe we can compete with anybody.  

PBR:  What do you look for in players during the recruiting process? 

Coach Hanks:  We look for talented, hard-nosed kids who enjoy working hard and who love to compete.  Great competitors always make the best players.

PBR:  Who are some the most notable Colorado ballplayers you've recently had play for you?  

Coach Hanks:  We recently graduated Colo. Springs (Rampart H.S.) product Austin Kaiser, who played OF for us and was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the year last season.  He was also awarded the Tino Martinez award for being the most outstanding Division II player in the country!  Nate Robertson, Montrose, CO., was a two-time All-American SS for us and was drafted and signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in last year’s draft after completing his Junior Year.

PBR:  What advice do you have for prospects about the recruiting process? 

Coach Hanks:  Kids and family’s need to slow down and understand that just because you sign in the early signing period doesn’t guarantee future success.  Do your research and dig below the surface.  Make sure it is a good fit.  We see too many kids getting in too big of a hurry to sign early.  A vast majority of kids who transfer after a year or two are kids that signed early.

PBR:  How do you view Colorado baseball and our players? 

Coach Hanks:  We feel that Colorado High Schools play a solid brand of baseball and have as good of H.S. players as any state.  Our priority is always to recruit and sign the best in-state players that we can. 

PBR:  If possible tell us your fondest Mesa baseball memory to date: 

Coach Hanks:  My fondest memory would have to be watching our guys celebrate after beating the #1 team in the country, University of Tampa, 3-2 in the 9th inning of last year’s National Semi-Final to advance to the National Championship game.

….Watching former Mav Sergio Romo close out the final game of the 2012 World Series for San Francisco wasn’t too bad either.

Colorado Mesa Early Signings:

1.      J.R. McDermott  RHP –Smokey Hill H.S.

2.      Will Dixon 1B/RHP – Mountain Vista H.S.

3.      Clay Davis   C – Prairie View H.S.

4.      Kyle Leahey RHP – Erie H.S

5.      Scotty Palmer RHP – Elgin H.S. (Ill.)

6.      AJ Landis RHP – Desert Oasis H.S. –Las Vegas, NV

7.      John Beaudrie RHP/INF – Cody H.S. (WY)

8.      Ryan Teixeira INF – Arroyo Grande H.S. (CA)

9.      Jarrett Bott RHP – Otero J.C.

10.  Tanner Herdt RHP – Chandler Gilbert J.C. (AZ)

11.  Nick Borowski –Cochise J.C. (AZ)

12.  Kade Wagner LHP –Cochise J.C. (AZ)

2017 and 2018 get noticed at the first pbr Colorado event of the year