TEMPE, Ariz. – Head Coach Tracy Smith has signed highly touted infielder Ryan Lillard to play baseball at Arizona State University starting in the 2014-15 academic year.
Lillard, who grew up in Urbandale, Iowa, and graduated from Urbandale High School this past June, is 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
“Ryan is a special player, and more importantly, a special person,” coach Smith said. “He had to overcome several obstacles to get here, including a major injury, but he wanted to be a part of Sun Devil Baseball. His talent and competiveness should put him in a position to have an important impact on our program.”
Lillard bolsters the Devils’ 2014 signing class, which was ranked eighth best in the nation by Perfect Game USA in December 2013.
He hit .372 with seven doubles, four triples, four home runs and 28 RBI in 2013 and earned 2014 3rd Team Perfect Game High School Senior Preseason All-America and Preseason Central Region 1st Team honors. He missed his entire senior season after he underwent Tommy John surgery, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews.
Lillard, who was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 30th round (903rd overall) of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, joins Tucker Baca as the second incoming freshman for the Devils taken in June’s draft. He is the ninth Sun Devil on the current roster to be selected in the MLB Draft, along with Hever Bueno, Ryan Burr, David Graybill, Brett Lilek, Ryan Kellogg, Cullen O’Dwyer and Johnny Sewald.