July 2, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame baseball team has completed its 10-player recruiting class for the 1999 season, signing first baseman Ken Meyer (Ft. Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) to a national letter of intent in the spring signing period. The 6-0, 190-pound Meyer joins nine fall signees to form a promising class that will compete for open starting positions at first base, second base, shortstop and center field. Three incoming pitchers will join an Irish staff that returns 11 of the 12 regular pitchers from a 1998 staff that finished 12th in the nation with a 4.02 season ERA (junior righthander Brad Lidge signed with the Houston Astros as their first-round draft choice). “Ken Meyer comes with the reputation of being a tremendous clutch hitter, which is something we desperately need,” said Notre Dame head coach Paul Mainieri, who will be entering his fifth season at Notre Dame after seeing his 1998 team hit just .304 overall and .313 with runners in scoring position.
“Ken is known as a great RBI hitter who also can really run,” Mainieri added. “He is a tough kid who played linebacker on a good football team. We will have wide-open competition at first base while all three outfield positions will be up for grabs, so Ken has a great shot to play a major role for us. Overall, we are very excited about the incoming class and are eager to see what type of impact they can make in the fall.”
Meyer led Bishop Verot to a 21-10 season and a trip to the regional semi-finals, batting .340 with four home runs, 41 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 17 attempts. He was named first team all-area while concluding his career with 11 home runs in three varsity seasons. As a junior, Meyer was named district player of the year after hitting .350 with six home runs. He also received the team 110% hustle award following his junior season.
Meyer was a three-year member of the Bishop Verot football team as a middle linebacker and fullback, earning team MVP as a senior after helping the Vikings go 7-4 and advance to the state playoffs. He was Verot’s recipient of the Rotary Scholar-Athlete Award while being recognized as the “best all-around senior” at Verot for 1997-98.
“I’m obviously very happy to have the chance to play college baseball at a prestigious school like Notre Dame,” said Meyer, who is spending the summer playing for a local team in Ft. Myers. “The opportunity to have a chance to play right away was appealing and everyone seemed very genuine when I visited. I’m very eager to start playing for Notre Dame.”
The fall signees included righthanded pitchers Matt Buchmeier (Greenwood, Ind.), Drew Duff (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Jason Rodda (Lakeland, Fla.), catchers J.P Drevline (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Paul O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio), infielders Andy Bushey (Boardman, Ohio) and Ed Golom (Lockport, Ill.), outfielder Steve Stanley (Columbus, Ohio) and infielder/outfielder Matt Strickroth (Mission Viejo, Calif.).
Meyer and Rodda will give the 1999 squad four Florida natives, with the others being junior-to-be righthander John Corbin (Hollywood, Fla.) and sophomore-to-be righthander Danny Tamayo (Miami, Fla.).
A full update of the fall signees will be released in late July, as will an update on Notre Dame players in professional baseball and current Irish players competing throughout the nation in various summer leagues.
Notre Dame’s 1998 graduates included three senior infielders: 1B Dan Leatherman, 2B Todd Frye and SS J.J. Brock. Junior centerfielder Allen Greene signed with the New York Yankees as their ninth-round draft choice while sophomore-to-be Alec Porzel could make the move to the infield after serving as the starting leftfielder in 1998.
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Bats Hometown Previous School Ken Meyer 1B 6-0 195 R Ft. Myers, FL Bishop Verot HS
Fall SigneesMatt Buchmeier RHP 6-1 170 Greenwood, IN Roncalli HSAndy Bushey IF (3B) 6-0 185 L Boardman, OH Cardinal Mooney HSJ.P. Drevline C 5-11 195 S Arlington Hts., IL John Hersey HSDrew Duff RHP 5-11 160 Sevierville, TN Sevier County HSEd Golom IF 5-9 160 R Lockport, IL Providence Catholic HSPaul O'Toole C 6-1 195 L Lakewood, OH St. Ignatius HSJason Rodda RHP 5-11 175 Lakeland, FL George Jenkins HSSteve Stanley OF 5-7 140 L Columbus, OH Worthington Christian HSMatt Strickroth 1B/OF 6-5 225 R Mission Viejo, CA Santa Margarita HS