Making an athletic contribution as a freshman can be difficult. You are coming into a whole new team, facing far stiffer competition than ever before, and the time commitment of high school pales in comparison to that of college. Add those in with the other adjustments that freshman year of college dishes out such as academic workloads, dealing with the temptations that arise, and oftentimes being a long distance from family and friends. The latter adjustment holds particular water for freshman slugger Joe Wainhouse who’s over 2,300 miles from his home in Kent, Washington. It may not be easy, but the Rebels will need contributions from the freshman and that’s why he found himself at No. 15 of our countdown.
Wainhouse was one of the crown jewels of the 2015 recruiting class and figures to play a large part of the Rebel offense for years to come. The son of Major League veteran Dave, Wainhouse has baseball running through his veins. Despite a target squarely on his back every time he stepped to the plate, the younger Wainhouse had one of the more accomplished careers in Washington state baseball history.
Not only was he a four-year letterman at Kentridge High School, he was a four-year All-State selection. He was named both a Louisville Slugger High School All-American and a Collegiate Baseball High School All-American, and he had the stats to prove it. For his career at Kentridge, he hit .409 with 23 home runs, 24 doubles, 122 RBI and scored 76 runs. He holds eight batting records at the school, including his 10 home runs his senior year.
The 6’6, 250 Lb. statue has senior incumbent Sikes Orvis in front of him on the depth chart, but he figures to get a lot of at-bats as a designated hitter. There was a lot of the same talk surrounding Orvis his freshman year as there is around Wainhouse. When Orvis got to campus his freshman year, he had power-hitting Matt Snyder to learn under before succeeding his as a sophomore. Head coach Mike Bianco can only hope this relationship and eventual transition proves to be as successful as the Synder-Orvis one was just a few years ago.
A lot of talk has surrounded around the power he’s displaying from the ever-important left side of the plate, and he’s proven that with a strong line of fall scrimmages. Anytime you can get pop from a lefty, it pays dividends for your entire offense. If Wainhouse can provide a 1-2 southpaw power punch in the middle of the order, there figures to be a lot of beer showers in Oxford this Spring.
Recapping the list thus far:
18. Kyle Watson, INF
16. Wyatt Short, LHP
15. Joe Wainhouse, 1B/DH
Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at email@example.com.