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Notre Dame Commit Ryan Fineman “Can’t Wait to Get There”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame University has procured the commitment of Agoura High School (Calif.) baseball star catcher Ryan Fineman. The Fighting Irish will be excited to add this bat to the lineup after a 2014 season that had some ups and downs in both batting and pitching.

Fineman, a Westlake Village, Calif. Native, stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs in at 200 pounds. A terrific defensive catcher and outstanding slugger that will help fill the loss of some key players from 2014’s Fighting Irish squad.

“It was an easy decision to make once I saw the atmosphere and the coaches around Notre Dame,” Fineman said. “There is not a better school in the nation.”

Head Coach Mic Aoki has big plans for the right-handed power hitter. Ranked 235th in the nation and 49th in Calif., Fineman batted a robust .304 with 52 hits, 7 doubles, 2 HR’s, 25 RBIs, and 25 runs scored (career Agoura).

College Baseball Central asked if he was going to switch off between first base and catcher and Fineman cleared things up, to say the least.

“Coach Aoki wants me to be a catcher, I want to be a catcher, and that’s what I’m going to be,” the Perfect Game Underclass All American exclaimed. “I want to be a leader!”

Former RHP Pat Connaughton was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round of the MLB First Year Player Draft in June, and Sean Fitzgerald, another Irish standout, signed a deal with the Arizona Angels leaving room for a new leader to step in and many people believe Fineman can be that guy, even if he is a freshman.

“I can’t wait to get there and learn,” Fineman added. “I feel I want to be a leader and I feel that I am capable of keeping the pitching staff mentally there. I am the one guy in position to see the whole field and as a catcher; you want to be that guy. I want to be in incredible shape when I step on that field, and show them that I can be that leader.”

A season that had great and not so great moments in 2014 for Notre Dame baseball shows a promising new light moving in to 2015. Fineman leads the charge. He will be bringing the mojo from his 17U USA National team championship, in which he went 2-for-3 in the championship game with two doubles. Bring that winning spirit and leading mentality Fineman. You have picked a school that is known for taking those qualities and turning them in to wins.

Matthew Gray is a national writer for College Baseball Central and a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, granting him an official vote annually on which coaches and players will be inducted. Matthew is also a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, which gives him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy (Player of the Year), Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. Matthew is college baseball's go to source for exclusive player, coach, scout and executive interview based articles. He is at the forefront of prospect knowledge in the nation, and owns a strong managerial and professional background which includes over 25 years of experience as an author, scout, coach and athlete. Matthew has two daughters, Shelby, and Michelle. Follow Matthew on Twitter @CBCBaseball95