IMG Academy announced that Willie Rios, the No. 1overall ranked prospect in Connecticut, and No. 11 LHP prospect nationally (according to Perfect Game), has enrolled.
“I decided to come [to IMG Academy] because I know it’s going to put me in a better situation with baseball and help me to continue in the game,” said Rios on his decision to join the IMG Academy Baseball program. “My ultimate goal is to win games and be considered one of the top athletes in the country…I’m going to work hard every day, do what the coaches tell me to do, and go from there.”
The 6-foot, 185-lb powerhouse pitcher is verbally committed to the University of Maryland. Rios has earned his place among the nation’s best, earning invitations to many of the nation’s elite showcases in 2013, including the Under-Armour Baseball All-American game, WWBA World Championship, Area Code Games, East Coast Professional Showcase, and more. During the 2013 season, Rios helped lead his high school squad to an Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) Small title and the No. 1 overall seed in the ECC tournament. The all-ECC pitcher also showed his versatility, batting .500, collecting 25 stolen bases, recording 100 strikeouts and winning 15 consecutive games on the mound. Most notably, Rios fanned 18 batters in a win over rival Plainfield in April.
“We’re really excited to get Willie in here; he’s a terrific young man, very intelligent, has a lot of ability on the field,” said IMG Academy coach Pete Paciorek. “He’s a left-handed pitcher that throws the ball anywhere between 90-95 miles per hour with command of a breaking ball and changeup, and is a solid two-way guy and solid switch-hitter. He’s versatile, a very hard worker, and will be a great fit in our program.”
Rios will add another ace to an IMG Academy pitching rotation that already includes top talent like Boston College commit Brian Rapp (Senior/Medham, N.J.) and South Carolina commit Logan Allen (Junior/Asheville, N.C.). Other notable newcomers to the program include: shortstop Taylor Lane (Senior/Chesapeake, Va.) who is committed to Florida; and outfielder Luke Bonfield (Senior/Skillman, N.J.), New Jersey’s No. 1prospect for 2014. All join program veterans like junior outfielder Eric Feliz (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), who recently has risen more than 150 spots in the Class of 2015 rankings, and senior outfielder Andrew DiLacqua (Bradenton, Fla.), committed to Arizona State.