FLUSHING, N.Y. (May 23, 2018) – Queens College Baseball Head Coach Chris Reardon recently revealed what may be the biggest and best splash of the 2018 off-season thus far for the Knights: the signing of a National Letter of Intent from one of Florida's breakout high school baseball players from this spring.
Jonathan Strauss, the everyday starting left fielder from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, has agreed to continue playing baseball in Flushing; Strauss was named the Florida 9A District 11 Player of the Year after leading the Eagles to an 8-0 record in league play and the Region 3-9A championship game on Tuesday (May 22) against Jupiter. Stoneman Douglas fell in the final by a 2-1 score.
"Bringing on a player from Florida," stated Coach Reardon, "with the caliber of Jon's is absolutely tremendous for our program. He has had an absolutely fantastic season for Stoneman Douglas and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Knights family in the fall."
Strauss completed his senior season with a .430 batting average and a .506 on-base percentage. The senior swatted four home runs and clobbered four doubles among his 30 hits with 19 runs batted in and 21 runs scored on the season. The numbers for Strauss are even more impressive considering that he only had two hits in the entirety of his junior season.
"Jon has exceeded our expectations tenfold," said Stoneman Douglas Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald recently via phone. "He gained some valuable experience playing summer ball and he played extremely well going into the fall and the spring."
Fitz-Gerald noted that the No. 25 prospect in the state of Florida according to MaxPreps.com was and is "one of my favorite guys to coach."
"He's a quiet kid but he plays with a relaxed mindset. Jon is grounded and very level-headed, never too high or too low and always has his head on the right way." Fitz-Gerald also noted that his academic success would translate to the collegiate world just as well as his baseball prowess, stating that Strauss is the definition of a scholar-athlete.
The resiliency and determination has also come this year in the face of unforeseen and heartbreaking tragedy; the high school campus was the scene of a horrific school shooting three months ago when seventeen people---including fourteen students---were killed.
"To be where we are," Coach Fitz-Gerald mentioned, "says a lot about our senior leaders." Strauss, one of those senior leaders, will look to continue his stellar baseball campaign in Flushing in the fall semester.