CBB Column: Thoughts on 2008 Olympic Team

I know we don’t cover Minor League baseball in general but the 2008 USA Baseball Team was announced today with a bunch of players with collegiate experience in the last few seasons including one player who will be entering his junior season at San Diego State in the fall. The biggest name that is on the roster is Matt LaPorta and the biggest surprise to me is Stephen Strasburg from San Diego State.

Matt LaPorta flashed onto the national scene with the Florida Gators in 2005 leading them to the CWS final series. They ended up losing to Texas but LaPorta continued hitting over the next few seasons which led him to being selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 7th overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft. He was recently traded by the Brewers to the Cleveland Indians as he was the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia trade. He should be the main offensive threat for Team USA in the Olympics.

Stephen Strasberg who is currently playing with the USA National Team in the Czech Republic will be the only current collegiate player on the roster for the Olympics. Strasberg has wowed scouts throughout his sophomore year and during Team USA’s summer tour around the United States. Strasberg garnered national attention this season on April 11th against Utah when he struck out 23 batters. He has a record of 8-3 with a 1.57 ERA in 13 starts on the year. He has continued with the USA National team where he has made five starts with a 3-0 record and an ERA of 1.33.

Players who played College Baseball

  • Jake Arietta (TCU)
  • Brian Barden (Oregon State)
  • Jason Donald (Arizona)
  • Geno Espinelli (Texas/TCU)
  • John Gall (Stanford)
  • Brandon Knight (Ventura Ca. JC)
  • Mike Koplove (Delaware)
  • Matt LaPorta (Florida)
  • Clayton Richard (Michigan)
  • Jeff Stevens (Loyola Marymount)
  • Stephen Strasberg (San Diego State)
  • Taylor Teagarden (Texas)
  • Terry Tiffee (Pratt Kan. CC)
  • Casey Weathers (Vanderbilt)