We continue the list today with number 48 in our countdown with UC-Irvine senior LHP Daniel Bibona. He is from Lake Forest California and graduated from Santa Margarita High School. His senior season saw him go 5-4 on the mound with a 1.81 ERA and struck out 69 batters in 46 innings of work.
Bibona saw action in 16 games during his freshman season in 2007. He accumulated a record of 1-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 26.1 innings of work. He did strike out 25 batters while allowing 20 earned runs on 35 hits. He spent the summer of 2007 with the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League where he went 2-2 with a 2.29 ERA in 35.1 innings of work. He continued to strikeout a high percentage of batters with 39.
Bibona had a breakout season in 2008 for the Anteaters as he made 20 appearances including 16 starts as he went 9-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 102.1 innings of work. He finished the season with 97 strikeouts while allowing on 21 walks on the year as UC-Irvine made their first appearance in the College World Series. He continued in his junior season in 2009 by making 15 starts while going 12-1 with a 2.63 ERA. He pitched in a team high 106 innings while striking out 108 batters and holding opponents to a .209 batting average against. He picked up several awards including being named Collegiate Baseball “Louisville Slugger” first-team All-American, NCBWA Writers Association Second-team All-American, Baseball America second-team All-America honors, CollegeBaseballInsider.com All-America first-team selection, Big West Pitcher of the Year, and All-Big West first team.
The biggest question with Bibona is whether his style will transfer over to the professional level as he tops out between 85-87 MPH which is easily hittable in the Minor Leagues. If he can develop and get up to 90 MPH with his fastball then we could see Bibona on the fast track to the Majors or he will be another great college pitcher that couldn’t make the majors.
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