Baseball America has put out their Preseason All-American list lead by Justin Smoak (South Carolina) and Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt). Both players are expected to become top 5 picks in the 2008 MLB Draft in the springtime. Miami first baseman Yonder Alonso was the other corner infielder on the team leaving Brett Wallace (Arizona State) off the squad. The middle infielders are Gordon Beckham (UGA) and Jemile Weeks (Miami FL). The outfielders are teammates Kyle Russell and Jordan Danks of Texas. The team is filled out by Dennis Raben of Miami (FL). The biggest snub on the team is Dominic De La Osa (Vanderbilt). The pitching for the squad is led by Aaron Crow of Missouri after an unbelievable summer in the CCBL. The other pitchers are Christian Friedich of Eastern Kentucky, Brett Hunter of Pepperdine, Brian Matusz of San Diego, and Ryan Perry of Arizona. How is Jacob Thompson (UVA) left off the team? He has had two outstanding seasons in a very competitive ACC. Zach Putnam of Michigan is listed as the utility man after a strong NCAA tourney last season.
The Baylor Bears started practice last week led by All-American closer Nick Cassavechia. Baylor brings back six out of nine starters from the 2007 team which qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time since 1998. The Bears are relatively young on the mound as they will have five underclassmen expected to get quality innings on the mound. The full preview is available here.
Ask “Augie-Wan Knobi” about the NCAA rules changes’ effect on the 2008 season and the venerable Texas coach says, “May I look at them in hindsight?” Augie Garrido punctuates that comment with a laugh. He has been around too long to be baffled or amazed by anything.
The teacher in him is never stymied by whatever outside forces bring to bear.
The ever-popular alumni game is no more because the NCAA pushed back the start of the season three weeks, with practice beginning Feb. 1, and the Horns first encounter on Feb. 22 in the newly-renovated UFCU Disch-Falk Field against Virginia Commonwealth.
“The cancellation of the alumni game is disappointing,” Garrido said of the event that has been played annually since 1984.
“Those guys are Longhorns for life and that game was a way to have them back, to keep them a part of what we’re doing,” Garrido said. “I don’t care how we do it, but I want a way to get them back.”
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The Student Newspaper checks in With Kyle Russel and the reason why he choose to come back for his Junior year. It also compare Bradley Suttle deal with the New York Yankees to Kyle Russell’s deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The handshakes just didn’t feel right.
That’s the reason Texas outfielder Kyle Russell gave when explaining his decision to stay with the Longhorns and not leave for the minor leagues after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth round of last year’s draft.
Continue reading Kyle Russell’s return due to bad vibe from Cardinals!
The renovation project forced the Longhorns to play their first eight games, plus their postseason games, at Dell Diamond in Round Rock last year. Texas coach Augie Garrido loves the new look.
“I for one was in favor of tearing it down and starting over, but I would have been wrong. The way it’s turned out, it’s a brand-new stadium with sight lines that are really terrific for all of the fans. Everything is updated. It’s not a remodel, it’s a complete redo.
Continue reading Augie Garrido checks in with this years Team!
Shawn Shroyer of The University Daily Kansan checks in with a great interview with Ritch Price. He discusses how the uniform start date has affected his program which is making him a pain to his wife. Price also discusses the new caps his team will wear during some of the games which are inspired by some Montreal Expos uniforms. The full interview is available here.
Kansas has announced two transfers for 2008 with two left handed pitchers in Sam Freeman and Daniel Manos joining the program. Freeman comes over from North Central Texas College where he went 10-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 2007. Manos comes over from Santa Ana College (CA) where he went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 17 appearances. The full release is available here.
CSTV editor Doug Kroll checks in with an article previewing the top freshmen in the country. He ranks Matt Harvey of North Carolina as the best freshmen entering the season. Harvey was rated as a first round pick before the 2007 MLB Draft but his stock slipped when his ties with Scott Boras came up. He ended up getting drafted in the third round by the Angels but decided to head to Chapel Hill to play with Mike Fox. Continue reading Doug Kroll’s Top Freshmen
The 2007 Horns baseball season started with a lot of hope and promise. However, by the time Augie and staff arrived at the Round Rock Regional injuries began to take their toll on the team and even Home Run champion Kyle Russell could not carry this team to the College World Series. The last time Texas was in Omaha was in 2005 and that for a Horn Fan is an eternity. Texas has made it a habit of spending their summers in Omaha making that journey 32 times and winning it all six times. The last time was back in 2005. Continue reading 2008 Season Preview of the University of Texas!
Lets start at the Catcher position; Returning for his 4th year and starting for his third straight year at the catching position will be Preston Clark. Preston a red shirt junior brings a lot to the table that goes unnoticed. He will be able to keep these young pitchers on track and help them stay focus. When Preston went down to a sprain knee right before the Round Rock Regional those things that go unnoticed became very visible. His offense – .278 batting average 8 home runs and 46 runs batted – just his mere presence in the line up gives this team confidence. His defense – six errors in 56 games- makes the opposing team conscience of him behind the plate. Backing Preston up will be heir apparent Freshman Cameron Rupp. Cameron is a big young man that reminds me more of a Taylor Teagarden and Rupp will be able to continue this long line of outstanding catchers that eventually go on to the MLB.
Continue reading 2008 Season Preview of the University of Texas! Part II