The CBB has been previewing some of the top players in the country for the 2008 season throughout this off-season. This week we check in on the top freshmen in the country.
Derek Dietrich SS/P (Georgia Tech)
Derek Dietrich is a 6’1 199 pound shortstop/pitcher out of Parma OH. He was a third round pick by the Houston Astros in 2007 but elected to enroll at Georgia Tech after failing to come to terms on a contract. Continue reading
The RBI Foundation of Houston is holding their annual banquet on Janarary 19th at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston TX. The event will recognize many players and coaches between high schools and colleges. Two college baseball players in Matt Langwell of Rice and Kyle Russell will pick up The Charlie Maiorana Awards. The full list of honorees is available by clicking here. If you are interested in purchasing a table please contact Butch Ghutzman at (281) 222-9999.
The Recycled Baseball Items Foundation (RBI) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization committed to keeping the Greater Houston Area’s underprivileged youth off the streets, away from gangs, crime, and drugs, while offering them a positive and viable alternative in the form of participation in baseball/softball. RBI accomplishes this by providing baseball equipment, instructional clinics and college scholarships.
As a follow-up to his Top 5 Storylines of 2008, Rivals.com baseball editor Kendall Rogers has revealed five predictions for 2008. The full article can be read here.
First, Kendall picks UCLA to be the team to step up their game the most. Conversely, he sees Clemson falling flat in the new year.
Kendall’s “Most Important” players? Pitcher Jacob Thompson of UVA tows the rubber, while Vanderbilt Third baseman Pedro Alvarez is the king of the batter’s box.
And Kendall’s early take on national title contenders? It all starts with Arizona State, but Kendall says that Miami, UCLA, Rice, San Diego, Texas and Vanderbilt should be in the mix for some hardware.
In separate blogging news, congratulations go out from this Commodore fan to Vandy’s All-American RHP commitment Sonny Gray, who, as QB, led Smyrna High School (Smyrna, TN) to its second straight state football title. Gray’s legend continues to grow in Tennessee and we’ll have to wait until August 15 to see if BA’s #6 rated HS prospect will take his 96MPH fastball and back breaking curve to the Hawk.
Kendall Rogers, baseball editor for Rivals.com, kicks off his top storylines of 2008. Prime among those are OSU’s efforts to produce the coveted Three-Peat.
Also featured are the Pac-10 race between ASU, UCLA and OSU; the Longhorns efforts to make it back to Omaha; Vanderbilt’s high octane offense and Miami’s charge in the ACC.
The full article may be read here.
Oral Roberts head coach Rob Walton was named the field manager for the 2008 USA National Team. He will be joined by Old Dominion head coach Jerry Meyers who will act as the pitching coach. The other two assistant coaches are San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano and Ritch Price of Kansas. The team will hold training camp in conjunction with their tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League starting on June 10th. They will then head down to the Coastal Plain League to present the National Team Trials on June 20th. The team will be named on June 24th before starting up a seven game series with Chinese Taipei from June 25th-July 1. On the next day the team will fly over to Europe to play in the 2008 Dutch Honkbal Tournament and play a two-game set against the Czech Republic. The team will stay in Europe until July 18th when they begin competition in the IV FISU World Collegiate Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. The full release is available here.
Rivals.com editor Kendall Rogers has announced his top five overall programs. He puts Oregon State in the top spot after Pat Casey has led the Beavers to two consecutive national championships. The Beavers are also one of the top recruiters in the nation so they should continue their dominance. He puts the Cal-State Fullerton Titans in the runner up spot with the success they have had with Augie Garrido, George Horton, and entering his first season Dave Serrano. The program should not see a difference at all since Serrano was able to build a CWS team at UC-Irvine. Texas takes the third place as Augie Garrido has made the Longhorns a national contender every season and continue to bring in great players. Rice head coach Wayne Graham is entering his 17th season in Houston as he has made the Owls a great pitching university. Kendall rates them in the fourth spot with North Carolina coming in at fifth. Mike Fox has brought the Tar Heels program back to the national stage with consecutive appearances in the CWS Championship series where they have lost both times to Oregon State. The Tar Heels had a great pitching team in 2006 but a great hitting team in 2007 so he is able to win with different types of teams. The full article from Kendall is available here.
CSTV editor Doug Kroll checks in with his weekly article about the top players in the country. This week he focuses on outfielders. His top outfielder is Dominic De la Osa of Vanderbilt followed up by Kyle Russell of Texas. The full article is available by clicking here where he also lists Jack Rye (FSU), Tommy Baldridge and David Sappelt (Coastal Carolina), and Mark Sobolewski (Miami, FL).
Aaron Fitt of Baseball America gave out some props for the big Fall signings in baseball. Leading the way were the stacked classes at Georgia (21 total, with seven of BA’s top 100 signees) and Arizona State (24, four of the top 100). Fitt noted that both UGA and ASU went the aggressive route, taking risks with prospects who could be draft day casualties. But the CBB says, dream big or don’t dream at all. Recruiting top notch players is good for a program and good for the game in general.
Fitt polled several coaches informally, who listed UGA, ASU, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Kentucky, UNC, Texas and Oregon State as the big winners in the early signing period. Fitt noted that Vandy’s class stands out for the likelihood that top 100 players like Sonny Gray, Grayson Garvin, Jason Esposito and Matt Marquis may bypass the draft. The CBB also likes UK’s class. If they can keep some of the big time arms they’ve recruited, UK could quickly ascend among the SEC elite.
The entire article can be read here.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
Texas Tech Head Baseball Coach Larry Hays announced the signing of 13 student-athletes today as part of the 2008-09 recruiting class.
The class is the first under new Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Dan Spencer and Assistant Coach Trent Petrie and features 10 high school players and three from the junior college ranks. The 10 high school players ranks among the most ever signed by Hays since he took over the program back in 1987.
“We feel like we addressed needs in young arms (pitchers) that have high end potential and we signed a couple that can pitch and hit, said Associate Head Coach Dan Spencer. “That is really going to be a key for us especially with the way scheduling is now in college baseball. We also got some quality guys in the infield and picked up a key guy in the outfield late in the process. I think this is a group that will help get us on the road to where we all want to be as a program.”
This signing class will report to campus in August of 2008 and begin their Texas Tech careers in the spring of 2009.
For the rest of the Article click here.
Andy Marks who was the number 1 pitcher for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2007 is facing a long road after surgery in September for a torn labrum. He had to keep his arm in a sling right after surgery for four weeks before starting up rehabilitation for his arm. He is currently in physical therapy and expected to begin throwing in January. A full article about Marks was written by Shawn Shroyer of The University Daily Kansan which can be read here.