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.
The College Baseball Blog took some time off for the Holiday so we are catching up on some the schedules that we missed that were released over the last week. Some of the big time programs that have released a schedule are Kansas led by Ritch Price expects to compete for the 2008 Big 12 title and Notre Dame who looks to return to prominence under second year head coach Dave Schrage. The links to schedules are available below.
The Longhorns’ 2008 baseball schedule was approved by the UT Men’s Athletics Council for release on Friday. The 52-game schedule features 30 home games.
“Our fans will be treated to 30 home games against good competition,” Garrido said. “We are thankful the fans stood by us through a lot of inconveniences during the renovations last year and this year they will be rewarded with a first-class facility.”
The season begins on Feb. 22 as the Longhorns host NCAA tournament participant Virginia Commonwealth in a three-game series to open the newly renovated stadium.
The Longhorns will play College World Series participant Rice three times. They take on the Owls as part of the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 1, at Rice’s Reckling Park on March 11 and at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Apr. 1.
The Houston College Classic also has UT slated to play Tennessee (Feb. 29) and Houston (March 2).
In addition to their three games at Minute Maid Park, the Horns will play two games at minor league stadiums in 2008, including a game vs. UT San Antonio at Wolff Stadium on Feb. 17 and vs. Texas State at The Dell Diamond in Round Rock on Apr. 8.
The highlight of the non-conference home slate is a three-game series against Stanford (March 7-9).
Texas also hosts UT Pan American (Feb. 26-27) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (March 4-5) in two-game series as well as hosting Dallas Baptist (March 10), Texas State (March 18 & Apr. 29), Oral Roberts (March 24), UT Arlington (Apr. 16) and UT San Antonio (Apr. 23).
The State Farm Lone Star Showdown is slated for May 16-18, with the first game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field and the next two at College Station.
The Longhorns also have a split series scheduled against Baylor on May 2-4 with the first game scheduled for Waco and the final two games in Austin. Texas will also play a rare non-conference game against Baylor (Apr. 22) in Waco.
In other Big 12 action, Texas hosts Kansas (March 14-16), Nebraska (March 28-30) and Oklahoma State (Apr. 18-20). Conference road action takes the Longhorns to Texas Tech (March 20-22), Oklahoma (Apr. 4-6), Missouri (Apr. 11-13) and Kansas State (Apr. 25-27).
University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido announced the addition of a 10th player to the 2008-09 signing class as Robbie Grossman’s National Letter of Intent was certified on Thursday morning.”Robbie is considered one of the top outfielders in the nation,” associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Tommy Harmon said. “He’s a switch-hitter, has good speed and good power, and is someone that should be able to contribute early.”
Grossman was a member of the USA Baseball Junior National Team in 2007. He hit .450 with a team-high eight RBI in six games for Team USA at the COPABE “AAA” Pan American Junior Championships, helping the team earn a bronze medal and earn a berth in the 2008 International Baseball Federation “AAA” World Championships.
The Cypress, Texas, product is ranked as the No. 3 recruit in the state of Texas by Inside Prep Baseball. Grossman’s signing gives Texas eight of the top 25 recruits from the state according to Inside Prep Baseball, including the top three overall and five of the top 10.
Grossman is enjoying a stellar prep career, including an outstanding defensive performance and a single in the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic in San Diego last August. Grossman earned his second straight all-district honor and was the MVP of the Region 3 Championship series for Cypress Fairbanks High School, winners of the 2007 Class 5A Texas State Baseball Championship. He batted .415 with four home runs, 19 RBI and 16 stolen bases for the Bobcats as a junior to earn Texas High School Coaches Association third-team all-state recognition. Other honors from his junior season include UIL All-Tournament Team 5A and second-team All-Houston.
In terms of positions included in the signing class for the 2008-09 season, there are five pitchers, four position players and one two-way performer.
We are starting up with our previews of the 2008 season. We have broken down the top five pitchers in the country. Stay tuned for more previews of the upcoming season as the season gets closer.
Aaron Crow, Jr. Missouri
Crow was named the top pitching prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this summer. Crow has a mid-90’s fastball with a plus slider and a solid cutter. Crow went 9-4 with a 3.59 last season but got bombed in the NCAA Tournament by Louisville as he let up seven runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Jacob Thompson, Jr. Virginia
Thompson had a breakout season in 2007 where he led the Virginia Cavaliers to the NCAA Tournament. He had a perfect 11-0 record with a 1.50 ERA. Thompson has a low 90’s fastball with downward action on it with a solid curveball. Thompson pitched over the summer for the USA National Team where he got a chance to pitch in the Pan Am Games. He went 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings. He was shutdown after the Pan-Am Games to rest his arm for the 2008 season.
Brian Matusz, Jr. San Diego
Matusz is a 6’4 left handed power pitcher for the University of San Diego baseball program. In 2007, He led the Toreros to the number 1 seed in the San Diego regional with a 10-3 record with a 2.85 ERA. He also struck out 163 strikeouts in 123 innings. He pitched for the USA National Team this summer where he compiled a 3-1 record with a 1.33 ERA in four starts. He was also shut down for the summer after the Pan-Am Games to rest his arm.
Kyle Gibson, So. Missouri
Gibson is a 6’5 right handed sinker ball pitcher who was named the number 3 overall prospect in the Cape Cod League by Baseball America and number 9 by Perfect Game. He lead the Missouri Tigers with help from Aaron Crow to the NCAA Tournament as he had a 8-3 record with a 4.12 ERA as he served as the closer with seven saves. He is expected to make the move to the rotation in 2008 and give the Tigers two legitimate aces on the staff.
Ryan Perry, Jr. Arizona
Perry dazzled scouts in the Cape Cod League with a mid-90’s fastball which hit 97 on some guns over the summer. He struggled in 2007 with the Arizona Wildcats as he went 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA. Perry was recovering from a January 2007 accident when he crashed his motorcycle going over 80 MPH without a helmet on which he walked away with a broken non-throwing arm. Perry pitched in 18 games coming out of the bullpen while picking up four saves. His record for the CCBL season was only 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA. He is expected to become an impact player in the Pac-10 for the 2008 season.
The College Baseball Blog would like to thank Cape Prospects for providing the videos for some of the pitchers.
Our favorite Rivals writer Kendall Rogers checks in with a mailbag column talking about some of the challenges Vanderbilt is facing with the loss of David Price, a preview of Arizona State, the future of Memphis baseball, and finally Texas AM utility player Blake Stouffer chances of winning National Player of the Year. The article is available here.
Baseball America has released their annual top 30 prospects from the Cape Cod League. Aaron Crow of Missouri leads the rankings after having an impressive summer with a 0.67 ERA and picking up the Top prospect award from MLB scouts. The top position player is Yonder Alonso of Miami after hitting .338 with an on-base percentage of .468. The full list is available here.
1. Texas OF Kyle Russell
2. Texas A&M Utility Guy Blake Stouffer
3. Vanderbilt OF Dominic De la Osa
4. Rice Closer Cole St. Clair
5. Creighton switch-pitcher Pat Venditte
6. UGA Closer Josh Fields
7. ASU Starter Josh Satow
8. USC Catcher Phil Disher
9. OKState 3B Matt Hague
10. Auburn OF Mike Bianucci
This writer would probably have flipped a couple of these guys around. It’s hard to argue with Russell Stouffer and De la Osa; however, a healthy Cole St. Clair could be the difference between Rice swapping a C-USA ring for a College World Series ring.
And I’m happy to see Venditte return. I’ve not seen him pitch yet, but he’s the guy who will throw lefty to one batter and righty to the next.
Read Kendall’s breakdown here.