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.
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.