We continue to get information on Signing classes almost daily. We have linked below a bunch of the ones that have come out in the last week.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
LINCOLN, Neb. – In a year when pitching has a solid chance of being dominant, the eighth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason 2008 All-America team reflects the plethora of mound aces returning for the upcoming campaign. Continue reading
FROM PRESS RELEASE
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Thirteen games against seven teams that qualified for the 2007 NCAA Championship and an April 24 exhibition against the Lansing Lugnuts at Oldsmobile Park highlight the 2008 Michigan State baseball schedule, as announced by head coach David Grewe Wednesday, Dec. 5. The 55-game slate begins Friday, Feb. 22 when the Spartans travel to the Stetson Invitational to take on host Stetson at 7 p.m. while the MSU baseball home opener is set for Friday, March 21 versus Oakland. Continue reading
The College Baseball Blog is continuing their series of previews on the Top Players in the Country with our second edition of the Top Position Players for 2008.
Zach Putnam, Michigan
When Putnam signed with the Wolverines in November of 2005, he was immediately tabbed as an impact player. Rated the #3 High School player by Baseball American as a Senior, he presented an intriguing two-way prospect. In the two years since, he has emerged as just that. As a Freshman, he earned Freshman All-America honors on the hill, going 6-2 with a 2.51 ERA and a save. He struggled at the plate, but emerged as a hitting threat in the Outfield and at DH as a Sophomore. He hit .330 with 8 Homeruns and 59 RBI to complement an 8-5 record with a 3.87 ERA. He starred in the Corvallis Super-Regional, carrying a no-hitter into the ninth inning against eventual NCAA champion Oregon State. Putnam features excellent mechanics on the hill, with a fastball that sits in the low 90s, a slurvy slider and a changeup with excellent tail. At the plate, Putnam shows good contact (1:10 K:AB ratio) and solid power potential. Putnam projects to be the Big10’s top player and figures to join Nate Recknagel and Derek VanBuskirk in leading Coach Maloney’s Wolverines to a pre-season top 25 ranking.
Dustin Ackley (UNC)
Dustin Ackley is a 6’1 184 pound sophomore outfielder/first basemen. He had one of the best seasons in the history of college baseball for a freshman. He finished the season with a .402 average while starting all 73 games in 2007. Ackley picked up consensus national freshman of the year award from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, and Rivals.com. Dustin should be able to lead the Tar Heels back to Omaha as they try to make their third straight appearance in the CWS Championship series.
Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest)
Allan Dykstra is entering his junior season after having two stellar seasons with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Dykstra stands at 6-5 225 pounds and hits from the left side. Dykstra has had impressive power numbers in his first two seasons hitting 15 homers as a freshman and 18 as a sophomore. He has also spend his first two summers in the Cape Cod League where he starred for the Chatham A’s. In the CCBL, He hit .308 with five homers and 31 RBI in forty games. The CBB took in a game in 2007 when Dykstra went 2-8 in a 17 inning loss to Boston College. Dykstra came up in many key situations but could not deliver any key hits to take control of the game. A full report on this game is available here. Wake Forest should be able to make a run into the top four of the ACC behind Dykstra’s bat in the middle of the order.
Dennis Raben (Miami FL)
Dennis Raben enters his junior season looking to bring the Miami Hurricanes back to the promise land after a disappointing 2007. Raben is a 6-3 220 pound outfielder who also chips in occasionally as a pitcher. Raben had a solid 2007 season as he hit .280 with 12 homers. He picked up many awards this summer including being named the third best prospect in the Cape Cod League by Perfect Game Crosschecker. He hit .298 with six homers against the top pitching in the country. Some scouts expect Raben to move to first base after college because of his side. He can’t play first base at Miami because Yonder Alonso is already taking that spot and is one of the best players in the nation.
Ryan Lavarnway (Yale)
Ryan is a 6’3 210 pound catcher from Yale who might be the best player in the Northeast. He led the nation in batting average (.467) and slugging percentage (.873) during the 2007 season. He broke the Ivy League hitting streak record with a 25 game streak which carried over from the final 2 games of the 2006 seasons which was carried over in the first 23 games of the season. The CBB saw Lavarnway in a doubleheader at Harvard where he showed a strong bat but needs some work behind the plate as he was having problems making throws down to second base including some going into the outfield. Full Report on the doubleheader is available here. This is a player to watch in 2008 that might not be on everyone’s radar. The CBB will see the Yale Bulldogs this spring against Harvard, Brown, or Penn.
Thanks to NYDore for helping out with some of the previews.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tough early season tournaments and a trip to Ann Arbor to play Michigan highlight a challenging 2008 schedule for the Ohio State baseball team. This year, across the collegiate baseball landscape, there is a universal starting date for all teams of Feb. 22.
The season begins with three out-of-town tournaments. The Buckeyes first travel to Millington, Tenn. to play three games Feb. 22-24 (vs. Arkansas State, Memphis and Seton Hall) before heading to College Station, Tex. for a set of three games. The first game in Texas is against the Texas A&M Aggies, who eliminated Ohio State from last year’s NCAA Tournament. Louisiana Tech and Arkansas, which finished second in last year’s SEC tournament before winning two games in the NCAA Tournament, are the Buckeyes’ other opponents in College Station.
Coach Bob Todd’s 21st Ohio State baseball team then travels to West Palm Beach, Fla. for a tournament against Air Force, Maine and Connecticut and then will spring break in Bradenton, Fla. for a series of games that are still being confirmed.
Ohio State opens the home portion of its schedule March 26 against Pittsburgh. In addition to the Panthers, the Buckeyes will host Toledo, Central Michigan, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Marshall and Buffalo in non-conference action at Bill Davis Stadium.
Ohio State’s first Big Ten match-up is a weekend series at Bill Davis Stadium against Penn State March 28-30. The Buckeyes also host perennial Big Ten power Minnesota the weekend of Apr. 4-6, Purdue April 18-20 and Illinois April 9-11. Big Ten road series will take the team to Ann Arbor to face defending regular season conference champ Michigan for a series starting May 2. The Buckeyes also travel to Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa this season.
Baseball America published an interesting op-ed piece today, forecasting their predicted field for the 2008 College World Series. Obviously it’s too soon to tell who will be a legitimate contender, with almost 2 months remaining before the August 15 deadline for MLB organizations to sign would-be college prospects, and injuries, weather and dozens of other factors looming on the horizon. But all the same, it’s interesting to start thinking about it already as we watch the summer leagues take shape, and Aaron Fitt provides some interesting food for thought in the off-season. And no, as you near the end of the list, you’ll discover that I am not unbiased in my evaluation of this article…
The lucky 8: