Mark Etheridge of SEBaseball.com checks in with an article about many different topics. The first topic which is discussed is the whole Oregon/UC-Irvine/Fullerton musical chair act that has been going on all summer including Rod Delmonico (former head coach at Tennessee) throwing his name in the hat at UC-Irvine. The next topic discussed is how Dave Perno of UGA has had to change up his staff for the 2008 season with an assistant coach moving on to a different school. He finishes up the article by talking about some of winners and losers in the summer in getting transfers. The full article is available here.
FROM VALLEY BASEBALL LEAGUE
Baseball website PGcrosschecker.com recently compiled its list of the top 20 players in the Valley Baseball League. The list was compiled by Allan Simpson with input from the league’s managers and scouts.
Similar to the recently released Baseball America list, PG Crosschecker identified Winchester’s Luke Greinke as the league’s top prospect. He was also the league MVP. He was followed by Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis, but then six of the next seven players listed were pitchers.
Simpson noted that league officials felt that the 2007 season saw a jump in overall talent around the league, in particular in the pitching department. The numbers appear to support that assertion. In 2007, league pitchers as a whole had a 3.70 earned run average while hitters had a .247 batting average as a league. In 2006, hitters posted a .258 average while pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, and the year before saw a .257 batting average and 3.97 ERA as a league.
While Waynesboro finished first in the regular season and won the Jim Lineweaver Cup as league champions, the Generals placed just three players in the top 20 and none higher than #11. In fact, many of the top prospects come from the lower half of the standings. Simpson noted that was a sign of the league’s improved depth.
PGCrosschecker.com Valley League Top 20 Prospects
1. Luke Greinke, UT, Winchester (Auburn)
2. Jason Kipnis, OF, Covington (Arizona State)
3. Zac Blakney, RHP, Fauquier (Montevallo)
4. Shayne Moody, SS, Woodstock (Charlotte)
5. Ashur Tolliver, LHP, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)
6. Donald Jordat, RHP, Luray (Miami-Dade C.C.)
7. Rob Gilliam, RHP, Luray (UNC Greensboro)
8. Tim Sexton, RHP, Staunton (Miami-Dade C.C.)
9. Josh Judy, RHP, Haymarket (Indiana Tech)
10. Tyler Kuhn, SS/2B, Luray (West Virginia)
11. Pat Irvine, C/OF, Waynesboro (Elon)
12. Garrett Parker, RHP, Harrisonburg (Oklahoma City)
13. Bobby Hernandez, RHP, Staunton (Barry)
14. Josh Eidell, RHP, Woodstock (Villanova)
15. Elih Villanueva, RHP, Luray (Florida State)
16. Jeremy Cruz, 1B, Luray (Stetson)
17. Chris Masters, LHP, New Market (Western Carolina)
18. Brandon Sizemore, 2B, Waynesboro (Charleston)
19. Kurt Davidson, C/1B, Waynesboro (Akron)
20. Dustin Umberger, RHP, Luray (Liberty)
Full scouting reports from the summer on each player are available here. A subscription is required to view the insider-level reports.
New Tennessee coach Todd Raleigh is starting to fill in his first recruiting class in Knoxville. He reached into middle Tennessee and plucked Adam Adkins, the cousin of former Vol and Mount Juliet, TN ace James Adkins. Adkins was 11-0 with a 1.07 ERA and 107 strikeouts for Goodpasture in 2007. His accolades include two no-hitters, one in the 8-AA championship tournament.
Tom Kreager of the Tennessean reported on the commitment of Adkins, who chose Tennessee over interest from Alabama-Birmingham, Belmont, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Kentucky, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee State and Ole Miss.
Read the article 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.
Boston.com is reporting that Blaine O’Brien of Scituate MA has verbally committed to playing for the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2008-2009 school year. O’Brien is a 6’7 185 pound right hander who also drew interest from Florida and Vanderbilt before settling on the Bulldogs. The full article is available here.
Meanwhile, Paul Mainieri, a true class act and well respected SEC coach, has brought in his first full-year class at LSU. It includes 18 new players, of whom 7 were drafted this year. LSU only lost infielder Drew Cumberland to San Diego (46th overall pick).
LSU’s class will be welcomed with the opening of the beautiful new Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. A rendering of the new Stadium is pictured above, as LSU becomes the latest SEC program to upgrade its facilities in the recent facilities arms raise in the South.
1) Teams that do not sign a top 2 Round pick will receive a comparable pick in the 2008 draft. If you fail to sign the 7th overall pick, you would receive pick 7A in 2008. For example, if Tampa fails to ink David Price and if Tampa finished last in the standings again, they would receive the first overall pick and then receive pick 1A (functionally, the second overall pick). This provides significant leverage by improving the team’s BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). A draftee is in the same spot as before, but it’s a little easier for the team to stick to slot guidelines knowing they would be forfeiting a whole lot less. Source and a list of the unsigned first rounders.
2) Everything must be done by midnight Wednesday. That means not just an agreement in principal. A signed agreement won’t even cut it unless the player has passed his physical. It’s hard to tell if a physical can be performed before a contract is signed, because all draft rules aren’t public, but which unsigned stars go in for a doctor’s visit tomorrow or Wednesday morning can probably be an indicator as to who’s close to closing their deal. Source.
Notable unsigned players as of yesterday include #1 Price (Tampa Bay), #2 Mike Moustakas (Kansas City Royals), #3 Josh Vitters (Chicago Cubs) and #5 Matt Weiters (Baltimore Orioles).
UPDATE: Yahoo Sports has written an article on this topic. It is available here.
Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in with an article about the top power hitters for the 2008 season. He discusses Pedro Alvarez, Justin Smoak, Kyle Russell to just name a few. It is an excellent read and can be found here.
Team USA was one-hit by Japanese pitcher Yuske Iwamato but picked up a 1-0 victory on the first day of the World Port Tournament. As the game entered the ninth inning, Team USA had no hits off of Iwamato but Jordan Danks (Texas) got a lead-off walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tommy Medica (Santa Clara). He then advanced to third on a flyball from Brett Wallace (Arizona State). Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) then hit a single to drive home Danks with the eventual winning run. Ryan Berry (Rice) started for Team USA and went 7.1 strong innings while only giving up three hits and three walks but got the no-decision. Brett Hunter pitched the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit while striking out three batters to up his record to 3-0. Yuske Iwamato was the tough luck loser pitching a complete game while allowing the only hit and four walks. Team USA is off on Friday before playing The Netherlands on Saturday.
Team USA Recap
World Port Tournament Schedule
Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.), a junior outfielder from Virginia Tech hit .455 last week for Winchester, going 10-for-22 on the week. Cueto added seven runs, 10 hits, three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs for the Royals. Cueto slugged .864, while walking three times on his was to compiling a .520 on base percentage.
Jason Kipnis (Northbrook, Ill.), a sophomore outfielder out of Kentucky (according to some readers transferring to Arizona State) hit two more home runs last weeks to up his league-leading total to nine. Kipnis also added a .333 batting average with five runs, two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. Kipnis went 6-for-18 with six walks to finish with a .480 on base percentage.
Pitchers of the Week
Russ Brewer (Norwood, N.C.), a freshman righthander out of Vanderbilt went 1-0 on the week with a complete-game shutout for Waynesboro. Brewer allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out nine in the win. He faced just six batters above the minimum and held opponents to a .212 batting average against.
Ross Fetterly (Norfolk, Va.), a sophomore righthander from Old Dominion went 1-1 on the week. Fetterly pitched 16.1 innings and posted an ERA of 1.65, including pitching a complete game. He gave up 10 hits, 3 earned runs, three walks, lead the league with 16 strikeouts and held opponents to just a .179 batting average against.