One of the more intriguing questions to arise out of Hawkins Field is how one fills the looming gap when projected top 2008 Draft Pick Pedro Alvarez departs his 3B spot on West End this fall. Alvarez has been a force since spurning the advances of Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox to get his baseball education and sheepskin at Vanderbilt. As a freshman, he set a VU record with 22 bombs en route to consensus Freshman of the Year and All-American status. As a sophomore, he put up staggering numbers as the cleanup hitter. Each of the past two summers, he’s carried the banner for Team USA at the plate, leading the squad in batting average and other categories.
So who will step into the enviable task of replacing Petey for Coach Tim Corbin? Chris Lee, Mike Rapp
and Jesse Johnson of VandySports.com
confirmed rumors of a commitment in the premium section of the Rivals.com affiliated site more than a month ago. Nevertheless
, due to the College Baseball Blog’s
attribution policy, we have chosen not to report on the development out of respect for VandySports
terms of service. Recently, the commitment has been acknowledged on the sites free baseball board allowing us to report that Bethany, Connecticut star Jason Esposito
committed to the Commodores and is pencilled in for the competition at third. Esposito
was a Connecticut rival of ’08 prize recruit Curt Casali
and a summer league teammate of fellow blue chip ’09 recruit Matt Marquis.
Like Alvarez, Esposito
is a well-framed, athletic corner man with a massive arm. He stands 6-2, 185 and throws 90 off the hill, according to Perfect Game
, which rated Esposito
a 10 of 10, indicating high draft round talent. Esposito
joins recruits Sonny Gray, Matt Marquis, Will Clinard
Garvin, Corey Williams, Ryan Westmoreland
Moore and transfer Dylan Pratt in a class that seems poised to surpass the Alvarez-Flaherty
led 2005 class rated #1 by Baseball America.
Although positions aren’t guaranteed at Vanderbilt or any other major program, Esposito would project to have the inside track at earning the starting 3B job as a true freshman. The other projected infield starters for 2009 season include (class year in 2009) Sophomore Aaron Westlake at 1B, Redshirt Sophomore Alex Hilliard or Junior Brian Harris at 2B, Redshirt Freshman Gabe Ortiz at Short and Sophomore Curt Casali at Catcher.