Monthly Archives: December 2013

NCAA Div. I Pre-Season All-Americans

NCAA Div. I Pre-Season All-Americans

PrintTUCSON, Ariz. — The 2014 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans were announced which feature a remarkable mix of talented NCAA Division I baseball players across the USA.

The teams, chosen by Collegiate Baseball, feature five starting pitchers with a combined 2.07 ERA. LHP Carlos Rodon of N.C. State struck out a nation-leading 184 batters last season and is the projected National Player of The Year in 2014. He also is projected to be the first player chosen in next June’s Free Agent Draft.

RHP Thomas Eshelman of Cal. St. Fullerton set an all-time NCAA Division I record with only 3 walks allowed over 115 2/3 innings. He also ranked first in the nation in strikeout to walk ratio (27.67) with 83 strikeouts.

UCLA Closer David BergUCLA closer David Berg set an NCAA Division I record last season with 24 saves. He also posted 7 wins and had a 0.92 ERA in 51 appearances. Mississippi State’s Jonathan Holder had 21 saves last season and a 1.65 ERA in 34 appearances with 90 strikeouts and 17 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Closer Nick Burdi of Louisville has a 101 mph fastball which allowed him to strike out 62 batters over 35 2/3 innings.

The first team offense features power, line drive hitters, speed and a number of talented defensive athletes. C Kyle Schwarber of Indiana led first teamers with 18 homers. OF D.J. Stewart of Florida St. had 25 doubles and 59 RBI. SS Trea Turner of N.C. State swiped 30 bases.

For complete stats of all 2014 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans, CLICK HERE.

First Team
RHP Aaron Nola (Louisiana St.)

LHP Carlos Rodon (N.C. State)
RHP Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt)
RHP Thomas Eshelman (Cal. St. Fullerton)
RHP Justin Garza (Cal. St. Fullerton)
Relief David Berg (UCLA)
Relief Jonathan Holder (Mississippi St.)
Relief Nick Burdi (Louisville)
C Kyle Schwarber (Indiana)
1B Casey Gillaspie (Wichita St.)
2B Ross Kivett (Kansas St.)
3B Dustin DeMuth (Indiana)
SS Trea Turner (N.C. State)
OF Michael Conforto (Oregon St.)
OF Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco)
OF D.J. Stewart (Florida St.)
UT Clinton Freeman (East Tennessee St.)

Second Team
RHP Trent Thornton (North Carolina)

LHP Ryan Kellogg (Arizona St.)
LHP Harrison Musgrave (West Virginia)
RHP Andrew Moore (Oregon St.)
LHP Bryan Radziewski (Miami, Fla.)
RHP Andrew Morales (U.C. Irvine)
RHP Luke Weaver (Florida St.)
RHP  Zech Lemond (Rice)
LHP Matt Imhof (Cal Poly)
RHP Karson Whitson (Florida)
RHP Scott Baker (Ball St.)
LHP Ben Wetzler (Oregon St.)
Relief Ryan Thompson (Campbell)
Relief Ryan Burr (Arizona St.)
C Mark Zagunis (Virginia Tech.)
C Grayson Greiner (South Carolina)
1B Sam Travis (Indiana)
1B Connor Spencer (U.C. Irvine)
2B Conor Brown (James Madison)
3B Joey Pankake (South Carolina)
SS Alex Bregman (Louisiana St.)
OF Skye Bolt (North Carolina)
OF Dylan Davis (Oregon St.)
OF/1B Mike Papi (Virginia)
UT Drew Reynolds (East Carolina)

Third Team
RHP Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina)

RHP Brandon Finnegan (Texas Christian)
LHP Cole Irvin (Oregon)
LHP Garrett Cleavinger (Oregon)
RHP Daniel Gossett (Clemson)
LHP P.J. Conlon (San Diego)
RHP James Kaprielian (UCLA)
RHP Tommy Lawrence (Maine)
LHP Joey DeNato (Indiana)
RHP Dan Savas (Illinois St.)
RHP T.J. Renda (Alabama St.)
Relief Scott Schultz (Oregon St.)
Relief Trace Dempsey (Ohio St.)
Relief Jake Matthys (Kansas St.)
Relief Ross Mitchell (Mississippi St.)
Relief Matt Troupe (Arizona)
Relief Brian Miller (Vanderbilt)
Relief Travis Stout (Jacksonville St.)                                                    
C Brett Austin (N.C. State)

C Conor Joe (San Diego)
1B Cole Lankford (Texas A&M)
1B Zach Stephens (Tennessee Tech.)
1B Jacob Hoyle (Western Carolina)
2B Jason Blum (S.E. Missouri St.)
3B Alex Blandino (Stanford)
3B Taylor Sparks (U.C. Irvine)
3B Chesny Young (Mercer)
SS Aaron Attaway (Western Carolina)
SS Tyler Vaughn (Troy)
SS Luke Tendler (North Carolina A&T)
OF Brandon Downes (Virginia)
OF Derek Fisher (Virginia)
OF Matt Shortall (Texas-Arlington)
OF Michael Bishop (Jacksonville St.)
OF Caleb Adams (La.-Lafayette)
UT Josh Dezse (Ohio St.)
UT Ashton Perritt (Liberty)
UT A.J. Reed (Kentucky)

From USC Superstar To Secret Service

From USC Superstar To Secret Service

Bill Bordley Slider Photo Photo by Melanie BurfordBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
(From Jan. 3, 2014 Edition)

LOS ANGELES — Bill Bordley is one of those unique individuals who should have a motion picture made of his life.

He not only was of the greatest pitchers in college baseball history at the University of Southern California.

But he then became a Secret Service agent for the U.S. government as he protected Presidents and now serves as Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Security & Facility Management. He is responsible for directing all of the league’s security and facility management policies, procedures and programs.

Bordley’s story begins as a high profile prospect in high school with a rocket for an arm.

He started gaining national attention as a junior at Bishop Montgomery H.S. (Torrance, Calif.) in 1975 as he posted a 16-1 record with 14 complete games. He struck out 176 batters in 115 2/3 innings.

He was a can’t miss prospect who was coveted by professional baseball scouts because of a 95 mph fastball.

Within the Secret Service, he worked in conjunction with law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide on counterfeit situations that took him to 85 countries.

Bordley also worked on death threat cases and even interviewed Charles Manson who made threats from prison.

In some capacity, he worked for every president from Ronald Reagan to the current Barack Obama administration and was extremely close to the Clinton family as he was on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s detail. He also was assigned to Chelsea Clinton’s detail when she attended Stanford University.

He once testified as a witness for prosecutor Kenneth Starr on the relationship President Clinton had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

According to The Starr Report, which was submitted to Congress and later published as a book, Bordley said he stopped Lewinsky outside the Oval office in late 1995 or early 1996 because she did not have her pass.

President Clinton opened the Oval office door, indicated to Agent Bordley that Lewinsky’s presence was all right, and ushered her into the office. Bordley saw Lewinsky leave about a half an hour later. That was the extent of his testimony on their relationship. But the sexual affair nearly destroyed the Clinton presidency.

To read more about the amazing life of Bill Bordley, purchase the Jan. 3, 2014 College Preview edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.

2014 Top Draftable College Baseball Players

2014 Top Draftable College Baseball Players

Jeff Hoffman East Carolina ActionBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
(From Jan. 3, 2014 Edition)

TUCSON, Ariz. — The following is a list of college players who have an excellent chance of being drafted in the first two rounds of next June’s Free Agent Draft with a good season.

The list was made after consulting with college baseball coaches across the nation along with scouts.

LHP Carlos Rodon
N.C.
State
The heavy favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall in the 2014 draft, Rodon has put together a remarkable career at N.C. State.

This chiseled 6-foot, 234-pound southpaw pitcher has carved up opposing hitters for two seasons with the Wolfpack after being chosen in the 16th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011 out of Holly Springs H.S. (Holly Springs, N.C.).

The development of Rodon as been something to behold after N.C. State pitching coach Tom Holliday began working with him.

As a freshman at N.C. State, he punched out 135 (third in the nation) as he posted a 9-0 record in 2012 to become the first freshmen in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn conference Pitcher of The Year honors.

Last season, he struck out 184 batters and averaged 12.51 strikeouts per game to rank No. 1 in both categories.

SS Trea Turner
N.C.
State
Turner is an electric player with plus speed as demonstrated by his 6.25 speed in the 60.

Overall, he is the N.C. State’s best hitter and a fabulous defensive player as well. Turner is expected to be one of the first three picks in the entire 2014 draft because of his amazing skills.

Last season for N.C. State, he hit .368 with 7 homers, 13 doubles and 42 RBI.

He also swiped 30 of 36 bases.

RHP Jeff Hoffman
East Carolina
Hoffman had a tremendous summer as the top prospect last summer in the Cape Cod League and is expected to be a high draft pick next June.

His fastball ranges from 93-98 mph and has a power curve and slider with a good changeup.

Last season for East Carolina, he was 6-7 with a 3.20 ERA and struck out 84 batters with 39 walks over 109 2/3 innings.

RHP Aaron Nola
Louisiana St
ate
Nola earned first team All-American honors and the Pitcher of The Year award in the SEC last season.

He posted a 12-1 record, 1.57 ERA and struck out 122 batters with only 18 walks over 126 innings.

Nola is a big time righthander who is expected to go high in the draft.

RHP Tyler Beede
Vanderbilt
Beede had a superb season one year ago for the Commodores as he posted a 14-1 record, 2.32 ERA and fanned 103 batters with 63 walks over 101 innings.

He was a first round pick during the 2011 draft.

OF Bradley Zimmer
San Francisco
The Cape Cod League MVP, he had a superb season one year ago for the Dons as he hit .320 with 7 homers, 12 doubles and 37 RBI.

He also swiped 19 bases.

Zimmer is expected to be a high first round pick.

C Kyle Schwarber
Indiana
The 6-foot, 235-pound Schwarber put up incredible offensive numbers last season for the Hoosiers.

He hit .366 with 18 homers, 10 doubles and knocked in 54 runs.

OF Derek Fisher
Virginia
Fisher is a superb athlete who has improved his plate approach and has greatly improved his defensive skills.

He has excellent power and speed.

Last season, Fisher hit .293 with 7 homers, 12 doubles and knocked in 48 runs.

RHP Nick Burdi
Louisville
Burdi flashes a 98-101 mph fastball for the Cardinals.

Last season, he posted 16 saves with a 0.76 ERA and fanned 62 batters in 29 appearances with only 13 walks.

OF Michael Conforto
Oregon St
.
An incredible defensive outfielder, the reigning Pac-12 Player of The Year not only threw out two runners at home on fly balls to the outfield during the 2013 College World Series.

But he made a diving catch on another occasion and then made the defensive play of the 2013 CWS as a deep fly ball was hit to left field by Mississippi State’s Wes Rea.

On a full sprint, he reached out with his glove and barely caught the ball inches from the outfield wall and then crashed into it.

Offensively, he hit 11 homes, 14 doubles and knocked in 47 runs.

Collegiate Baseball has a rundown on 50 more top college baseball players who are expected to be high draft picks in next June’s Free Agent Draft. Read about all of them in the Jan. 3, 2014 College Preview edition of Collegiate Baseball which is now on sale. To obtain a copy, CLICK HERE.

The Amazing Story Of Carlos Rodon

The Amazing Story Of Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon 4C NC State action 2013 CWSBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
(From Jan. 3, 2014 Edition)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sometimes the process of becoming a superstar is as intriguing as the remarkable numbers that are turned out by these athletes.

Example A is Carlos Rodon of N.C. State who is the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall in the 2014 Major League Baseball Free Agent Draft next June.

This chiseled 6-foot, 234-pound southpaw pitcher has carved up opposing hitters for two seasons with the Wolfpack after being chosen in the 16th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011 out of Holly Springs H.S. (Holly Springs, N.C.).

The development of this young man, who has hit 101 mph with his fastball, has been something to behold after N.C. State pitching coach Tom Holliday began working with him.

As a freshman at N.C. State, he punched out 135 (third in the nation) as he posted a 9-0 record in 2012 to become the first freshmen in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn conference Pitcher of The Year honors.

Last season, he struck out 184 batters and averaged 12.51 strikeouts per game to rank No. 1 in both categories.

When Rodon arrived at N.C. State in the fall of 2012, he was hardly the finished product he is now.

“When Carlos came here, he simply didn’t throw enough strikes,” said Holliday.

“He wanted to throw 190 mph with his fastball, and he didn’t understand the vital importance of command. We made several mechanical adjustments as we shortened his stride and made his mechanics more compact. All of a sudden, the light went on. He learned that he didn’t have to reach all the way back and strike out everybody.”

Holliday said that Rodon was asked to pick his 4-seam fastball or 2-seamer to simplify the strike throwing process as a freshman. He picked the 4-seamer as he became a strike throwing machine.

The rest of the in-depth story on the development of Carlos Rodon can be obtained by purchasing the Jan. 3, 2014 College Preview Edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.

Torture Chamber Of Jobs Were Tough

Torture Chamber Of Jobs Were Tough

Steve Naemark MugBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball
(From Jan. 3, 2014 edition)

DOUGLAS, Ariz. — Life can be brutally unfair. Just ask Steve Naemark, sophomore lefthanded pitcher for Cochise College in Arizona.

The reigning Most Outstanding Pitcher at the JUCO World Series last spring who posted a nation-leading 11 wins for the Apaches, is the poster child for never giving up on a dream.

Naemark was a superb pitcher at Mountain View High School in Tucson, AZ and pitched for the Chicago White Sox scout team under Coach Bryan Huie.

He was ultimately offered several college scholarships and accepted one from Central Arizona Junior College. That’s where his torturous journey began.

“I graduated from Mountain View H.S. in 2008, and in July of that year, I was ready to go to Central Arizona after I was awarded a scholarship,” said the 23-year-old Naemark.

“I even put a housing deposit down with the school and told other schools thanks for their offers, but I had committed to Central Arizona.

“Then I got a call from one of their coaches about a month before attending school. He informed me that I would in all likelihood be a bench guy, and they didn’t see me fitting into their plans. He encouraged me to reconsider other offers from other colleges at that point. Naturally, I was shocked at receiving this call so late in the process since I had not thrown even one pitch during the fall or attended one class.”

Naemark’s life was thrown into turmoil after this bombshell was dropped on him.

“My parents then encouraged me to walk on at Pima Community College (in Tucson). But I frankly didn’t like the idea of walking on when I felt I had earned a scholarship to play baseball in college. I briefly attended Pima in the fall of 2008, but failed three classes because I wasn’t motivated and dropped out.

“I signed up for the men’s league in Tucson that fall but stopped playing after two games because I didn’t have the drive to play any more and was totally depressed about life.

“From that point, I went into a stagnant stage in my life. My parents supported me, but they never allowed me to sit around. So I began working at a series of dead-end jobs which helped bring in money for the family.

“First, I worked at Taco Bell for two years. Then I worked at a call center called AFNI for a year. I fielded calls for nine hours a day with a ½ hour lunch allowed. It was horrible because you worked on billing issues with people.

“Then I worked at Eegees (a Tucson fast food establishment) for six months and then worked at McDonalds for another 7-8 months. At McDonalds, I did everything there except bookkeeping as I flipped burgers and made fries to cleaning up messes on tables. The worst job I had there was cleaning the tubes in the playground for kids who slid through. Being 6-foot-2, it was hard on the knees.

“But McDonalds was a steady job as I worked the 4 a.m.-1 p.m. shift, and it was close to home.”

In the four years since graduating from Mountain View High School, he didn’t even pick up a baseball because of the bitter taste he had for the game he once loved.

To read more about how Steve Naemark overcame four years of torture from dead end jobs to become an elite junior college pitcher, purchase the Jan. 3, 2014 edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.

Temple Administrators Vote To Ax Baseball

Temple Administrators Vote To Ax Baseball

Temple LogoPHILADELPHIA, Pa. — In a surprise move, Temple University’s Board of Trustees voted in early December to eliminate seven intercollegiate sports, including the school’s history-rich baseball program, effective July 1, 2014.

Athletic Director Kevin Clark made the recommendation to the board and the move has caused some anger among both students and alumni of the baseball program.

“It was just unbelievable,” Matt Hockenberry, a senior pitcher and team captain, told www.phillynews.com

“In my entire tenure here, I would have never thought that a program like this, with the history it has had, would ever have something like this happen to it.”

School officials cited the need to boost funding for the remaining sports and become more competitive in the new athletic conference it joined this summer.

Many sports facilities need to be upgraded and Title IX considerations also were other reasons given for the move.

The cuts will save more than $3 million of the athletic department’s $44 million budget.

Temple’s baseball program began in 1907 and became a varsity sport in 1927.

The program has sent 15 players to major league baseball, including the late catcher John Marzano, infielder Jeff Manto, pitcher and once time Phillies pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, and outfielder Bobby Higginson, who hit 187 homers in 11 seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

The Owls are currently coach by Ryan Wheeler and were looking forward to building a brighter future. Temple moved to the American Athletic Conference and the baseball team is scheduled to play its season at Campbell’s Field in Camden, home of the Camden Riversharks.

The team finished 18-28 last season, but had some impressive wins, such as a 7-3 victory over Virginia Tech, and was hoping to improve further this season.

The cuts will affect 150 student-athletes (non-seniors) and 9 full time coaching positions. Players will be given an opportunity to transfer.