Head Of The Class
Jan. 28, 2004
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State's baseball team has four players that Baseball America magazine ranks among the top 50 players among all those in their class year heading into the 2004 season. Righthanded pitcher Ben Rowe is rated the 13th-best senior, lefthanded pitcher Jake Postlewait is rated the 40th-best senior, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is rated the 29th-best sophomore, and righthanded pitcher Dallas Buck is rated the 33rd-best freshman.
Rowe (Perth, Australia/Greenwood HS) was drafted in the 24th round by the Texas Rangers following the 2003 season but chose to return to Oregon State for his senior season. Rowe also had opportunities to sign with the Minnesota Twins while still in Australia; he is a two-time Pacific-10 All-Academic honorable mention selection.
Postlewait (Corvallis, Ore./Corvallis HS) was not drafted after last season but was approached by several professional teams about signing during an outstanding summer in the Alaska League. Despite missing almost three weeks of the season, he was an All-Pacific-10 first team selection after going 5-1 with a 3.43 earned run average.
Ellsbury (Madras, Ore./Madras HS) was a Freshman All-America selection by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball newspaper last season, when he batted .330 with seven home runs, 33 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases. Also an outstanding fielder, he had been drafted in the 23rd round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after his senior year of high school but chose to attend OSU.
Buck (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) had been rated the 46th-best prospect in the nation by Baseball America during his senior year of high school. He was drafted in the 19th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates but opted to attend OSU to play both baseball and football; as a defensive back and special teams player, he was the only true freshman to play for the Beavers last fall.
Oregon State starts its season Feb. 13-15 at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The Beavers' home schedule begins March 12-14 with a series against Gonzaga at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.