The Baseball Blog - Fall Ball Is Here

Sept. 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

The blog has been off for the past few months while baseball season went into the offseason. Well, offseason for the fans and support staff anyway as the players all headed to various parts of the country for summer ball.

That time is over, though, as the team is back at Goss Stadium for fall workouts. The club met for the first time last week and got its first practice in on Thursday. They’re out there six days a week, roughly, mostly in the afternoon. We’ll have some pictures at some point and further information regarding scrimmages and other things of interest. I’m not sure exactly what the schedule is yet, but I’m anticipating fall ball going into late October, maybe even early November. That will all depend on what Coach Casey and his coaching staff want to do.

For now, an early report on fall ball was written by Brooks Hatch of the local GT today.

Also, rivals.com has the Beavers as one of 30 teams to watch this fall. Wrote Kendall Rogers: “There’s a good chance the Beavers will compete with Arizona State for the Pac-10 title. OSU returned to the postseason last year after failing to make a regional two seasons ago. They ended the year in the Fort Worth Regional. OSU should return to hosting a regional if everything goes as planned this fall and in the spring. The Beavers must replace position players Ryan Ortiz and Joey Wong and pitcher Jorge Reyes, but otherwise are in good shape. The pitching staff will be excellent with Sam Gaviglio, Kraig Sitton, Tyler Waldron, Kevin Rhoderick and Greg Peavey leading the way. The offense is a question mark, but freshman Andrew Susac is expected to be a solid replacement for Ortiz. It should be an exciting fall.”

Of course, Kendall also wrote about the top 10 football/baseball schools in the nation, and LSU took the top spot (which not many could argue with that). The only schools represented are in the ACC, SEC and Big 12. You can’t really argue with too many of the selections, but I’d certainly hope that if there was an “also voted for” list of teams, the Beavers would be there. What the OSU football and baseball teams have done the last 4-5 years is simply unprecedented in school history. And it doesn’t look like either team is going to stop anytime soon. It’s a great time to be a Beaver.

What’s New

Since the blog has been away, there have been a few things that have happened with OSU baseball and former players that are of interest. The first is in regards to Marty Lees being promoted to Associate Head Coach. Marty will be in his ninth season with the Beavers in 2010 and has worked his way up from being a volunteer assistant coach his first few seasons. He’s also the team’s recruiting coordinator and unofficially has the team lead in most pairs of sunglasses (it doesn’t seem like he ever takes them off on the field, does it?).

There’s also Mitch Canham getting invited to the prestigious Arizona Fall League. This is a pretty big deal for Mitch, who ended the year at Double-A and has to be considered as a top prospect in San Diego’s system. It looks like next year he’ll have a good chance at being in Portland and closer to all us Beaver fans. He’ll be playing for the Peoria Saguaros and some of his teammates include former Vanderbilt lefty Mike Minor (who nearly shut out OSU to start the 2008 season), former Stanford catcher Jason Castro and Jason Heyward, who is considered one of the best prospects in Atlanta’s system. If Mitch has any questions about the AFL, I’m sure he’ll call OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie, who played in the league in 1999 while a member of the Minnesota Twins organization.

There’s also Jacoby Ellsbury etching his way into Boston’s record books. He stole his 55th base a couple weeks ago and became Boston’s single-season stolen base record holder, breaking Tommy Harper’s mark that stood for 36 years. The Red Sox are primed to back in the playoffs this season, which would put Jacoby in the postseason for the third time in as many years (not a bad way to start a career).

Then there’s Andrew Susac, one of OSU’s incoming players this season. The Beavers’ catcher was rated as the No. 1 prospect in the West Coast League by Baseball America. Andrew batted .205 in the league, proving he had a hard go of it against some top collegiate pitching, but also threw out 13-of-30 baserunners attempting to steal, which is a 43-percent clip (pretty impressive for a guy just out of high school). He also picked off five runners, so there are some serious tools right there.

Another summer ball note: Stefen Romero won a Cape Cod League Championship with the Bourne Braves. Stefen was all smiles at practice on Monday when he was asked what he thought about it. You can tell he really enjoyed getting out there and getting a championship under his belt. Maybe a precursor?

Get In On A Chat

 The Athletics Communications Office here at OSU has begun a series of chats on osubeavers.com. We’re running these chats on football game days (yours truly is the host for home games) and other selected days. On Wednesday of this week, at 12:30 p.m., a student-athlete chat with Keaton Kristick will take place, which follows one with Sean Canfield from last week.

I’d like to get some baseball players involved in these chats as well, especially when they have some more time during fall practice. Who would you be interested in having in a chat? Whom would you like to ask a question? Email me at hank.hager@oregonstate.edu and throw some ideas my way. These chats are dependent on you, the fan, so I’d love to hear who you’d want to talk to.  

For Those Of You In Medford

 For those of you in the Medford area, on Thursday, Coach Casey and Todd Stansbury will be at the Rogue Valley Country Club for a Beaver Chalk Talk. It starts at 6 p.m . PT so if you are in the area, make sure to stop by and listen to what Coach Casey and Todd have to say.

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