Baseball Season Recap

At the beginning of the season, Pat Murphy said being picked to win the Pac 10 was a bad joke. While that might have been a stretch, it wasn't a given that ASU would even finish in the top half of the league after their personnel losses from 2008. Yet, a team full of freshman and newcomers somehow won a third straight conference title and finished 3rd in the College World Series.

Here are the season-end evaluations of each of the Sun Devil players:

#2 Zack MacPhee

Final 2009 Stats: .270 4 HR 39 RBI

Review: In what was an up and down season for MacPhee, it was overall a good freshman season for the local product. His play often got overshadowed by Drew Maggi's outstanding season, but MacPhee became a solid lower of the lineup hitter for the Devils. As most freshmen are, MacPhee would have a great game and follow it up with one that leaves a lot to be desired. The talent was certainly on display and a bright future is ahead for MacPhee.

#3 Jordan Swagerty

Final 2009 Stats: 4-1, 4.50 ERA in 58 innings

Review: Another freshman who had an up and down season. Confusion held back Swagerty early, not knowing if he was a pitcher or a hitter kind of slowed him at the start of the season and it showed on the mound. Once Pat Murphy committed to Swagerty as a pitcher, the freshman showed flashes of brilliance, but also that he was still a freshman. Swagerty will be a starting pitcher eventually for ASU and will have a shot at a rotation spot next season. He has good stuff and throws strikes, something that will only benefit him down the road.

#4 Mike Murphy

Final 2009 Stats: .222 0 HR 5 RBI

Review: Unfortunately, the preseason starting shortstop didn't have the kind of senior season he wanted to, mostly due to a groin injury that cost him most of the year. With the injury and Maggi grabbing the shortstop job, Murphy's senior year consisted of just 18 at bats. Now he must hope to get a free agent contract from a team.

#8 Mike Leake

Final 2009 Stats: 16-1, 1.71 ERA, 142 IP, .303 0 HR 4 RBI

Review: What more can be said about Mike Leake. The junior was one of the top pitchers in the nation once again and carried this young Devils team with his leadership on and off of the field. There will not be many better to don the Maroon and Gold than Leake, not just on the field performance, but in character, class and a great representation of the program. Now Leake moves on to the Reds organization and we will see him back when he gets inducted into the College Hall of Fame.

#11 Matt Newman

Final 2009 Stats: .305 7 HR 54 RBI, 2-1 4.59 ERA 33.1 IP

Review: A season ending slump will take away from a good season from Matt Newman. There is no doubt the talent is there from Newman, but now it is about putting it all together consistently. Newman is going to be expected to help fill the offensive load lost by Kipnis and Ramirez next season. In what will be a huge junior season, Newman must step up and be a middle of the lineup hitter. My best guess is that his third year starting in the Pac 10 will be a very good one for Newman. On the mound, Newman will likely fill his same role next year, as a long relief and mid-week pitcher. He is what he is on the hill, nothing special but will get the job done.

#13 Austin Barnes

Final 2009 Stats: .412 0 HR 2 RBI

Review: With Carlos Ramirez starting every game, there is not much playing time for the backup. If you ask the staff at ASU, they will rave about the improvement made by Barnes. This was his first year as a catcher and he learned really fast how to play the position. In limited at bats, Barnes looked solid; he hit the ball hard almost every time. Next season, he will have the shot to compete with Xorge Carillo for playing time behind the plate.

#15 Brandon Magee

Final 2009 Stats: 0-12

Review: Just when Magee was starting to get into his groove with baseball, a football injury cost him playing time on the diamond. If Brandon Magee sticks with baseball, the potential is there for them to be a big time hitter down the road. The big linebacker put on shows in batting practice at times, but is super raw. He may never develop as a ballplayer, just because he can't commit the time. Magee certainly is committed to baseball, because he once drove to LA and back on his own to be with his team for one game during spring football.

#20 Abe Ruiz

Final 2009 Stats: .345 1 HR 19 RBI

Review: Ruiz performed well in a part time role this season and certainly showed talent with the bat. Ruiz drove in 19 in just 55 at bats, proving that he can be a run producer. While his bat is big, his defense limits him to first base, where he will have a tough time starting over Riccio Torrez. Look for Ruiz to find his way into the lineup quite a bit next season as a DH.

#22 Jared McDonald

Final 2009 Stats: .246 5 HR 22 RBI

Review: Mark McDonald down as a disappointment at the plate in 2009, but performed very well in the field. The natural shortstop moved to first base and played great defensively at a new position, but never could get going with the bat. McDonald will have a tough choice to make, as he was drafted and will likely sign with the White Sox because a starting spot isn't guaranteed at ASU next season. While McDonald is good defensively, he just doesn't put up the offensive numbers needed at first base. McDonald did show promise by hitting better down the stretch and has the talent to be a solid contributor, but likely won't return.

#23 Johnny Ruettiger

Final 2009 Stats: .360 1 HR 13 RBI

Review: A sort of unknown coming into his freshman season, Ruettiger was certainly known after starting every postseason game as the DH. Next season, Ruettiger will certainly be the top choice to replace Jason Kipnis in the outfield and certainly will get at bats at the plate. Ruettiger is just one of the many freshmen to be excited about if you are an ASU fan. Ruettiger has great speed, stole 12 bases and gets on base quite a bit, so don't be surprised to see him near the top of the lineup.

#25 Zach Wilson

Final 2009 Stats: .275 0 HR 9 RBI

Review: Wilson got at bats early, but didn't see many late, mostly because of Ruettiger. Unless Wilson finds a true position, it is going to be a fight for consistent at bats next season. Wilson has the ability to be a big time hitter; he just doesn't have the defensive ability yet. Wilson will take what could have been the potential game winning hit in the College World Series to the offseason with him, which will be huge for him to gain more at bats next season.

#28 Jason Kipnis

Final 2009 Stats: .384 16 HR 71 RBI

Review: The move for Kipnis to return for his junior season turned into a great move for the centerfielder. Kipnis won the Pac 10 Player of the Year award and proved that he wasn't just a product of hitting in a great lineup his sophomore season. Kipnis was a five tool player this season for ASU, stealing 27 bases and playing a great defensive centerfield. Now he moves onto the Indians where his future could be in the infield.

#29 Raoul Torrez

Final 2009 Stats: .250 1 HR 26 RBI

Review: One of the ore disappointing seasons came from Raoul Torrez. He struggled with the move to third base and never got settled at the plate. However, Torrez did a fine job leading a young group of Devils and may have had a bigger impact off of the field and as a leader than he did actually playing. Torrez is likely to sign after being drafted, because like McDonald, there may not be a guaranteed spot in the lineup next season.

#30 Riccio Torrez

Final 2009 Stats: .280 6 HR 37 RBI

Review: Overall, it was a successful freshman season for the younger Torrez and he showed the potential that he has in his bat. Torrez improved as the season went on at first base and that spot is his to lose next season. A wrist injury kept him from being himself in the postseason, but Devils' fans still should be excited about the future. Riccio Torrez will be a good one before his time is done.

#36 Jeeter Ishida

Final 2009 Stats: 3.52 ERA in 7.2 IP

Review: Ishida was used sparingly in his freshman season, but showed ability to contribute as a reliever down the road. The side armed Hawaiian will never be a star, but could develop into a guy that can get outs in mid-week games or in middle relief.

#37 Drew Maggi

Final 2009 Stats: .309 0 HR 24 RBI

Review: Maggi came out of nowhere to firmly grasp the starting shortstops job and become an igniter for the ASU offense. The speedy Maggi was a key ingredient to the Devils success this season and is only going to get better at getting on base and using his speed to set up the run producers. With potential boppers in the program, ASU has a true leadoff hitter that will be there to drive in.

#40 Mitchell Lambson

Final 2009 Stats: 9-5, 3.01 ERA in 83.2 IP

Review: Pat Murphy said Lambson was a kid that was determined to be a Sun Devil since a young age and boy did his hard work and persistence pay off. Lambson came out of nowhere to become a Freshman All-American and save the Devils many, many times. Now the next step will be taking himself into the rotation, as he will have a great shot at grabbing one of the three weekend starter spots vacated by Spence and Leake. Lambson's season ended in a real tough way and hopefully didn't take away the great season that he had.

#43 Seth Blair

Final 2009 Stats: 7-2, 3.32 ERA in 77 IP

Review: Seth Blair won't get the credit he deserved in 2009, because he was overshadowed by Leake and Spence. No longer will that be the case. Blair will now be the guy for Pat Murphy and will have to step up and led the pitching staff. The stuff certainly is there, now it is about consistently putting it all together with pace and mechanics. He looked like an ace at a lot of times last season, but now will have to fill the shoes.

#45 Josh Spence

Final 2009 Stats: 10-1, 2.37 ERA in 102.2 IP

Review: No player stepped up and carried the Devils this season than Josh Spence. The Australian's one season in Tempe will never be forgotten. From early season domination, to an injury that was supposed to keep him out for the season, to miraculously returning to send the team to the World Series and winning two games in Omaha. Spence is a unique pitcher, but also a tough and fierce competitor that has a bright future ahead of him.

#46 Andy Workman

Final 2009 Stats: .292 0 HR 7 RBI

Review: Workman saw a little bit of increased playing time in his sophomore season and will have the chance to earn more for next season. He gives Pat Murphy options in center field next season, but will also give depth to the outfield, considering Kole Calhoun and Matt Newman will both pitch next season.

#49 Kole Calhoun

Final 2009 Stats: .313 12 HR 53 RBI

Review: The same people calling for Calhoun to be removed from the lineup early in the season were the ones praising him for his unbelievable postseason. Calhoun obliterated pitching in Omaha and that is a good sign for ASU next season. Calhoun is very similar to Jason Kipnis, where now he becomes the guy in the lineup for next season. ASU got a big break that he wasn't drafted and now will return to anchor the lineup next year.

#51 Jake Borup

Final 2009 Stats: 2.25 ERA in 8IP

Review: Like Ishida, Borup didn't get a lot of innings, but will be given a shot to earn a role in the bullpen for next season. This offseason will be big for guys like Borup, because he can't fall behind the next group of pitchers that will be coming into Tempe.

#55 Carlos Ramirez

Final 2009 Stats: .338 19 HR 75 RBI

Review: Like Spence, Ramirez's only season at ASU will be remembered for awhile. Not only did he lead the team in home runs and RBI, but he caught every game and had a big part of the best ASU pitching staff in years. His defense was phenomenal, but his bat gave ASU another home run threat that let Kipnis hit in the two hole. Carlos Ramirez will now turn the reigns over to another junior college catcher that has big shoes to fill.

#56 Jason Franzblau

Final 2009 Stats: 3-2, 2.32 ERA in 50.1 IP

Review: Franzblau had a very successful senior season on the mound and gave Murphy a good mid-week option and became a reliable reliever down the stretch. His best performance in his two year ASU career came when he tossed a complete game shutout against his former team, Winthrop. Every good team needs a guy like Jason and his stats from this season should get him a free agent contract.

#58 Kyle Brule

Final 2009 Stats: 2.79 ERA in 9.2 ERA

Review: Brule fits into the same category of Ishida and Borup, as guys that have to earn a role on the pitching staff. Brule, at the most, will be a reliever that will pitch in long relief.


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