2002 Player Bios

Will Rodriguez live up to his role of unquestioned leader on the Hurricanes of feel the heat after being snubbed by professional scouts last summer in favor of 13 teammates? All the witty shortstop did was steal a school-record 66 bases, hit .382, drive in 60 runs and add a team-leading 92 hits.

Matt Barket
Fr., OF 6-0, 196
Miami (Columbus)
Strong-armed, first year player that could find himself in the starting line-up later on in the season. Whoever hits in left field will play for Morris. This kid has the potential to develop into a major offensive weapon. Jim Burt Jr. will be looking over his shoulder.

# 18
Chris Bell
So., RHP 6-3, 195
Miami (Columbus)
Red-shirt who did not pitch last season and will be hard-pressed to find any innings this time around. Bell should find himself in the bullpen behind plenty of talented arms. He'll have to sit and wait.

#17 Kiki Bengochea
Jr., RHP 6-2, 195
Miami (Columbus)
Likely to open the season as No. 2 starter behind Roberson. Bengochea (9-4, 4.10) was up and down last season as the Hurricanes third starter and wasn't too over-powering in the regionals. Great kid who many thought would be getting the call on opening night. How will he respond is key to the Hurricanes success because although it's a talented staff questions remain surrounding the rotation.

Vince Bongiovanni
Fr., RHP 6-5, 205
Barrington, IL (Barrington)
Another talented hurler with a big arm that could crack into the Canes pitching plans. If he beat out all the other stud arms.

Brandon Camardese
Fr., LHP 6-0, 195
Cooper City, FL (Chaminade-Madonna)
Draft pick out of high school that has a bright future. Great assortment of pitches, including blazing fastball and nasty breaking stuff. Morris has been impressed and Camardese could be in rotation before too long.

#44 J. D. Cockroft
So., LHP 6-1, 194
Foster City, CA (Bellarmine Prep)
Sticks around in the pen especially coming from the left side. Cockroft will also be pressed for innings if several youngsters develop and leap frog over him. Attended the same high school as former No. 1 overall draft pick and UM All-American Pat Burrell.

Andrew Cohn
So., LHP 6-2, 200
Miami (Palmetto)
Will be used out of the pen after recording 13 k's in 17 innings pitched a year ago…assisted the Florida Bombers of the United States Amateur Baseball Federation to the championship to the championship two years ago by going 6-0. Gave up a homer to Orlando Palmiero in the recent alumni game.

Luke DeBold
Sr., RHP 6-3, 210
Dyer, IN (Andrean)
Was critical down the stretch for the Hurricanes in a set-up role and recorded some key outs in the College World Series.. DeBold, second with a 1.74 ERA, saw action early as the closer before losing out to George Huguet. DeBold will be an important one again if the Hurricanes plans include Omaha,

Greg Dini Jr.
Fr., C 6-2, 195
Longwood, FL (Bishop Moore)
Showed quality hitting skills early, but is a question defensively in the fall. Could be groomed as long-term project.

Ryan Dixon
Fr., RHP 6-1, 195
Seminole, FL (Seminole)
Another flame-thrower who is expected to contribute before too long. Dixon had professional scouts dulling in high school and came close to signing a pro deal. The Hurricanes are lucky he didn't. Dixon has stardom written all over him. Keep an eye on this kid.

Paco Figueroa
Fr., 2B 5-10, 165
Miami, FL (Gulliver Prep)
Defensive wizard who gave Hooft a run for the second base, but his lack of offense might have hurt his chances. Figueroa could figure into the plans if Hooft falters just a little bit. He will be a factor one way or another.

Danny Figueroa
Fr., CF 5-10, 165
Miami (Gulliver)
Figueroa, one of two dynamite twins from right down the street, could lend a spark to the top of the order with blazing speed and a knack for hitting the ball on the ground. This could be the one player that gets things going for Rodriguez and co. Morris says the team won't be as quick as last year's team. Figueroa could prove him wrong.

Richard Gianotti
Fr., OF 6-3, 180
Plantation, FL (St. Thomas Aquinas)
In line to get a shot if the outfield plans don't work out. Has the potential to hit with power and has a strong arm.

Kevin Howard
Jr., 3B 6-3, 185
Thousand Oaks, CA (Westlake)
One of the Hurricanes unquestioned leader that will asked to produce clutch hits when needed. Howard, second last season with a .336 batting average, was overshadowed at time by the likes of Rodriguez, Brown and several others. This season will be different. All eyes will be on the steady hot corner resident. And Howard has the credentials being named Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball 2000 Freshman Player of the Year. Holds UM freshmen single-game records for consecutive times reaching base (14), at bats (8, twice), runs scored (5), doubles (3), homeruns (2) and RBI (7).

George Huguet
So., RHP 6-0, 190
Miami, FL (Barbara Goleman)
Came in last year and quickly assumed closer's role, never losing grip of it. Huguet had 34 strikeouts in 44 innings with a 2.03 and rarely showed the nerves of a first-year play even in the College World Series. How effective Huguet can be again this season remains to be seen considering the questions surrounding the pitching staff. Huguet can't save games if the ball doesn't find his hand.

Danny Matienzo
Jr., C 5-11, 190
Miami, FL (Columbus)
Counted on to continue his emergence as a power hitter after hitting close to .700 in last year's College World Series, in which many thought he should have taken the Most Outstanding Player honors. Matienzo returns as the Hurricanes leading home run hitter from a year ago and has worked relentlessly on his defensive skills in the off-season. Is this the year he puts it all together. Inside Matienzo had a hunch he would be the starting catcher, but Morris kept him working all fall by not telling him anything. And he'll pull Matienzo just as quick. The pressure is on with Erick San Pedro closing in quickly.

Alex Perez
Fr., 6-1, 185
Miami, FL (South Miami)
Member of a state championship team with the Cobras, but should be stuck behind Rodriguez for the time being. Could figure in the future for the Hurricanes, especially with Rodriguez in his final season

Haas Pratt
So., 6-3, 215
Arvada, CO (Rancho Bernardo)
Had good fall and could get plenty of time at first base despite losing out to Dryer to start the season after playing on a limited basis a year ago. Pratt is another of the players with the ability to turn into a power source when and if he can crack the line-up.

T. J. Prunty
So., RHP 6-3, 205
Inner Grove Heights, MN (St. Paul Academy)
Will get the chance he never thought he would on the football field- as a starter. After being used little last season, Prunty arrives as the No. 3 starter after an effective fall season. Prunty, drafted in the 20th round by the Minnesota Twins out of high school, has the ability to beat anybody on the UM schedule, says Morris.

Javy Rodriguez
Sr., SS 5-11, 188
Miami, FL (Gulliver Prep)
Will Rodriguez live up to his role of unquestioned leader on the Hurricanes of feel the heat after being snubbed by professional scouts last summer in favor of 13 teammates? All the witty shortstop did was steal a school-record 66 bases, hit .382, drive in 60 runs and add a team-leading 92 hits. Rodriguez is quick to shutdown the possibility of being snubbed as a distraction, but he could be out to prove that last year was no fluke. At the same time, get the Canes back in Omaha and become the first player baseball player in school history with three championship rings.

Brad Safchik
Sr., OF 5-9, 180
Miami, FL (Gulliver Prep)
Little used transfer that could play in the outfield and is strong defensively. Had eight hits and two runs scored in 32 games. Safchik won't play much this season as well if the kids in the outfield get out of the blocks fast.

Erick San Pedro
Fr., C 5-11, 178
Hialeah, FL (Monsignor Pace)
Strong player who has been getting rave reviews from the start. Was launching balls all over Mark Light in the fall and has shown good skills. He pushed Matienzo the entire fall and could be a factor as soon as this year.

Ryan Snier
Fr., RHP 6-6, 200
Coral Springs, FL (Coral Springs)
Good size and stuff. Where he'll fit in this crowded bunch remains to be seen.

Dan Touchet
So., RHP 6-2, 202
West Palm Beach, FL (West Palm Beach)
Pitched in 13 games a year ago with missed results, but coaches like his arm and Touchet will get plenty of work either as spot starter or out of the pen. Talented pitcher who wad drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round in the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft.

Shawn Valdes-Fauli
Fr., RHP 6-2, 185
Miami, FL (Columbus)
First-year pitcher who made the squad as a walk-on. Still developing and could be a future project.

Vince Vasquez
Jr., RHP 6-3, 215
Miramar, FL (Chaminade-Madonna)
Showed overpowering ability with 20 k's in 16 innings pitched after coming back from elbow surgery that wiped out his 2000 campaign, but was only 2-1 with a 6.43 ERA. Vasquez looks in top form and has pitched well in the fall. Morris says he will be used a lot.

Jim Burt Jr.
So., LF 5-11, 220
Allendale, NJ (Bergen Catholic)
A weight room buff who will get the chance to show off all that potential power that this line-up is in dire need of. Could be a liability defensively, but again Morris loves offense out in left field and Burt has been selected to shoulder the duties. Son of UM Hall of Famer and former pro football player Jim Bur

Alex Blanco
Fr., SS 5-10, 182
Miami (Gulliver Prep)
Member of state championship team at Westminster Christian that has the ability of playing several positions. Could come in handy if the Canes suffer a key injury or if one of the young players struggles from the outset. Was red-shirted last season

Matt Dryer
Sr., 1B 6-2,195
Rochester, NY (Indian River CC)
The departure of Kevin Brown has opened the door for Dryer, drafted out of high school by the San Francisco Giants. Hit .233 in limited playing time last year and fanned 15 times. Dryer is another of the players that could develop into a power threat for the Canes.

# 9
Joey Hooft
Fr., 2B 5-10, 175
Reno, NV (Galena)
Came in and impressed Morris during the fall and engaged in a battle for the open second base job with Paco Figueroa, another talented freshman. Hooft is solid with the glove and is another of the guys that could cause trouble with his speedy nature.

Kevin Mannix
Jr., RF 6-1, 209
Syosset, NY (Syosset)
Hot and cold during long stretches last year, Mannix could is the one being called upon to anchor an inexperienced outfield. He showed flashes of stardom as a freshman finishing in the top five in numerous offensive categories and their hoping he can do it all over again. Hit .328 last year, although he left plenty of runners on the base paths.

Troy Roberson
Jr., RHP 6-2, 203
Royal Palm Beach , FL (King's Academy)
Perhaps the best story on the Hurricanes as the team's opening night pitcher. Which seemed out of reach after Roberson missed all of last year and most of the 2000 season with elbow problems. Roberson was 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA as the Canes No. 2 starter before going down with the injury. Roberson look trim and fit and according to the staff is throwing better than ever. Pitched 21 innings as a freshman in 1999. He will be juiced Saturday night.

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