Bozar's SJSU Baseball Pre Season Review

Of the returning outfielders, Ryan Angel looks to be the only lock. He'll be a senior and he hit .318 last year with 5 homeruns. Donato Giovanatto hit .286 last year as a junior.

Hi SJS baseball fans,

ST.com asked me about a month ago if I'd be willing to write an "article" about how next year's team looks.

Well, here's a start:

So, how does it look to me?

Outfield will be a problem with no power. Infield will be a strong suit along with pitching. This no power really bothers me since your pitching has to be so outstanding to compensate for the lack of it.

Is the staff as it stands now capable of that?

As a fan I hope so, but I think they will again be a little better than last year but don't expect a really good year; hope for one.

I'm a fan of SJS sports. I follow (mostly) football, basketball, and baseball and not particularly in that order. I played a little college baseball and I still coach at the high school level (and teach).

So, I guess it's a life time love affair with team sports.

Baseball is my true passion and I've died too many times following the Giants.

I only started following SJS after I got out of the Army (1970) and they had pretty decent teams way back then with some players in the bigs. It's been awhile. I joined this list recently and have made a few posts.

I also have thought long and hard about the level of commitment I want to make to this list as well as Spartan baseball.

A certain member of this list suggested I write an article on the state of SJS baseball and where it is going short term. Some of the things that I find hard to figure is how hard it is to find good stats on new players (let alone returning).

With that in mind I present to you my feelings and opinions on the upcoming year. If you find glaring errors, be nice but let me (and the rest of our readers) know what's right.

Remember, I am passionate about SJS also and want them to win. Remember what it felt like when they went to Omaha. We all would like that feeling again.

That goes for the other sports also.

As I see it the three incoming freshmen from our area will probably push for starting positions.

Of the returning outfielders, Ryan Angel looks to be the only lock. He'll be a senior and he hit .318 last year with 5 homeruns. Donato Giovanatto hit .286 last year as a junior.

Greg Fyfe and Aaron Lowenthal are the only other returning outfielders I have. Fyfe hit .311 and Lowenthal .268 and had one HR between them. The Spartans need help here.

Dylan Bruck out of Oregon is a juco player that should offer some; he had 6 homeruns and was an all league selection. As far as I can tell, that's the outfield so don't expect a lot of pop from them.

Infield is should be strong. Returning players include John Shaffer at SS who will be a sophomore. He will be pushed by incoming freshman Kyle Bellows.

I don't know anything about Bellows' arm or range. Nice problem to have a returning SO and incoming FR. Senior Ben Agatep will have trouble finding playing time. Incoming FR Karson Klauer from San Benito will have a good chance to show his stuff. His record shows some power.

His buddy Breyon Canez could get substantial time at 1B. Incoming Sophomores from up north are Marcus McKimmy and Sonny Garza. Garza and McKimmy both hit .263 with no homeruns according to a website.

I checked. Another freshman, Cory Valine (great name) could be the best of the bunch.

Catchers are always going to be a hard position to evaluate. Everyone wants one who can hit a ton but any coach will put up with a poor hitter if the kid can play the position, can handle pitchers, and knows the game.

With that in mind, returning senior Brody Massman probably gets the nod as starter. He hit .241 but had a lot of at bats so he was there most of the time.

Justin Santich-Hughes is the other returning senior who played more than a few innings but showed little with the bat hitting .220.

Incoming players are Justin Torento (freshman) and previously mentioned Cory Valine. I suspect that both of these guys can hit but at this level? So, three catchers.

Returning pitching is also strong with Josh Amberson and Loren Moneypenny leading the returners.

Moneypenny had a lot of strikeouts but a high ERA so hope for some improvement from him. Greg Shannon was a freshman reliever last year so a year under his belt should help. Any freshman help here? You bet.

Look for Hollister's Breyon Canez to get some time but I don't know if as a starter or relief. Incoming freshman Kyle Bellows was a reliever in high school so time will tell where he'll play; infield or pitcher doubtful both.

Another freshman, Spencer Snodgrass, had a high strikeout to inning ratio with an ERA of 1.2 his senior year in Turlock. Looking at his stats it says he's 5'11'' and 225 pounds. Hmm. More like an outside linebacker I'd say.

I want to see this kid. Scott Sobczak is a juco transfer and had a good 2.34 ERA and a good strikeout to innings pitched ratio. He has good pitcher size at 6'2'' and 220.

Of the returning outfielders, Ryan Angel looks to be the only lock. He'll be a senior and he hit .318 last year with 5 homeruns. Donato Giovanatto hit .286 last year as a junior.

Greg Fyfe and Aaron Lowenthal are the only other returning outfielders I have. Fyfe hit .311 and Lowenthal .268 and had one homerun between them. The Spartans need help here. Dylan Bruck out of Oregon is a juco player that should offer some; he had 6 homeruns and was an all league selection. As far as I can tell, that's the outfield so don't expect a lot of pop from them.

Infield should be strong.

Returning players include John Shaffer at SS who will be a sophomore. He will be pushed by incoming freshman Kyle Bellows. I don't know anything about Bellows' arm or range. Nice problem to have a returning SO and incoming FR.

Senior Ben Agatep will have trouble finding playing time. Incoming FR Karson Klauer from Hollister will have a good chance to show his stuff at 2B.

His record shows some power. His buddy Breyon Canez could get substantial time at 1B. Incoming juniors from up north are Marcus McKimmy and Sonny Garza. Garza and McKimmy both hit .263 with no homeruns according to a website I checked.

I don't see them pushing for starting positions. Another freshman, Cory Valine (great name) could be the best of the bunch. I saw his name pop up on "possible" all state selection lists.

Catchers are always going to be a hard position to evaluate. Everyone wants one who can hit a ton but any coach will put up with a poor hitter if the kid can play the position, can handle pitchers, and knows the game.

With that in mind, returning senior Brody Massman probably gets the nod as starter. He hit .241 but had a lot of at bats so he was there most of the time and knows the staff.

Justin Santich-Hughes is the other returning senior who played more than a few innings but showed little with the bat hitting .220. Incoming players are Justin Torento (freshman) and previously mentioned Cory Valine. I suspect that both of these guys can hit but at this level? So, three catchers.

Returning pitching is also strong with Josh Amberson and Loren Moneypenny leading the returners. Moneypenny had a lot of strikeouts but a high ERA so hope for some improvement from him. Greg Shannon was a freshman reliever last year so a year under his belt should help.

Any freshman help here? You bet.

Look for Hollister's Breyon Canez to get some time since I think he's a leftie but I don't know if as a starter or relief. Incoming freshman Kyle Bellows was a reliever in high school so time will tell where he'll play; infield or pitcher doubtful both.

Another freshman, Spencer Snodgrass, had a high strikeout to inning ratio with an ERA of 1.2 his senior year in Turlock. Looking at his stats it says he's 5'11'' and 225 pounds. Hmm. More like an outside linebacker I'd say.

I want to see this kid. Scott Sobczak is a juco transfer with a good 2.34 ERA and a good strikeout to innings pitched ratio. He has good pitcher size at 6'2'' and 220.

This no power thing really bothers me since your pitching has to be so outstanding to compensate for the lack of it. Is the staff as it stands now capable of that?

As a fan I hope so, but I think they will again be a little better than last year but don't expect a really good year; hope for one.


Inside TheSpartans Top Stories