2010 WAC Baseball Newcomers

Baseball kicks off in two weeks with the Alumni Game on February 13. Inside Sparta takes a peek at some of the newcomers in the Western Athletic Conference, including freshman and transfers.

Everyone loves lists. Everyone especially loves preseason lists as it shows hope for the future. Why should I be any different? I thought I might try something new; a newcomers list or, the best of the freshmen and transfers in the WAC. How'd I choose? You mean besides flipping a coin. I was pretty arbitrary. If a kid had been drafted, I figured that was good enough for me. I also checked what other lists they might have made. I also checked what coaches were saying. I also want you to note that if this list is compared to the All-WAC Freshman Team or All-WAC team at the end of the year, that there will probably be few that go from "my" list to the official ones. I expect more than a few to follow through on expectations, however, because preseason hype is not always wrong. Anyway, here it is. Freshman to be watched? Carlos Escobar from Nevada.

2010 Preseason All-WAC Newcomers Team

INFIELDERS
  Garrett Weber  Fresno State
  Justin Charles Fresno State
  Clay Cederquist Fresno State
  Kalani Brackenridge Hawaii
  Taylor Terrasas Louisiana Tech
  Wesley Starkes New Mexico State
  Joe Koerper New Mexico State

OUTFIELDERS
  Breland Almadova Hawaii
  Trevor Bloom  Sacramento State
  Ronnie Mitchell, II Nevada
  Brian Barnett Nevada

CATCHERS
  David Freitas  Hawaii
  Zac Fisher  New Mexico State
  Carlos Escobar Nevada

PITCHERS
  Zack Jones  San Jose State
  David Wayne Russo  San Jose State
  Blake McFarland San Jose State
  Drew Bradshaw San Jose State
  Trevor Peterson Louisiana Tech
  Phillip Menou Louisiana Tech
  Brandon Creel Sacramento State
  Jason Hampton Sacramento State
  Russell Havens  Sacramento State
  Ryan Canak New Mexico State

I will compare the teams based on what I see on the above list and not the overall recruiting class. San Jose State needs pitchers more than anything and someone to replace Kyle Bellows. They have four pitchers on this list and one shortstop. They did well. Fresno State needs to get a little more hitting than they did last year and growth from their pitching. They got the hitting (at least potentially) and there are a few others that I didn't list that could help in a big way. Hawaii needs a bit of everything as they did poorly down the stretch. They picked up an outstanding infielder, outfielder, and a catcher which pretty much covers it. They may hurt at pitching. Louisiana Tech needs to replace a few hitters and hope that their pitching improves as it did down the stretch last year. They picked up an infielder and two top notch pitchers. I like LaTech this year; a lot. New Mexico State will always hit but they need to improve their pitching. They picked up two infielders (one with power) and a pitcher. I find their results hard to decide if they did well or if they did "ehh!" Sacramento State needs help in most areas if they are to get out of the cellar. Coach Smith retires at the end of this year and I'm certain he wants to end it on a high note. They picked up a good outfielder and three pitchers. That's exactly what the doctor ordered. Nevada didn't impress much of the year so I don't know what they really need to kick it in to high gear. What they got were two outfielders and an outstanding catcher.

Overall, it looks like all the teams picked up a good player or two. The Spartans got two outstanding pitchers in Jones and Russo. Fresno also did well in getting Cederquist and Weber and a very late transfer from Arizona that may make all the difference in the world. Nevada picked up what I believe may be the Freshman-of-the-year in Escobar. I'm impressed with him. LaTech got Trevor Peterson which may be the Freshman Pitcher-of-the-Year in Peterson.

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Don Starks is the Baseball Editor of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at don@insidesparta.com

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