Baseball: Corbin signs a dandy dozen

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt Head Baseball Coach Tim Corbin has announced the signing of 12 players for the 2006 season from eight different states, including Tennessee, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Maine, California, Arizona, and Connecticut. "We signed two of the Top 20 players in the country as well as six of the Top 120," Corbin said.

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt Head Baseball Coach Tim Corbin has announced the signing of 12 players for the 2006 season from eight different states, including Tennessee, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Maine, California, Arizona, and Connecticut.

The 2005 class consists of ten high school players and two junior college players. Four of the signees are ranked in Baseball America's Top 100 national rankings, four are ranked tops in their state and two are ranked second in their state.

"In the three years that our staff has been recruiting here at Vanderbilt, this group of student-athletes is the strongest we've had up to this point and will be looked upon as one of the top recruiting classes in the country," Corbin said.

"We signed two of the Top 20 players in the country as well as seven of the Top 130. Also significant was the fact that we signed the No. 1 rated players from the state of Arizona, Maine, Connecticut and New York.

"I wish we could rest knowing that this class will stay intact until August, but the recruiting process has just begun because many of these kids are very high on the radar with major league teams," Corbin added.

The last two Commodore baseball recruiting classes have been ranked in the nation's Top 25, including a No. 19 ranking for the 2004 class. The 2005 Vanderbilt Class has already been mentioned by various national outlets as one of the best in the country.

Corbin credits recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich for the consistent quality of Vanderbilt's recruiting classes. "Our staff worked extremely hard to put this class together, but I must single out the tireless efforts of our recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich. He is without question one of the very best at what he does and it is one of the main reasons we are able to coach such good players".

The Commodores are coming off their most successful season in school history with a school record 45 wins and their first-ever trip the NCAA Super Regional after sweeping the Charlottesville (Va.) Regional. Vanderbilt opens the 2005 season Feb. 18 with a three-game series with VMI at Hawkins Field.

2005 Vanderbilt Baseball Signees

Pedro Alvarez • 6-2 • 195 • 3B • L/R • New York, NY • Horace Mann High School
National Ranking: 91 State Ranking: 1
Alvarez is a very highly touted prospect and one of the top players in the country. He is ranked the #91 overall national prospect, the #1 prospect in the state of New York, and the #1 position player in the Northeast Region by Baseball America. He led Horace Mann High School to a State Championship last season and has also starred on the powerhouse Bayside Yankees traveling team for the past two years. A premium left handed hitter, Alvarez is an offensive force with power to all fields.

Nick Christiani • 6-0 • 175 • RHP • R/R • Linden, NJ • Seton Hall Prep
National Ranking: 110 State Ranking: 2
Christiani is a very high profile pitcher and one of the Northeast's top players. He is ranked the #110 overall prospect in the country and the #2 prospect in New Jersey by Baseball America. He also excelled for the elite Bayside Yankees as their #1 starter and led the team to a Final 4 finish this past October at the WWBA Championships in Fort Myers, FL. He is extremely competitive on the mound and equipped with a fast ball in the 88-92 mph range, as well as a good CB and CH.

Ryan Flaherty • 6-3 • 185 • SS • L/R • Portland, Maine • Deering High School
National Ranking: 122 State Ranking: 1
Flaherty is the nation's #122 overall rated player and is also tabbed as the top prospect in the state of Maine by Baseball America. Flaherty is extremely athletic and a standout two-sport athlete at Deering High School in football and baseball. Last year he guided the Deering Rams to State Championships in both sports. This past summer, he led his Portland Legion Baseball Team to a National Championship as they captured the American Legion World Series crown in Corvalis, Ore. Ryan's father, Ed Flaherty, who is entering his 20th season as the Head Baseball Coach at the University of Southern Maine, has won two National Championships, six Regional titles, and will be inducted to the ABCA Hall of Fame in January, 2005.

Diallo Fon • 6-0 • 190 • OF • L/L • Suison City, Calif. • Las Lomas High School
National Ranking: 42 State Ranking: 7
Fon is considered to be one of the best hitters in the 2005 class. He is ranked the #42 overall national prospect by Baseball America, the 7th overall prospect in the state of California, and one of the Top-10 outfielders in the country. He was named an AFLAC All-American this past summer and excelled for the elite NorCal Baseball traveling team. Fon is a very polished outfielder and has tremendous instincts defensively and on the base paths.

Andrew Giobbi • 6-1 • 210 • C • R/R • Portland, Maine • Deering High School
National Ranking: 179 State Ranking: 2
Giobbi is a high profile player from the Northeast and joins Deering High School teammate, Ryan Flaherty. Giobbi is ranked as the #2 prospect in Maine and the #179 overall prospect in the country. A big strong physical player, Giobbi has tremendous power and the ability to hit homeruns to any part of the field. Last season, he guided Deering High School to another State Championship while batting an impressive .556 on the year.

Brett Jacobson • 6-6 • 195 • RHP • R/R • Carefree, Ariz. • Cactus Shadows High School
National Ranking: 9 State Ranking: 1
Jacobsen is one of the most highly touted prospects in the country. He ranks as the No. 9 overall national prospect by Baseball America and Baseball America, and is the No. 1 prospect in the state of Arizona. Jacobson is a 6-6 right hander with a strong lean body and a present 90-94 mph fastball. He is extremely athletic and is a standout basketball player for Cactus Shadows High School as well. He is dominant on the mound with his overpowering fastball, a curve ball in the mid 70's and a slider near 80 mph.

Bobby Kennedy • 6-3 • 190 • LHP • R/L • Ocala, Fla. • Trinity Catholic High School
National Ranking: 127 State Ranking: 14
Kennedy is one of the Top-20 left-handed pitchers in the country, the #127 overall national prospect, and the 14th ranked player in Florida by Baseball America. This past summer, he helped the prestigious Midland Redskins win the Connie Mack National Championship in Farmington, New Mexico. Kennedy was sidelined much of last summer rehabbing a minor injury, but dominated last season with a fast ball in the 88-92 mph range and a knee-buckling curve ball.

Kurt Lipton • 6-5 • 190 • OF • L/R • Boca Raton, Fla. • Pinecrest Prep High School
National Ranking: 229 State Ranking: 40
Lipton is one of the top players in south Florida and the #229 overall prospect in the country by Baseball America. At 6-5, Lipton is a very good athlete equipped with a strong arm in the outfield and also a tremendous threat offensively. Last season, Lipton earned First Team All-State honors and was also named the 2004 Boca Raton and Baseball America Player of the Year.

Matt Meingasner • 6-1 • 185 • C • R/R • Cooper City, Fla. • Broward Community College
National Ranking: N/A State Ranking: N/A
Meingasner is one of the top offensive players in the Florida Junior College ranks. Last year, he helped lead Broward Community College to a Southern Conference Championship while posting a 32-8 record. He was selected to play in the Florida Junior College All-Star Game this Fall after finishing last season with a .390 batting average. Meingasner is a tough competitor and returns as the starting catcher and one of the top hitters on BCC's championship squad. He also starred for Cooper City High School, where he was an All-State Second Team performer as a senior.

Jay Moreland • 6-0 • 175 • C • L/R • Old Hickory, Tenn. • Goodpasture High School
National Ranking: N/R State Ranking: 10
Moreland is one of the top players in Tennessee and one of the top catchers in the Southeast. Last season, he helped lead Goodpasture High School to a State Championship and a 40-5 record. Moreland is a very good left-handed hitter and widely regarded as having one of the strongest arms in the region. Last year in the playoffs, no single baserunner attempted to steal of Moreland who has committed only five errors in three years. He was named All-State and All-Region after posting a .320 batting average with 21 doubles, seven home runs and 88 RBIs last season.

Casey Weathers • 6-2 • 195 • RHP • R/R • Elk Grove, Calif. • Sacramento City College
National Ranking: N/A State Ranking: N/A
Weathers is a standout pitcher in the California Junior College ranks. He is one of the top pitchers for the perennial powerhouse Sacramento City College which has won Conference championships 20 of the last 24 years and has produced 33 Major Leaguers in the last 50 years. He is a converted pitcher who can also play the outfield. On the mound, Weathers has a power fast ball in the 90-94 mph range and an explosive slider around 80 mph. He was standout player at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, Calif.

Josh Zeid • 6-4 • 225 • RHP • R/R • New Haven, Conn. • Hamden Hall Country Day
National Ranking: 16 State Ranking: 1
Zeid is another very high profile athlete and one of of the nation's top-ranked pitchers. He is currently the #16 overall prospect in the country and the #1 player in the entire Northeast Region according to Baseball America. He is a strong physical body and is armed with a power fast ball in the 90-94 mph range. He was named an AFLAC All-American last summer and also played on the 2003 Team USA Youth National Team that won the Gold Medal in Taiwan.


VandyMania.com Top Stories