In the fourth inning of the second game, defending state champ Alonso was down 9-0 and in danger of being ten run-ruled by American HS. Then they brought in the big junior righty, who was already in the lineup as a DH. The 6’3”, 240 lb. Jose Fernandez came in to get the last out and threw 92-94 MPH fastballs from the get-go. To get strike three, Fernandez ripped off a deep 85 MPH slider that looked like a big league pitch. Suddenly the red-hot American bats had gone frigid. They did score one more run, but Alonso made a little comeback (behind a double by Fernandez) to make the final score 10-5. Fernandez would throw 3.1 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run, two walks, and five strikeouts. He also showed more than a little bit of attitude which the American players and fans took exception to.
There’s a lot more baseball to be played, but Fernandez has the package to be an early pick next June and possibly a 1st-rounder. I can look at his fastball and slider and project both as plus major league pitches in the future. His body is not particularly sculpted, but Fernandez is very strong, especially in his lower half and core. The arm works very well, the delivery is athletic and balanced, and he has the makings of a workhorse. He’s going to be fun to follow.
If we have multiple picks or a good second round pick, this is a guy I am very interested in !
Cuban pitcher settles in new home base
A little more than a year ago, Jose Delfin Fernandez was on a boat fleeing Cuba and saving his mother's life.
By ADAM ADKINS
Published: May 22, 2009
TAMPA - A little more than a year ago, Jose Delfin Fernandez found himself on a boat fleeing Cuba and saving his mother's life during the trip. Today, when Fernandez plays with his Alonso High teammates in the state high school baseball tournament, the memories of that ordeal will still be fresh in his mind.
More than anything else, Fernandez, a 16-year old sophomore, is thankful for being with his family in the United States.
"I," Fernandez said, searching for the words in English, "I'm just so happy."
Fernandez grew up in Santa Clara, Cuba. He came from a modest home, one he shared with his parents, sister and grandmother. He attended school. And, of course, he played baseball. Three times between the ages of 9 and 12, Fernandez was a member of the Cuban youth national baseball all-star team for his age division.
"He was one of their top prospects," said his uncle, Orlando Chinea.
But Ramon Jimenez, Fernandez's father, wanted a better life for his son and the rest of his family. That life, he believed, was in the United States. So in 2004, Jimenez set out to provide it.
Jimenez, an orthopedic surgeon in Cuba, was the first to emigrate, leaving his family behind. Fernandez said it was a mutual family decision for his father to leave first so that he could establish himself in the United States.
"My dad coming first and then my mom, me, and my sister coming, everything was better," Fernandez said. "If you come with four people at once, you're like, 'Wow, what are you doing now.'"
In the early months of 2008, Jimenez, who works as a physician's assistant, sent word that it was time for his family to join him in the United States. The first two times Fernandez, along with his mother, Martiza Gomez, and sister Yadenis Jimenez, attempted to flee Cuba, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted their vessel. Fernandez and the rest of the passengers were forced to return to Cuba, which they knew was not a good thing.
"I thought 'when I go back to Cuba, I'm in big trouble,'" Fernandez said. He was right.
"You finished in life right here," Fernandez said he was told. He was also told he couldn't go to school or play baseball.
Cameron Gallagher may be a good baseball player but don't overlook his deductive skills.
Gallagher was a keen observer when his older brother, Austin, a third baseman, was selected in the third round of the major league draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He also noted that a former player from his Mid-Atlantic Rookies team, a catcher, was taken in the first round of the draft. Putting those two factors together sealed it. Gallagher was going to be a catcher.
So far, it's been a good choice.
The Manheim Township senior's rising stock has gone up this summer after a strong showing at the Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field in Tampa.
Among 300 players invited to the event, which is attended by college and pro scouts alike, Gallagher performed well enough to earn an invite to the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, scheduled for Aug. 15 at PETCO Park in San Diego.
Manheim Township catcher Cameron Gallagher, Warwick pitcher Adam Zipko and Cedar Crest outfielder Derek Fisher have been named to the 2010 Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association All-StateTeam.
Gallagher, a junior, was selected to the first team after batting .477 in 23 games and helping power the Blue Streaks to the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One title with a 13-3 league record and 16-7 overall mark.
Arguably the top slugger in the league, he had 31 hits in 65 at-bats, hit 10 home runs and drove in 27 runs. Gallagher also scored 24 runs and had 69 total bases. He owned a 1.062 slugging percentage and .566 on-base percentage.
Gallagher also had a .951 fielding percentage, with 101 putouts and 35 assists.
In an early commitment, left-handed pitcher Jake Cave of Hampton Christian High in Hampton, Virginia has verbally committed to Paul Mainieri's national champion LSU Tigers for the class of 2011.
The competition for his services was fierce--North Carolina, South Carolina, East Carolina and Virginia. In the end, LSU proved to be the best of those competing for his services.
The 6'2, 175 pound junior was 10-0 for the Warriors this past season, leading them to the Division Three state championship. As a hitter, Cave batted an astonishing .670 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI in just 31 games as a sophomore at Hampton Christian. Cave is regularly clocked from 91-94 miles per hour with his fastball.
Connor McKay wants to focus even more on baseball his senior season. That quest will get a kick start in perhaps the most appropriate place in the world: Wrigley Field. McKay, from Regis Jesuit, and Grandview's Greg Bird were selected for the 2010 Under Armour All-American baseball game, which will be played Aug. 14 at the venerable stadium on Chicago's north side. The game is a showcase of the nation's top talent. A total of 36 were invited. "What, 36 kids get to do this?" McKay said. "Being able to go down to Chicago, absorb the atmosphere, and be able to play on Wrigley Field, which so many people have played on before me ...
I'm just looking to have fun." It's something that got away from McKay last season when he lost his focus on baseball. The outfielder also plays football, and after the 2009 football season, he decided to rest for a week. "Well, that week turned into 'X' amount of days," McKay said. "I should've been good with two days rest." Before he knew it, it was baseball season. McKay still hit .429 with a team-high 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in his first season at Regis after transferring from Ponderosa. "I lost that edge to play every game as hard as you could, like every at-bat is your last," he said. "I plan to make sure that this year, that's how it works." Grandview's Kevin Gausman played in the game last season. It helped vault his profile nationally, and he was a sixth-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in this year's MLB June draft. Read more: McKay, Bird picked for All-American baseball game at Wrigley
A generation ago in Puerto Rico, Ken Ferrer's grandfather worked tirelessly to support his family, but that same noble diligence came with a price: He never quite found time to play with his baseball-mad son.
Years later, when Ken was born, Ron Ferrer vowed that he would raise a baseball player. Not only did he do that, but also he carved out enough time in his schedule to help cultivate perhaps the greatest baseball prodigy Pleasantville has ever known.
"I've practiced with my dad a lot more than other kids. Every day, we were outside," Ken Ferrer said. "I know I've been lucky."
One day late last summer, long after he had outgrown the average game of catch, the Pleasantville senior needed someone to throw with. His father bought the equipment, strapped in, and anchored himself on an upside-down bucket to simulate a catcher's crouch. Yet both father and son learned very quickly that times had changed.
"I saw them at the school on the turf field," Pleasantville coach Bob Jordon said. "Kenny's dad told me he couldn't see the ball anymore. It moved too fast."
Just recounting the scene, Jordon couldn't help but laugh.
"Kenny would throw a pitch, and (Ron) would let it roll until it hit a wall 30 feet behind him," he said. "Then he'd pick it up and throw it back."
BP & Fielding VIDEO Watch this kid close if we have more then one pick or a Sandwich pick I want this kid. Has moved around from school to school and pissed alot of people off, but if he stops playing Football and just plays Baseball this kid has Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin type ability !
Here are some reviews form BA on summer leagues.. NY collegiate level.. http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610645. html west coast league..top10 http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610646. html texas collegiate top 10.. http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610649. html calif collegiate level..top 10 http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610642. html New england college level..top 10 http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610644. html northwoods collegiate level....top 20 http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610640. html Cal Ripken college level top 10 http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/college/summ er-scene/summer-league-top-prospects/2010/2610643. html
whew...... top 9 guys that caught my eye.. lots to take in here....
1. Stefan Sabol, c/3b/of, Cowlitz (Fr., Oregon)
For the second straight year, the West Coast League's top prospect is a just-graduated high school catcher from California on his way to a school in Oregon. Last year it was Oregon State's Andrew Susac, and this year it's Sabol. Sabol was one of the best athletes in last year's draft. With his chiseled, 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame, it's no surprise that he is the cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro safety Troy Polamalu. In a league full of college sophomores and juniors, Sabol still looked like a man among boys, physically. An Aflac All-American last summer, Sabol came into the spring as one of the top high school players in the class, but slipped to the Braves in the 17th round because of his strong commitment to Oregon and questions about his future position. Sabol has five-tool potential to go along with just passing the eye test. But despite his athleticism, Sabol is stiff behind the plate, and his arm strength doesn't translate well there, either. He started just five games at catcher this summer, spending most of his time at third base. Sabol does have good baseball instincts and is a hard worker, so there's a chance he can improve enough to stay at either of those positions, but some scouts believe he'll eventually wind up in left field. But that's okay, because his bat should play anywhere. He always has a plan at the plate and waits for his pitch. Sabol has a short, powerful swing and strong hands and forearms. He can drive the ball to the gaps with ease and has pull power now, which should expand as he continues to mature. 2. Chase Anselment, c, Kitsap (So., Washington)
Anselment went undrafted out of high school in 2009, but it wasn't for lack of interest. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound catcher just had a strong commitment to Washington, so teams didn't want to waste a pick on a virtually unsignable player. Anselment showed why scouts were interested, hitting .347/.421/.581 over 124 at-bats for the Huskies last year as a freshman, leading the team in all three categories. While he is thicker and not as athletic as Sabol, Anselment has a better chance to stay behind the plate. That said, Anselment is a little stiff on his backhand receiving and, although his arm strength is good, he sometimes stands up too much on throws to second base. Anselment's father has a black belt in karate, so Chase knows the importance and value in stretching and is more limber and agile than most players his size. Anselment has a good understanding of the strike zone and when he gets his pitch, he puts a charge into it. While most home runs in the league are hit to a player's pull side, Anselment showed his strength by hitting home runs to both outfield gaps. Despite his strength, he doesn't sell out for power. He's a good enough hitter to shorten up and lace a single the other way, when the situation calls for it.
6. Marco Gonzales, lhp, Wenatchee (Fr., Gonzaga)
Another youngster in the league, Gonzales was a 29th-rounder by the Rockies out of high school in June, but he didn't come to an agreement with his home-state team. The 6-foot, 190-pounder throws his fastball in the upper 80s, touching 91. His best pitch is a changeup, an above-average offering that he sells with the same arm slot and speed as his fastball. His curveball is solid and he shows great body control and command of his pitches. Gonzales' father Frank was a lefthander who spent eight years in the minor leagues, mostly with the Tigers. The know-how rubbed off on Marco, and with his well-above-average feel for pitching and poise, Gonzales looked more like a college senior than a high school senior this summer. He went 5-1, 2.77 for the AppleSox and he led the league with 66 strikeouts over 52 innings. Gonzales is a proven winner who was on the mound four straight years as his high school team won the Colorado state championship game, and he should make an immediate impact at Gonzaga.
5. Dan Zlotnick, lhp, Amsterdam (So., Marist)
Zlotnick is a carbon copy of Amsterdam teammate Hunter: Both are 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, and they feature very similar three-pitch repertoires. Zlotnick attacks hitters with an 88-90 mph fastball and a good changeup, and his slurve has a bit more power than Hunter's. Zlotnick could add some velocity if he can learn to use his lower half better. Not only did he earn the win in the NYCBL title clincher, but Zlotnick had a very consistent summer, going 4-0, 1.57 with 43 strikeouts and 15 walks in 46 innings.
7. Matt Conway, 1b/lhp, Amsterdam (So., Wake Forest)
Conway was the best hitter on a bad Wake Forest team as a freshman, hitting .382/.460/.618 with six homers in 152 at-bats. He hit .275/.327/.422 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 102 at-bats this summer before a broken wrist ended his summer. At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, Conway has serious leverage in his righthanded swing. As he fills out his skinny frame, he should start to unlock his significant power potential. In addition to getting stronger, Conway needs to improve his foot speed and his defense at first base. He has a solid approach at the plate and good hand-eye coordination, giving him a chance to hit for average in pro ball. 1. Kenny Diekroeger, ss, Newport (So., Stanford)
Diekroeger instantly became one of the best incoming freshmen in the country when he spurned Tampa Bay, who had drafted him in the second round in 2009, in favor of the Cardinal. He largely lived up to the hype, leading Stanford in hitting with a .356/.391/.491 line in 216 at-bats, on his way to garnering first-team freshman All-America honors. His talent was on display this summer as well, as NECBL coaches almost unanimously chose Diekroeger as the circuit's best pro prospect after he hit .324/.354/.446 in 139 at-bats with the Gulls. A wiry 6-foot-2, 200 pounder, Diekroeger has gap-to-gap power to go along with advanced plate discipline and good, quick hands that make it hard for pitchers to fool him. After playing primarily third base at Stanford, Diekroeger split his time between shortstop and third base with the Gulls, and some coaches weren't convinced he could stick at shortstop. He has average speed and range to go along with good infield actions and a strong arm. There were questions about his maturity and work ethic down the stretch and he was even benched for part of the postseason, during which he managed only one hit in 15 at-bats. But his athleticism, bat speed and approach suggest he has a bright future as an offensive shortstop or third baseman down the road.
1. Ryon Healy, 3b, Conejo Oaks (Fr., Oregon)
In a league heavy in pitching potential, the bat of a potential two-way player stood out. Healy wasn't drafted this spring after floating a seven-figure signing bonus out of famed Crespi High in Encino, Calif. While he was a dominant pitcher as a high school junior and could pitch again for Oregon—he's bumped 95 mph in the past in short stints and has a 6-foot-4 frame—he impressed with the bat this summer, hitting .360/.432/.522 with a league-best 17 doubles and 38 RBIs for Conejo. Healy's swing, size and third-base position evoked comparisons to Evan Longoria and Scott Rolen from league managers. One scout said Healy's hit tool was more advanced, while another said his best tool eventually would be his power. He has strong forearms and hands that help him generate good bat speed. Healy lacks polish defensively at the hot corner, making 16 errors this summer, and may wind up at first or in an outfield corner, though he's a below-average runner. 2. Hoby Milner, lhp, Santa Barbara (So., Texas)
Highly recruited, Milner had to work primarily in relief to get innings as a freshman on Texas' amazing, crowded staff, logging 32 innings and posting a 1.97 ERA for the Longhorns. He split time between starting and relieving in the CCL but couldn't hide his projectable 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame, quick, loose arm and lively repertoire. Milner went 2-0, 2.01 with 39 strikeouts in 31 innings for the Foresters. He has good velocity despite his slight frame, sitting in the 88-91 mph range with excellent movement to go with it. He throws strikes with his fastball and two breaking balls, both a power slider and a slower breaking ball. His changeup has promise as well. Milner has the feel for pitching, projection, command and stuff to profile as a future big league starter. 4. Sam Stafford, lhp, Santa Barbara (Jr., Texas)
Stafford has made just 11 appearances in his college career at Texas, including seven starts in 2010. He struck out 29 in 21 innings for the Longhorns but still couldn't break through into a stellar rotation, so he needed the work he got with the Foresters. He dominated again, going 1-0, 0.32 with 51 punchouts and just nine hits allowed—all singles—in 28 innings. Stafford overmatched hitters with two potential plus pitches, a 90-94 mph fastball and power curveball with late depth. At times, Stafford throws more strikes with his curve than with his fastball, and fastball command is the issue for him, as he walked 16. Stafford has a loose arm and a projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, and there are some very believable reports that he touched 95-96 mph this summer. A stiff back limited his work in the NBC World Series.
OKLAHOMACITY – With 11 seasons of big league experience, Steve Buechele could have overwhelmed his son with baseball knowledge and pressured him to follow in his footsteps.
He decided to take the opposite approach.
So when his son, Garrett, was picked as the Big 12'stop freshman while wearing the same No. 38 and playing the same position at third base for Oklahoma, it was through his own free will and hard work.
"I take zero credit," said Buechele, who's now managing the Bakersfield Blaze, the Class A affiliate for the Texas Rangers.
Garrett Buechele's breakthrough as a redshirt freshman has been a key factor for Oklahoma as it earned the No. 7 national seed in the NCAAtournament. The Sooners (41-18) open play Friday against Wichita State in a regional they'll host at L. Dale MitchellPark in Norman.
Buechele, whose only action last season came while serving as the team's bullpen catcher, has developed into a singles machine. He's second on the team with a .359 average, ranking behind only Big 12 player of the year J.T. Wise, and has made only six errors at the hot corner.
"I enjoy the fact that he is happy playing baseball and that he has the opportunity to play in a regional," Steve Buechele said. "To do what he has done this season, I'm so proud of him, it's not even funny."
Buechele redshirted after coming to campus more in shape for football than baseball and grew hungry for playing time during the yearlong wait. Before the season started, he took over the starting spot at third base from Matt Harughty, who shifted over to second.
"My goal was just to survive – to try to get into that lineup and stay in it any way I could," Garrett Buechele said.
Buechele has achieved that goal, becoming one of five players to start all 59 of the Sooners' games.
"He was our bullpen catcher last year. He was just down there having to catch these guys and pay his dues, and now look what's happened," Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said.
The state’s top baseball prospect is getting set to head into his senior year and he is taking more hardware with him.
Owasso’s Dylan Bundy became the first baseball player in Oklahoma to repeat as the Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year.
Since the awards inception in 1985, there have been 26 repeat winners nationally. Should Bundy continue his success next year, he could become the nation's first player ever to win the award three straight years.
Bundy had another excellent year on the mound and at the plate after transferring to arguably the best baseball school in Oklahoma -- Owasso. The junior went 11-1 with a 1.58 ERA, while striking out 164 batters in just 79.2 innings pitched.
At the plate he posted a .444 batting average, along with seven homeruns and 51 RBI. A doubles machine, he cranked out a slugging percentage of .813.
washie wrote: BP & Fielding VIDEO Watch this kid close if we have more then one pick or a Sandwich pick I want this kid. Has moved around from school to school and pissed alot of people off, but if he stops playing Football and just plays Baseball this kid has Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin type ability !
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. -- Deshorn Lake occasionally misses home. The 16-year-old with the rocket of a right arm thinks about the pristine white sand beaches of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The clear blue water. Shorter, more relaxed school days. But then he thinks about the benefits of moving from a small island in the Caribbean Sea not known for producing elite athletes to a tree-lined suburban neighborhood in this city in southeastern Virginia, an area with a long history of producing pros. The baseball is more competitive and fans get into the games. And even though, as a high school junior, he is a year away from being eligible for the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, professional scouts are well aware of his fastball that clocks in at over 90 mph. "I'm trying to be the best I can be," Lake said. "Trying to reach that level, make some money and help out my family." Lake's family situation withstood a separation by choice last year, when Deshorn's older brother, Devorn, and two teammates moved to Newport News to live with Edwin Matthias, a native of the islands who said he regularly takes in teenagers seeking a better situation. Matthias last year assumed guardianship of three boys from the islands so they could attend a public school, and the trio helped Menchville win the 2009 Virginia AAA baseball title.
Sherman Johnson might have gained the reputation as an uncommonly patient hitter at Alonso High, but he couldn't be too picky about which pitch to swing at when it came to his college choice. He didn't receive a single scholarship offer. "No one really talked to me," he said. Perhaps college coaches couldn't see past his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame. Perhaps the dazzling pitching arm of a teammate overshadowed his impeccable glove. Whatever the reason, Johnson eventually ended up staring at just one offering, such as it was: A chance to walk on at Florida State. "Growing up, I was a Florida State fan. Always," he said. "That was my dream, to play baseball at Florida State. I came to a couple of camps, and I guess they liked what they saw. A little bit. They didn't have any more scholarship money but they said, 'We'll give you a chance to try out.' I just took it from there." He took some swings. He earned a roster spot as a walk-on as a freshman last season, but has emerged this season as a standout everyday player for the Seminoles (42-17), who play Central Connecticut State (33-21) on Friday afternoon in NCAA region play in Norwich, Conn. The other teams in the double-elimination tournament are host Connecticut (47-14) and Oregon (38-22). Johnson is one of four players to have started all 59 games, predominantly at third base, hitting .330 (third on the team), with 13 doubles, six home runs and 47 RBIs (third). He has 42 walks, including five in one game to tie a school record, for a robust .447 on-base percentage. His .954 fielding percentage is one reason FSU goes into the postseason with its third-best defense in school history. "There's no question," FSU coach Mike Martin said recently, "this is a special story."
Scrappy kid I think could plug up our second base prob in our system !
By BOB FERRANTE
TALLAHASSEE — Good thing for Florida State that Sherman Johnson won't take no for an answer. Johnson didn't receive any scholarship offers coming out of Tampa-Alonso High. So when he arrived on Florida State's campus, he decided he would try to walk onto the baseball team, despite the fact that he weighed just 155 pounds. FSU coaches already knew Johnson because he had attended coach Mike Martin's summer camps twice while in high school. "When he enrolled at Florida State, we had said something to him about coming out," Martin said. "We needed an infielder for a squad game, and we called him and he came out." Johnson eventually made the team, but saw limited playing time, going 10 for 21 with 10 RBI. But he also added 30 pounds, then excelled in summer ball with the Covington (Va.) Lumberjacks, hitting .310. He entered this season as the Seminoles' No. 2 hitter and has not disappointed. He's second on the team in batting average (.332), tied for second in doubles (15), third in RBI (57) and also has nine home runs. He also has a great eye at the plate, with 44 walks, and has made only eight errors in 65 starts at third base. In the postseason, he's picked it up a notch. The sophomore was the MVP of the Norwich (Conn.) regional, hitting .417 with two home runs, a double, four RBIs and five runs scored. In the super regional against Vanderbilt, Johnson hit .285 with two doubles and six RBI. In the deciding game on Sunday, Johnson's eighth-inning, bases-loaded double gave FSU a 7-3 lead and they held on to win 7-6. "The first pitch was a change-up and I swung through it," Johnson said of his at-bat against Vanderbilt's Chase Reid. "… He came back with a change-up and I just recognized it out of his hands."
While his former Auburn High teammates are in the midst of the Division 2 baseball postseason with an eye on defending their state title, Tyler Beede has been putting the finishing touches on a strong season at Lawrence Academy. The junior pitcher has improved on an already sky-high outlook for his career with an impressive season for the Spartans. “The league is unbelievable,” Beede said of the Independent School League. “Every team is great, up and down the lineup. They each have about six great hitters and their pitching rotations are always good, too.” When he started at Lawrence, Beede asked veteran teammates for scouting reports on opponents. “One of my friends on the team would tell me that they’re just OK, but I’d get out there and their No. 9 hitter is ripping balls off me,” Beede said. “It was more than what I expected and that was good for me.
I needed that little shock and get smacked in the face a little bit to show me I needed to wake up and work harder and prepare for these games a little more.” As a sophomore, Beede was one of many important cogs of a loaded Auburn team that stormed to the Division 2 state title. Beede was named to the Telegram & Gazette Super Team after going 7-1 with an 0.88 ERA and 114 strikeouts in just 56 1/3 innings. Beede, who finished his Auburn career with 169 Ks in 92 innings with the Rockets, transferred to Lawrence Academy after the season in an effort to step up his game. It has paid off. “I thought it was a great decision,” Beede said. “There were plenty of people who helped me along the way and picked me up when I was struggling. It was a great environment to be around, and all the kids are great.” Beede showed he had no problem transitioning to the tougher ISL competition, shutting down St. Mary’s in April with a hitless four-inning performance while fanning six. He also added a one-hitter with nine strikeouts against Middlesex, a two-hit, six-inning win over Rivers, and a 13-strikeout performance against Buckingham Browne & Nichols. He finished 6-1 with just 12 hits and 87 strikeouts in 45-1/3 innings for the Spartas, while hitting .429 with 8 home runs and 30 RBIs. With a fastball that has been clocked at 94 mph, a devastating curve, and a brutal mix of breaking pitches, the 6-foot-4 Beede has a lot of big league scouts eyeballing him. It’s impossible to find a 2011 draft preview without Beede being listed as a high school prospect to watch.
Leading his high school team to a state championship wasn’t good enough for Tyler Beede.
Posting a 0.88 ERA wasn’t good enough. Committing to Vanderbilt wasn’t good enough. Even being ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2011 by Perfect Game wasn’t good enough.
That’s why Beede is at Lawrence Academy Lawrence Academy (Groton, Mass.) right now.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” says Beede.
Last year, as a sophomore, Beede emerged as one of the top pitchers in the state. The right-hander went 7-1 for Auburn (Auburn, Mass.), struck out 114 batters in 56.1 innings and led the Rockets to the Division 2 state title.
Not good enough.
Beede wasn’t satisfied with the level of competition in Central Mass., and he felt he needed to face better players on a consistent basis to reach his potential. Midway through his sophomore season, he began to weigh his options.
A friend from the summer baseball circuit, Joe Napolitano, was a sophomore at Lawrence Academy at the time, and he tried to sell Beede on the benefits of private school.
“He was looking for something with more of a college atmosphere and more competition,” says Napolitano, a junior committed to Boston College. “I told him Lawrence Academy was good for getting you ready (for college) and it was a high level of play here.”
After the school year (and after the championship celebration), Beede decided to transfer to Lawrence Academy, where he now faces an Independent School League schedule. Most of the Spartans’ rivals are stocked with Division I talent, which wasn’t the case in Central Mass.
The first time Lawrence Academy coach Chris Margraf saw him pitch in the spring of 2009, Beede tossed a no-hitter against Uxbridge (Uxbridge, Mass.), striking out 15 batters. The performance wasn’t that unusual for Beede, who could often overpower CMass teams with just his fastball.
AUBURN — Auburn’s Tyler Beede never had any doubt of what he wanted to do when he was growing up.
“Some people are born to be what their father was, like a mechanic or an engineer,” Beede said. “I was born to be a baseball player. That’s what I’ve always wanted to be, and it’s working out so far, so I’m going to keep working at it.”
Beede’s father, Walter, was a former baseball star at Fitchburg High and was drafted in the 13th round by the Chicago Cubs in 1981. Tyler and his older brother Kyle were immersed in their fathers’ love of the game. Over the past few years Tyler has developed into one of the most sought-after prospects in the Northeast, thanks to a fastball that has already reached 93 mph and a devastating array of off-speed pitches.
Beede took another step toward realizing his dream of becoming a professional baseball player earlier this month by accepting a full scholarship to play for Vanderbilt University.
Beede had plenty of suitors, but the final process came down to full scholarships from Vanderbilt, University of North Carolina, University of Southern California, Arizona and Virginia. Other programs like Louisiana State, Alabama and the University of Miami also offered him deals, but in the end, the Commodores were the choice.
“When I went down there, it was so great and it felt like a second home,” Beede said. “I felt very comfortable down there. Coach (Tim) Corbin is a great guy and he has a whole family thing and he’s like a dad to everyone.”
It helped that Corbin is a native of Wolfeboro, N.H., and has known Beede since he was in eighth grade. Corbin, the SEC Coach of the Year in 2007, has also overseen recent pitching prospects like former No. 1 overall pick David Price (Tampa Bay) and also worked with former Auburn star and first-round pick Mike Paradis when the two were at Clemson. Beede was enamored with the things that playing for Vanderbilt offered such as a good education, a strong team and the opportunity to play games in Japan.
“It was definitely a tough decision and those last few weeks were really weighing down heavily on me,” Beede said. “It just came down to Vandy.”
With his college plans finalized by his junior season, Beede will now focus on pitching at Lawrence Academy, where he transferred to after helping Auburn to the Division 2 state title last spring. Beede will prepare for the MLB Draft in 2011.
“There’s no more impressing college coaches, I suppose, so that was big to get that off my back,” Beede said. “Now I can just have fun this spring and summer, get done what I need to get done and start to impress some pro guys.”