Aaron Fitt

It’s Easy Being Green

Aaron Fitt -

Chad Kreuter won his debut at Southern California last night, as the Trojans beat Cal Poly 6-4. Robert Stock, the subject of yesterday's blog post, went 0-for-3 with a walk out of the seven-hole, but fellow freshman Grant Green upstaged him. Green, one of the top shortstop recruits in the nation out of Anaheim's Canyon High, has "a ceiling as high as Mount Everest," as USC assistant coach Dave Lawn put it last fall. He flashed some of that talent out of the two-hole last night, lacing a first-inning triple and adding a two-run single in the second. Two batters later, Lucas Duda hit a towering three-run homer to right field to break the game open. Tommy Milone picked up the win for the Trojans with six innings of work, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out six. It was the kind of debut Milone needed to secure his place as a front-runner for a spot in USC's crowded weekend rotation.There are no games on the slate today and just three tomorrow. The most interesting is UC Riverside opening its season at home against 2-1 Nevada.

College

Stock Rising

Aaron Fitt -

We got an e-mail recently that scouts who had been in to see early practices were raving about Southern California freshman catcher Robert Stock, the phenom who entered school early and skipped his senior year of high school. The e-mail reported that Stock was impressing in practice, flashing a 60 or 70 arm on the 20-80 scouting scale and showing 1.86-second pop times. Trojans coach Chad Kreuter, a former big league catcher himself, confirmed that Stock has adjusted very well to USC's intense daily catching program, which includes plenty of attention to footwork, blocking and throwing.

College

Three Strikes: Jan. 29

Aaron Fitt -

Strike One: Beaver FeverWith apologies to Dennis Green, it would be premature to crown Oregon State again this early, but the Beavers were certainly impressive in a season-opening four-game sweep of Hawaii-Hilo. Granted, that's exactly what they were supposed to do against a clearly inferior Hilo team, but still, you have to give them credit for doing it, and doing it with style. As we wrote in Friday's blog, Oregon State opened up 2007 with a combined no-hitter of the Vulcans, led by ace righthander Mike Stutes, who struck out seven in five innings before handing off to relievers Josh Keller, Mike Grbavac and Jorge Reyes. But the Beavers didn't stop there, winning both games of Friday's doubleheader by scores of 17-4 and 9-3, then taking Saturday's finale 10-2. The most encouraging thing about the sweep was the performance of OSU's starting pitchers, who cruised against Hilo's admittedly weak offense. Joe Paterson struck out seven and allowed just one unearned run in five innings in Friday's first game; Daniel Turpen struck out five and allowed just one earned run in four innings in the nightcap; and senior lefthander Anton Maxwell won his first game since April 1 of last year by holding the Vulcans to one run over five innings while striking out five. If Maxwell, an 11-game winner as a sophomore in 2005, can give OSU that kind of production on a regular basis this season, that pitching staff will be in great shape. We'll find out soon enough how good this staff really is, but Beavers coach Pat Casey had reason to be encouraged by his team's quick start.

College | #Three Strikes

Building Something New

Aaron Fitt -

Here at Baseball America, we're always looking for ways to ensure our college baseball coverage is the best on the Internet. In that spirit, we're excited to roll out our newest feature, the BA blogs. Here on the College Blog, you can expect to find up-to-the-minute news and notes, spot analysis and predictions, and my quick take on the weekend that was every Monday in Three Strikes. I hope to update the blog frequently with tidbits gleaned from coaches and scouts, as well as discussion of some of the most interesting midweek games in the nation. Some days a post might be two sentences of news and a quick thought, other days it might be a small feature story. I know us Baseball Americans tend to harp a lot on prospects and rankings, but I hope to use this blog to show some of the lighter side of college baseball, as well.

College

Top 50 Incoming Freshmen

Aaron Fitt -Premium Content

Here's a look at the top 50 incoming freshmen ranked by Aaron Fitt according to both immediate impact and long-term potential. As with most Baseball America rankings, the tie goes to better prospect.

College | #2007#Recruiting

APR Fallout Will Change The Game

Aaron Fitt -Premium Content

Somewhere between the fire and brimstone raining down from the podium at the American Baseball Coaches Association Division I business meeting, the message started to set in with coaches throughout the huge conference room at the Marriott World Center convention center: Major changes are needed in college baseball's academic culture.

College | #2007#Season Preview