USA Baseball released the names of the first 11 members of the 2007 college national team, and it’s an impressive group. The lure of trips to Rio de Janeiro and the Netherlands might have helped convince players like South Carolina’s Justin Smoak to eschew the Cape Cod League (where he played last summer) in favor of Team USA. Smoak will have competition at first base in Arizona State slugger Brett Wallace.
Those two join with Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez in a formidable heart of the order. Alvarez and Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks, a table-setter who will score runs by the bushel in front of those boppers, return to Team USA after successful stints last summer.
“It is an honor to play for Team USA again,” Alvarez said in a release. “Last year was a lot of fun and was capped off by winning a gold medal (at the FISU World University Championships in Cuba). I look forward to playing with the top players in college baseball again and the different competition we will face over the summer.”
The other hitter named to the team is San Diego center fielder Josh Romanski, who also figures to see plenty of action off the mound as one of the top lefthanders in the sophomore class. Torero teammate Brian Matusz, another dominating lefty, was also named to the team, along with flamethrowing righties Lance Lynn and Cody Satterwhite of Mississippi. The staff doesn’t lack power arms, as Pepperdine righty Brett Hunter, California righty Tyson Ross and Virginia righty Jacob Thompson fill out the initial list. Like Alvarez and Weeks, Ross has previous USA Baseball experience, having played for the junior national team in 2004 and 2005.
In other news, Virginia’s 11-7 loss to Coastal Carolina yesterday–the third straight defeat for the Cavaliers–was accompanied by some bad news. Sophomore infielder Greg Miclat will have surgery on his throwing arm and will miss the remainder of the season. This is a significant blow for UVa., as Miclat has been a sparkplug atop the lineup this year, batting .376/.476/.488 with 32 stolen bases in 37 attempts.