BA cover boy Michael Roth might be the best pitcher in college baseball, but the 31st-round pick is far from a blue-chip prospect. Here’s a look at some winning college players around the nation that coaches love, even though their names won’t appear on top prospects lists. We’re calling them Roth Stars.
Greg Bachman, 3b, Austin Peay State: Team leader and fifth-year senior provides above-average bat and defense; can bunt and defend the bunt.
Pablo Bermudez, of, Florida International: Average size (6-foot, 180-pounds) and a right-right profile, with no plus tool other than his ability to hit—.344 with career .507 slugging percentage.
DeMario Ellis, 2b, Southern: Holding down Rickie Weeks’ old spot, fifth-year senior has a career .302 average, just 56 SO in 457 at-bats.
Dillon Napoleon, rhp, Alabama-Birmingham: Conference USA’s top newcomer a year ago doesn’t impress scouts with stuff but pounds strike zone (85 IP, 26 BB), competes.
Casey Selsor, lhp/1b, Texas-San Antonio: Doesn’t profile at first and doesn’t throw hard, but he’s contributed 14 wins, 230 innings and a .291 career average.
Mike Augliera, rhp, Binghamton: Four-year member of the rotation throws strikes and has gone 17-10, 4.24 for his career.
Ryan Brenner, c, Yale: Three-year starter has improved offensively, with 26 career HBPs, just 9 SO last spring.
Justin Leisenheimer, 1b, Maine: Another senior four-year starter, he hit a career-high 8 HR last year with the new bats.
Joe Pavone, c, Connecticut: Fifth-year senior missed the fun last year due to knee injury; steady starter on 2010 regional host team.
Ross Steedley, c, Charlotte: Fifth-year senior calls the pitches for 49ers’ fine pitching staff.
Tony Bucciferro, rhp, Michigan State: Fierce competitor has spent entire career in weekend rotation, using quality three-pitch mix to go 8-3, 3.38 in 2011.
Eric Cain, ss, South Dakota State: Four-year starter hit .322/.417/.430 in 2011; he’s a steady defender with some pop to the gaps and a knack for timely hits.
Kenny Long, lhp, Illinois State: Skinny fifth-year senior touches 82 mph, but throws breaking balls from multiple slots and was 4-1, 0.92 with six saves last year.
Bryce Redeker, of, Miami (Ohio): Physical senior brings power and athleticism, and an improved approach could cause numbers to spike from strong junior year (.307/.381/.502, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 10 SB).
Michael Schum, rhp, Wright State: Sidearmer went 9-2, 1.37 with nine saves as a junior, carving up the Horizon League with an 80-84 mph sinker and good slider.
Robert Crews, 2b, Stetson: Fifth-year senior makes all the routine plays; career .319 hitter and 28-for-33 on stolen bases.
Chaz Frank, of, North Carolina: Smallish center fielder carries on tradition of scrappy Tar Heel leadoff men who draw walks (43, .411 OBP) and run bases aggressively.
Brad Moss, c, Samford: Gritty senior has more walks than strikeouts the last two seasons to go with 25 sacrifice bunts; threw out 39 percent of basestealers.
Taylor Perkins, c, VCU: Senior played all over the field for two seasons before becoming the everyday catcher in 2011; hit .320/.401/.467, team-high 4 HRs last year.
Josh Wright, ss, Old Dominion: Fifth-year senior had monster numbers in 2011 (.369/.454/.682, 12 HR, 18 SB), but still couldn’t get drafted.
David Popkins, dh/rhp, UC Davis: Hit .388 as a sophomore and led Aggies in most offensive categories as a junior; also has enough arm strength to be a key bullpen contributor.
Alex Keudell, rhp, Oregon: Was drafted in the 38th round after going 7-3, 2.89 last year; his athleticism, feel for four pitches and veteran savvy makes him invaluable.
Scott Dysinger, 2b, Nevada-Las Vegas: In addition providing a nice contact bat (he hit .345/.382/.385 last year), Dysinger is a classic gamer and UNLV’s team leader.
Corey LeVier, of, San Diego: Lacks power for a corner at next level and isn’t athletic enough to play up the middle, but he sure can hit (.363 last year).
Matt Sisto, rhp, Hawaii: Senior righty has been very steady for Rainbows, starting at least 13 games and winning five each of the last three seasons. He has poise, maturity, command of four pitches.