Around the MinorsJune 13, 2008
Familiar Names at the College World Series
By Marc Hulet

With the College World Series beginning this weekend, 58 players will be on display for interested fans of Major League Baseball teams. Those 58 players were drafted in the recent Major League Baseball Amateur Draft (June 5-6) and can begin negotiating with their respective club as soon as their school is eliminated from the tournament or has been crowned champion of the College World Series. Rice University leads the clubs with 11 players selected during the 2008 draft.

Stanford University
Record: 39-22-2
Coach: Mark Marquess
Last Title: 1988

  • Jason Castro, C, Houston Astros
    First Round (10th overall)

    Many felt Castro was a bit of an over-draft, although if you believe Paul DePodesta there is no such thing. Regardless, Castro is among the best college catchers, and certainly Top Three amongst the draft-eligible college catchers. He should do a nice job of handling Stanford's pitchers and controlling opponents' running games.

  • Jeremy Bleich, LHP, New York Yankees
    First Round Supplemental (44th overall)

    A bit of a surprise first round supplemental pick by the Yankees, Bleich nonetheless has outstanding college statistics, even if his stuff is a little short by Major League standards.

    Other names to know:
    Cord Phelps, 2B, Cleveland Indians (Third Round); Sean Ratliff, CF, New York Mets (Fourth Round); Austin Yount, 3B/RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (12th Round); Erik Davis, RHP, San Diego Padres (13th Round); Randy Molina, DH, Seattle Mariners (42nd Round).

    Florida State University
    Record: 54-12
    Coach: Mike Martin
    Last Title: Never

  • Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
    First Round (fifth overall)

    Posey was in the running for the first overall pick in the draft but eventually fell to the Giants with the fifth overall pick. That goes to show just how valuable Posey is, especially to Florida State's title hopes. Despite his relative inexperience behind the plate, Posey is an above-average defender and a key offensive force.

    Other names to know:
    Tony Delmonico, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Sixth Round); Ryan Strauss, OF/RHP, Chicago White Sox (Ninth Round); Jack Rye, RF, New York Yankees (13th Round); Dennis Guinn, 1B, Texas Rangers (17th Round); Elih Villanueva, RHP, Florida Marlins (27th Round); Matthew Fairel, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (35th Round).

    University of Georgia
    Record: 41-23-1
    Coach: David Perno
    Last Title: 1990

  • Gordon Beckham, SS, Chicago White Sox
    First Round (eighth overall)

    Beckham is the offensive leader for Georgia and possesses power to all fields. He has also improved his ability to make contact and is a solid guy to have up with runners in scoring position. Not bad for a kid who went undrafted out of high school.

  • Joshua Fields, RHP, Seattle Mariners
    First Round (20th overall)

    A college senior, Fields brings his experience to the back of Georgia's bullpen. He has above-average stuff but can struggle with his command. Fields could potentially go straight from the College World Series to Seattle.

    Other names to know:
    Trevor Holder RHP, Florida Marlins (10th Round); Stephen Dodson, RHP, Colorado Rockies, (10th Round); Nathan Moreau, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (11th Round); Ryan Peisel, 3B, Colorado Rockies (12th Round).

    University of Miami
    Record: 52-9
    Coach: Jim Morris
    Last Title: 2001

  • Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
    First Round (seventh overall)

    The first baseman is an offensive monster who should be the key cog in the Miami offence, with a patient approach. It will be interesting to see how Cincinnati eventually works him into a lineup that already has Joey Votto.

  • Jemile Weeks, 2B, Oakland Athletics
    First Round (12th overall)

    Weeks to Oakland was a bit of a surprise but he has good bloodlines and a solid bat. He should provide a spark for Miami. His plus speed should distract a pitcher or two.

  • Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, Minnesota Twins
    First Round (27th overall)

    The surprise of the first round has stuff that is a little short for starting at the major league level but he is a proven winner at the college level. When his sinker is on, he's hard to hit in the air.

    Other names to know:
    Dennis Raben, RF, Seattle Mariners (Second Round); Blake Tekotte, CF, San Diego Padres, Third Round; Mark Sobolewski, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays (Fourth Round); Enrique Garcia, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (24th Round); Adam Severino, OF, Minnesota Twins (26th Round).

    Rice University
    Record: 47-13
    Coach: Wayne Graham
    Last Title: 2003

  • Bryan Price, RHP, Boston Red Sox
    First Round Supplemental (45th overall)

    Price is a nice name to have at the end of the game for Rice, but he will likely head to the starting rotation when he begins his pro career.

    Other names to know:
    Cole St. Clair, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Seventh Round); Adam Zornes, C, San Diego Padres (Seventh Round); Aaron Luna, LF, St. Louis Cardinals (Ninth Round); Matthew Longwell, RHP, Cleveland Indians (11th Round), Jared Gayhart, CF, Detroit Tigers (13th Round); Bobby Bell, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (18th Round); Lucas Leutge, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers (21st Round); Chris Kelley, RHP, Washington Nationals (24th Round); Jonathan Runnels, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (29th Round); J.P. Padron, 1B, Washington Nationals (44th Round).

    Fresno State University
    Record: 42-29
    Coach: Mike Batesole
    Last Title: Never

  • Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
    Second Round (48th overall)

    The Pirates shocked baseball by being the team that took a flyer on Scheppers, who is currently dealing with a stress fracture in his shoulder. The injury is a shame for both Scheppers and Fresno State's World Series hopes.

    Other names to know:
    Justin Wilson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Fifth Round); Erik Wetzel, 2B,
    Colorado Rockies (13th Round); Justin Miller, RHP, Texas Rangers (16th Round); Steve Susdorf, LF, Philadelphia Phillies (19th Round); Clayton Allison, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (27th Round).

    University of North Carolina
    Record: 51-12
    Coach: Mike Fox
    Last Title: Never

  • Tim Federowicz, C, Boston Red Sox
    Seventh Round (232nd overall)

    Federowicz is the biggest draft name on the UNC roster and even he lasted until the seventh round. He's a clutch hitter and has a winning attitude so he's a great player to have behind the dish in an important series like this.

    Other names to know:
    Tim Fedroff, RF, Cleveland Indians (Seventh Round); Adam Warren, RHP, Cleveland Indians (36th Round); Rob Wooten, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (13th Round); Tyler Trice, RHP, Colorado Rockies (21st Round); Seth Williams, CF, New York Mets (40th Round).

    Louisiana State University
    Record: 48-17-1
    Coach: Paul Mainieri
    Last Title: 2000

  • Ryan Verdugo, LHP, San Francisco Giants
    Ninth Round (267st overall)

    Verdugo's competitive nature is more powerful than his arsenal, but he knows how to change speeds and keep batters off balance.

    Other names to know:
    Matt Clark, 1B, San Diego Padres (12th Round); Harold Coleman, RHP, Washington Nationals (14th Round); Blake Martin, LHP, Minnesota Twins (17th Round); Jared Bradford, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (18th Round); Mike Hollander, 3B, Texas Rangers (20th Round); Jordan Brown, RHP, Chicago Cubs (39th Round).

    Now that we know the players... Let the games begin!