Archive for the ‘NCAA’ Category

Somewhere, Extra P is Smiling

Virginia rocks ace to oust No. 2-seeded Cal State Fullerton

The Cavaliers live to fight another day (against Arkansas, most likely – the Razorbacks are currently losing to LSU, 9-1, in the eighth inning), while perennial powerhouse Cal State Fullerton goes home.

If they can get past Arkansas, it will set up a rematch against the Tigers on Friday.

I’m looking forward to the first-person account from our own man-on-the-street, Extra P, who must be positively giddy that his hometown team is one of the seven teams that still has a chance at winning this thing.


My Road to Omaha

I guess you could say I went through my own regional and super-regional to get to Omaha today.

I first flew to Philadelphia to meet up with Marco, the founder of Storming the Floor. We tried to get into the Phillies game with the Red Sox, but apparently people actually show up to watch two championship-caliber teams play, so we couldn’t get in. I did, however, experience some of the fabled “Marco Magic”, which leads to close encounters with famous people. Marco is well known for having chatted up O.J. Simpson (post-double-murder) as well as various other stars of stage and arena. His karma did not disappoint, as we stumbled across an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” being filmed near The Bank. Marco was most excited to see Green Man, but I got more of a thrill out of the fact that Fred Savage was the director, and he was sitting ten yards away from us.

So, Philly was my regional. I went from there to the Super-Regional in New York, as we attended the Blogs With Balls conference. Though it was, in fact held in a basement (which we all appreciated) most everyone there was a fairly normal person. Special shout-outs go to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshinski, who is funny and very likable, and to Spencer Hall Orson Swindle of Every Day Should Be Saturday, who is the rare comedic alpha dog who is willing to laugh at other people’s jokes. Am I name-dropping? Hell yes I am. UffordSebekSarahSpain. Mottram.

This morning I arrived in Omaha, where I’ve taken in Arizona State’s win over North Carolina. I’ll be back tomorrow at 1pm for Virginia’s elimination game against Cal State Fullerton. I also met Brian Foley of the College Baseball Blog, who scored a swanky seat in the press box. Photos and recaps to come after I get back to Charlottesville!

Let the Road Trip Begin – Part 1


OK, so it’s not really a road trip. I’ll be flying a lot, and I believe there are plans to go on a ferry as well. But the fact remains that I’m going on the road, which always means one of you might see me out and about in your town.

First of all, I’m flying up to Philadelphia to meet up with my basketball season partner, Marco. I’m going to laze around the museum and look at the Rocky statue on Friday. On Saturday, Marco and I will journey a bit farther northward to take part in Blogs with Balls, so if any of you bloggers are  planning to be there, look for the big guy with a black-and-white beard. I’m sure I’ll have a nametag of some sort, and it will say Eric Angevine.

The next day, I fly out of Philly to Kansas City, meet up with my dad, and drive a couple of hours northward to Omaha to catch a couple of days of the College World Series. I was already excited to see Rosenblatt Stadium and do a little reporting and picture taking, but then it turns out that my hometown Virginia Cavaliers will be there as well. Bonus. I’ll be there writing a story abou the demise of Rosenblatt for, so again, if you see me, you can surreptitiously check my nametag to make sure it’s me before you accost a stranger.

Since my story for ESPN’s travel section will only use a fraction of the information I gather on my field trip, Bus Leagues readers can look forward to full interviews and photos when I get back.

Also, I call this part 1, because later this month, OMDQ and I will be meeting in a city on the Atlantic seaboard to watch some baseball together. But that’s his road trip, and he’s going many other places during it, so I’ll let him tell you about it when he’s ready.

Hope to see some of you in Philly, NY, or Omaha!

The Z-Meter: 6/9/2009 – Draft Day Edition

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.


Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)
Matt LaPorta: Columbus Clippers (AAA) to Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Daniel Bard: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) to Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)
Fernando Martinez: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) to New York Mets (MLB)
Matt Wieters: Norfolk Tides (AAA) to Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA) to Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Andrew McCutchen: Indianapolis Indians (AAA) to Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)

Antonio Bastardo: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)
Yonder Alonso: Sarasota Reds (A) to Carolina Mudcats (AA)

Why an edition of the Z-Meter dedicated to the MLB draft? Several reasons.

  1. Most of the guys on this meter came to us from the MLB first-year player draft. The rest were signed out of shady, desparate third-world baseball academies.
  2. I will be leaving for Omaha on Friday, so I’m forced to meet my obligation of posting once per week earlier than usual.
  3. None of these humps has been promoted this week, so we need a “hook”.

The draft will begin at 6pm tonight. I wonder who will go first????????

The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, waiting for the call that will change their lives.

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 12 Games – 6W – 3L – 3.18 ERA – 29 BB – 52 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .280 – 38 R – 8 HR – 25 RBI – 50 BB – 0 SB – .505 SLG – .932 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .309 – 45 R – 3 HR – 21 RBI – 13 BB – 22 SB – .436 SLG – .783 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 11 Starts – 1 W – 6 L – 5.14 ERA – 17 BB – 63 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .340 – 31 R – 1 HR – 27 RBI – 22 BB – 11 SB – .453 SLG – .866 OPS

These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .262 AVG – 29 R – 7 HR – 34 RBI – 25 BB – 0 SB – .441 SLG – .788 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 11 Starts – 4 W – 4 L – 3.19 ERA – 22 BB – 52 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .282 AVG – 37 R – 10 HR – 39 RBI – 39 BB – 0 SB – .546 SLG – .957 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B (injured) – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .325 AVG – 28 R – 6 HR – 25 RBI – 32 BB – 0 SB – .503 SLG – .947 OPS
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .348 AVG – 36 R – 10 HR – 60 RBI – 18 BB – 0 SB – .557 SLG – .948 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 5 Games – 4 Starts – 4 W – 0 L – 1.86 ERA – 8 BB – 29 K
Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 7 Starts – 4 W – 2 L – 3.20 ERA – 6 BB – 38 K
Yonder Alonso, 1B – Carolina Mudcats (Reds): .219 AVG – 3 R – 0 HR – 3 RBI – 4 BB – o SB – .313 SLG – .618 OPS
Kyle Drabek, RHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 1 Start – 1 W – 0 L – 0.00 ERA – 3 BB – 4 K

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .252 AVG – 9 R – 9 HR – 24 RBI – 12 BB – 0 SB – .483 SLG – .785 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .273 AVG – 33 R – 7 HR – 36 RBI – 13 BB – 4 SB – .440 SLG – .754 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .240 AVG – 27 R – 10 HR – 42 RBI – 31 BB – 1 SB – .454 SLG – .792 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .215 AVG – 26 R – 1 HR – 17 RBI – 26 BB – 8 SB – .287 SLG – .607 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .338 AVG – 35 R – 13 HR – 36 RBI – 6 BB – 3 SB – .592 SLG – .970 OPS

Shooter Hunt (injured), RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 7 Games – 5 Starts – 0 W – 1 L – 10.70 ERA – 33 BB – 18 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .279 AVG – 39 R – 6 HR – 33 RBI – 26 BB – 10 SB – .457 SLG – .827 OPS

Mauricio Robles (injured), P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 10 Starts – 4 W – 3 L – 3.91 ERA – 23 BB – 70 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .297 AVG – 26 R – 3 HR – 31 RBI – 18 BB – 2 SB – .427 SLG – .788 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 11 Games – 10 Starts – 7 W – 2 L – 1 SV – 3.17 ERA – 11 BB – 47 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 26 Games – 0 Starts – 1.04 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 16 SV – 5 BB – 33 K

NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 14 Starts – 13 W – 1 L – 1.32 ERA – 19 BB – 195 K

Strasburg and the Aztecs were eliminated from postseason play in their regional. Tonight’s draft will give us the first idea of where he’ll start his Z-Meter career as a pro.


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and our trademark irrational sense of whimsy.

Can college destroy a hitter too?

Before the post, a brief introduction. I’m Andrew, I was invited to join this conclave by young mister One More Dying Quail, and I’m only too happy to join up with this conclave. You might know me from The Grand National Championships or my brief appearance as Fat Guy #2 in Monk’s Super Bowl Spectacular.

But as we get into the College World Series and the baseball draft, we have to ask. Does college baseball ruin prospects? I’ve already made mention about how Augie Garrido ruins pitchers. But here’s my new premise.

Mark Marquess ruins hitters.

Unless you’re a hardocre Philly fan, you may not know who this is. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. He’s Michael Taylor, and he is made of speed and power. But he wasn’t exactly off to a fast start as he went to college.

Why? Because Mark Marquess has a system for hitters. Level swings. They must use only one plane of contact to their swing. Mark Marquess has won Pac-10 games with the better part of thirty-three seasons. And in that time, he’s had three hitters who have had moments above commonality.

Ed Sprague, Jeffrey Hammonds, and Carlos Quentin. That’s about it.  He’s brought more early round busts than professionals. And that’s not even if you count pitching…but anyway.

Why has Michael Taylor become such a professional success? And he is rolling up with a .351/.413/.600. He got away from the Stanford system. The Stanford system messed up people like Joe Borchard and Donald Lucy. And now?

The Phillies have a J.J. Davis whose actually developed some skills.

The 2009 College World Series Is Set

Your participants:

Cal State Fullerton
North Carolina
Southern Miss
Arizona State

Bus League’s own Extra P is on the ground in Omaha as we speak, living out a lifelong dream of visiting Rosenblatt Stadium. If Virginia wins the whole deal, it may be awhile before we see our bearded friend again.

The College World Series Is Quickly Taking Shape

Three teams finished off a two-game Super Regional sweep yesterday to advance to the 2009 College World Series.  Cal State Fullerton beat Louisville, 11-2; Arkansas stopped Florida State, 9-8; and LSU handled Rice, 5-3.  The remaining series on that side of the bracket will be decided today when Ole Miss and Virginia play at 3 PM on ESPN.

On the other side, Texas, Southern Miss, Arizona State and North Carolina took 1-0 leads in their Super Regionals.  The four games today all have staggered start times and can be seen on ESPN and ESPN2 (assuming you don’t have a two-year-old who insists on watching some combination of Cars, Meet the Robinsons, and Madagascar all day.  I’m lucky I even got to see Roger Federer take care of business in the French this morning).

North Carolina vs. East Carolina (North Carolina leads, 1-0) (12:00 PM, ESPN)

TCU vs. Texas (Texas leads, 1-0) (3:00 PM, ESPN)

Ole Miss vs. Virginia (Series tied, 1-1) (3:00 PM, ESPN)

Florida vs. Southern Miss (Southern Miss leads, 1-0) (7:00 PM, ESPN2)

Clemson vs. Arizona State (Arizona State leads, 1-0) (10:00 PM, ESPN2)

If any of these series go to a third game, they will be played tomorrow.

Also, in honor of Arkansas’s first College World Series appearance since 2004, here is Academy Award-winning actor Brian Walker from a game against Ole Miss a couple years ago:

Walker was drafted in the 29th round by the Angels in 2007.  He is hitting .310 in 21 games for Rancho Cucamonga this season.