Sunday, June 19, 2005

Diamond Notes

Having taken a bit of a break to catch our collective breaths (and watch CS-Fullerton fail to make it back to Omaha after all), here's a look at some Harvard baseball news and notes:

  • Ben Crockett '02 was called-up to Double A Tulsa about the same time the Crimson met their Game 1 fate, after extended spring training / injury rehab:
    Ben Crockett is back on the mound after spending rehabilitation time for a shoulder injury in Tucson, Ariz. But the 25-year-old power pitcher from Topsfield, Masconomet Regional and Harvard University is not in a familiar role with the Tulsa Drillers of the Double A Texas League.

    Crockett is now pitching in relief.

    Professionally, he's been a fixture as a starting pitcher since signing with the Colorado Rockies in 2002, a third-round draft choice who was highly coveted coming out of Harvard.

    However, the power-pitching right-hander suffered an impingement of a shoulder nerve in spring training. He spent almost two months in Tucson in extended spring training for players who are on the mend.

    "If it's going to get me to the majors quicker, all the better. I have no problem with it," Crockett said. "I'm 100 percent healthy and anxious for the opportunity just to pitch.

    "I haven't done relief in some time, but I did close at times at Harvard and I relieved some that summer I pitched in Alaska after my freshman year at Harvard. It was a mixture of starting and relieving."

    Congratulations, Ben. Immediately after Crockett and the Crimson lost to Washington in the 2002 NCAA Regionals, I met Ben after his final press conference, shook has hand and thanked him for the memories. Ben Crockett starts in senior year were incredibly thrilling experiences, including a number of performances that felt even more dominant than the no-hitter he hurled against Dartmouth in 2001. I felt pretty confident it wouldn't be the last I saw of him on the mound. Here's hoping.

    And now, some more draft fallout:

  • Steffan Wilson grew up on a diet of pretty good backyard pitching. His big brother and Winthrop pitcher was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 27th round. The younger Wilson gets a mention in this article.

  • Nick Pulos, Penn catcher and new Oakland A's draftee, had some awfully interesting things to say about being drafted out of Penn in this oddly written article:

    The sole Penn player selected in the draft is disillusioned with the way Penn prepares its players for the possibility of being drafted. He said Penn does little to expose the varsity players to current Major Leaguers. For example, former Penn players and major leaguers Mark DeRosa and Doug Glanville, seldom, if ever, meet with current Penn players.

    The player claims that the draft is a tremendously political process, and the Ivy League and Penn are often overlooked by scouts. He claims that the outgoing Penn coaching staff did little to pressure players to be drafted and equally little to encourage Major League teams to draft Penn players.

    His case-in-point was the example of Nick Italiano. Italiano, a 2003 graduate was Penn's all time hit leader yet did not get drafted. However, Italiano's story was not complete disappointment, as he later signed with the Phillies as a rookie free agent.

  • Summer-watch: Lance Salsgiver and Shawn Haviland in a Cranberry-Cape League showcase.

  • Frosh-watch: Chris Stevens ("plans to walk on as an outfielder"), Jared Wortzman.

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