Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Baseball Updates in The Crimson

THC follows up on several of the stories we've posted here. First, Frank Herrmann's exit:

While playing with the Oahu Paddlers in the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League, the senior pitcher drew the attention of scouts on the strength of his rejuvenated right arm. In the past, the Rutherford, N.J. native had suffered from tendinitis at the ulnar nerve, hindering both his health and velocity.

But this summer, finally “truly healthy” for the first time, Herrmann—who went 5-1 with a 3.09 ERA last year—was hitting 93 MPH on the radar gun.

After being considered by the Kansas City Royals and the Red Sox, the starter was approached by Indians scout Don Lyle, who offered him the best deal.

Herrmann, who stands 6’4, 220-lbs., calls the time he spent mulling over signing and thus leaving Harvard baseball the “toughest three weeks” of his life.

“I talked to everyone,” he said. “I talked to my family, friends. I talked to Zak, Coach Walsh, Coach Hyde.”

The notion of “What if?” ultimately proved too glaring for Herrmann to ignore. He figured that if he pitched for the Crimson in 2006 and did poorly, or got hurt once again, the prospect of another contract coming along would be slim.

So the Indians threw out a number, offered to help pay for school, and included a signing bonus. Former Boston Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette—whom Herrmann played for in the New England Collegiate Baseball League two summers ago—helped negotiate the deal for him and his family.

“I was a part of the best team ever in my opinion,” Herrmann said. “But I might never get this opportunity again.”

Today, Herrmann is back at school, living with his roommates and readying for the fall semester.

He’ll practice and work out with the team, he says, and then head to wherever the Indians send him in March. He is “99.9 percent sure” that he’ll return next fall to get his degree in government.

The same article also discusses Zak Farkes' summer:

“My main goal was to get experience this summer,” he says. “If I deliberated, waited until next year, I might’ve missed 100 or so at-bats. The wheels would’ve been going too fast. It would’ve been my first spring training—with no pro experience.”

Farkes acknowledged he “was pressing” during a short season at Class A ball this summer. His stint with Lowell—which finished just short of playoff contention in the New York-Penn League—somewhat resembled his junior season at Harvard, in which a slow start was topped with a season-ending hot streak.

Farkes hit two home runs in the season’s final week, but finished with a disappointing .174 average in 132 at-bats.

“You learn a lot about yourself,” he says of unfulfilled expectations. “But [the minors are] not really about stats. It’s more about learning to play the game.”

Despite the rough summer, the Red Sox were impressed with Farkes’ finish.

After working towards his Harvard degree this fall and living with roommate Frank Herrmann in Eliot House, he will report to spring training in March.

The article also reports that John Wolff, whose selection in the late rounds of the draft surprised many, has signed with the White Sox.

The Crimson then devotes a separate article to Schuyler Mann's signing with the Yankees:

“I hadn’t talked to any scouts in a while,” Mann says. “By that time, I’d basically given up any thought of baseball. As far as I knew, they weren’t signing people that late.”

When the Yankees came calling, Mann was at home in Corvallis, Mont., engaging in his favorite hobby, fresh-water fishing, and entertaining designs on joining the family jewelry business.

Finally, there's this on other players' summer league stints.

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