Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Video Game Note

For those who were really hoping: No, the new MVP '06: NCAA Baseball does not include Ivy League teams, even though EA's college basketball and football franchises both offer Harvard action in semi-accurate stadiums. You'll have to wait for future versions of the game that include the full Division I universe to unleash Shawn Haviland and Steffan Wilson on an unsuspecting video world and see digital renderings of the trees behind the outfield fence.

Sons of Bart Brush: We cover every conceivable base.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Baseball America thinks the Ivy Title is staying here.

We're only a couple months away, folks...

A fellow former beat writer informs me that Baseball America (subscription required) has posted its Ivy League preview. BA predicts Harvard edging out Brown by a game for the division title and going on to beat Princeton in the league championship series. Steffan Wilson is the pre-season Player of the Year. The BA preseason All-Conference team consists of Josh Klimkiewicz (mispelled as "Klinkiewicz" but at least he's finally recognized by somebody) at first, Wilson at third, Morgan Brown at short, Lance Salsgiver wedged in as the DH and Shawn Haviland as one of three Ivy pitchers spotlighted, and projects sophomore transfer Tom Stack-Babich as the league's top newcomer.

The write-up notes the departure of some top talent from rival teams, including, thank heavens, this guy, and that Brown's Paul Christian will move to the outfield after hurting himself in the Cape league. Wilson, draft ineligible, also projects as the league's third most promising pro prospect, after 1 and 2.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hyde-y ho!

Former Harvard assistant coach Matt Hyde is now an area scout for the New York Yankees, in charge of New England, New York and Pennsylvania. Matt is currently coordinating a number of winter baseball clinics with Mets scout Craig McLaughlin, Chicago Cubs pitcher Rich Hill and former Harvard standout Zak Farkes. Hyde reports that he was approached late last summer by Dan Duquette, former Red Sox GM, in helping to put together the 2006 edition of his New England Collegiate League team. Hyde saw the potential to get back into pro-ball full time, and with help from Duquette and Mets hitting coach Rick Down, found his way to the pros. It came down to the Yankees and the Jays, and Hyde is now in a job that gives him scouting duties at, among other venues, the Cape Cod League where he at one time served as an assistant coach.

Hyde sees a lot of Farkes on a day to day basis and says that after a difficult start in the minors, Farkes got some good advice during his first season and is now swinging the ball better than he's ever seen. He also noted that Luis Alicea, who managed the Spinners last year, told him he had the potential to be a gold glove third baseman.

Good luck to both Matt and Zak.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Trey Hendricks branches out.

Happy 2006. We haven't said much lately, so here is an article from late 2005 about former Crimson star Trey Hendricks, now making his way back from surgery and trying to make his way no matter what the job asks:
So back to baseball. Utility guy is a broad term, especially coming from someone who played exactly two positions in his first year as a pro in Short Season Yakima. It seems even more curious when you realize those two positions were first base and DH. Of course, there's a reason for everything Hendricks does, and knee surgery in April of 2004 has a lot to do with his role in '05.

The surgery kept him out of competitive ball, and in extended spring training his first season, and in year two, though he was healthy, the organization felt keeping him where he was comfortable was important. Now though, all bets are off.

"First base of course, but third base, left field, right field, even some catching, I've kind of been doing it all here."

Catching? Certainly a Harvard guy has got to be smart enough not to strap on the gear?

"I'm up for it, Plum [Bill Plummer, who oversaw the catchers at instructs] has been working with me a couple times a week, and it's fun, you're involved in everything."