Kendall Rogers breaks down the 2008 Rivals.com Freshman All-America teams
July 1, 2008
Kendall Rogers Rivals.com College Baseball Editor
C Micah Gibbs
School: LSU High School: Pflugerville (Texas) High Ht.: 5-11
After leaving the state of Texas to play for the Tigers, Gibbs experienced success in his first season in Baton Rouge. Gibbs was a staple behind the plate and hit .322 with two and 35 RBIs. He also slugged .448 and had a .417 OBP. Gibbs also was one of the team leaders in doubles with 16.
C Cameron Rupp
School: Texas High School: Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Academy Ht.: 6-2
With usual catcher Preston Clark suffering from an injury much of the season, Rupp was rushed into action as a freshman. He didn't disappoint. The highly touted prospect finished his first season hitting .309 with four homers and 32 RBIs. He also slugged .479 and had 17 doubles to go with two triples.
After turning down substantial money out of high school to attend Auburn, Morris certainly didn't disappoint in his first season with the Tigers. The hard-hitting first baseman finished his first season hitting a team-leading .351 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs. He also slugged .597 and had a .433 OBP.
1B Danny Stienstra
School: San Jose State High School: Woodside (Calif.) Saint Francis Ht.: 6-2
It's not often that a freshman leads his team in hitting, but Stienstra accomplished that feat with the Spartans this season. The talented first baseman led the team with a .365 batting average. He also knocked in 32 runs, had seven doubles and three triples and sported a .420 OBP.
2B Josh Adams
School: Florida High School: Jacksonville (Fla.) Eagle's View Academy Ht.: 5-10
After a successful high school career, Adams teamed with shortstop Cole Figueroa to form one of the SEC's top middle infields. Adams had a great season at the plate, hitting .330 with eight homers and 51 RBIs. He also slugged .536 and had a .430 on-base percentage. He also hit 17 doubles.
2B Jedd Gyorko
School: West Virginia High School: Morgantown (W.Va.) University Ht.: 5-10
He flew under the radar for much of the regular season, but he had a phenomenal year at the plate as the Mountaineers finished with 35-21. Gyorko batted .409 with eight homers and 63 RBIs. He also slugged .612 and had a .450 on-base percentage. Gyorko also had 17 doubles and three triples.
SS Derek Dietrich
School: Georgia Tech High School: Cleveland St. Ignatius Ht.: 6-1
Perhaps the most electric freshman offensive player in this year's class, Dietrich had a tremendous season as Georgia Tech's four-hole hitter. Dietrich finished his first season hitting .332 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs. He slugged .592 and had a .410 OBP. He also hit 16 doubles and two triples.
SS Rick Hague
School: Rice High School: Spring (Texas) Klein Collins Ht.: 6-2
Replacing productive shortstop Brian Friday appeared to be a tough chore, but Hague made it look easy this season. The talented infielder finished the year hitting .348 with eight homers and 54 RBIs. He also slugged .549 and had a .408 on-base percentage. He also had 19 doubles and two triples.
Behind veteran catcher Dock Doyle, Woodward was the best hitter on Coastal Carolina's Super Regional team. Woodward had an outstanding season at the plate, hitting .364 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. He slugged .533 and had a .540 on-base percentage. He also had 15 doubles and a triple.
3B Rob Segedin
School: Tulane High School: Old Tappan (N.J.) Northern Valley Ht.: 6-3
Being one of the leading hitters for a team that made the field of 64 is an impressive feat. You can ask Rob Segedin how that feels. He batted .322 with six homers and 59 RBIs this season. He also slugged .485 and had a .414 OBP, along with 18 doubles. Segedin helped Tulane get back in business.
OF Ryan Lockwood
School: South Florida High School: Tampa Jesuit Ht.: 5-10
Few freshmen finished the season with more impressive offensive numbers. Though the Bulls didn't have a great season, Lockwood was outstanding. He batted .415 with 37 RBIs. He slugged .513 and had a .493 OBP. He also had 15 doubles and three triples. Lockwood's offensive production gives the Bulls a potentially bright future.
OF Ben Klafczynski
School: Kent State High School: Medina (Ohio) Highland Ht.: 6-3
The highly touted freshman lived up to expectations in his first season at Kent State. Klafczynski finished his first year hitting .339 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs. He also slugged .630 and had a .385 on-base percentage. He had 11 doubles, two triples and 104 total bases for the Golden Flashes.
OF Kentrail Davis
School: Tennessee High School: Theodore (Ala.) High Ht.: 5-9
He was absolutely phenomenal at the Astros College Classic. Despite playing much of his freshman year with an injury, Davis had a great season at the plate. He finished the year hitting .330 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs. He also slugged .583 with a .435 OBP, and he led Tennessee with 120 total bases.
In his first season with the Mavericks, Choice was great in several facets of the game. The talented freshman finished the season hitting a team-leading .376 with seven homers and 51 RBIs. He slugged .558 and had a .440 on-base percentage. He also had nine doubles, three triples and 110 total bases.
Fletcher teamed with Morris to form the nation's best freshman hitting duo. Fletcher had an extremely productive year at the plate, hitting .324 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs. He slugged .611 and had a .408 on-base percentage. He also recorded 17 doubles, three triples and 125 total bases.
OF Dan Grovatt
School: Virginia High School: Tabernacle (N.J.) Seneca Ht.: 6-1
After a strong fall, Grovatt entered the season with high hopes. He certainly lived up to expectations for the Cavaliers. Grovatt finished his first season hitting .324 with three homers and 46 RBIs. He also slugged .402 and had a .420 on-base percentage. He added 22 doubles and 101 total bases.
DH Stuart Tapley
School: Florida State High School: Orlando Boone Ht.: 5-10
Tapley was a leading hitter in one of the nation's best offensive lineups. The third baseman finished his first season hitting .383 with eight homers and 40 RBIs. He also slugged .592 and had a .472 on-base percentage. He had 75 hits, 15 doubles, a triple and 116 total bases. Tapley made a huge statement in year one.
DH Christian Colon
School: Cal State Fullerton High School: Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon Ht.: 6-0
One of the most electric players in the Big West this season, Colon was an offensive and defensive staple for the Titans. Colon finished his first season hitting .329 with four homers and 39 RBIs. He also slugged .444 and had a .406 OBP. He swiped 13 bases and recorded 12 doubles and two triples.
UT Mike McGee
School: Florida State High School: Port St. Lucie (Fla.) High Ht.: 6-0
McGee was a force to deal with on the mound and at the plate for the Seminoles. The first-year player hit .344 with six homers and 36 RBIs. He also recorded eight doubles and three triples. As a pitcher, McGee went 7-1 with a 4.04 ERA in 552/3 innings. He also held foes to a .231 batting average.
UT Brooks Raley
School: Texas A&M High School: Uvalde (Texas) High Ht.: 6-0
Raley was a spot-role offensive contributor for the Aggies, but had a productive first season on the mound. Raley started 14 games for A&M and went 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 922/3 innings. He also struck out 68 and walked 27 while opponents hit him at a .271 clip. He also threw one complete game in a banner season for the Aggies.
SP Chris Hernandez
School: Miami High School: Miami Pace Ht.: 6-1
No freshman pitcher in recent memory has captured more attention than the Miami left-hander. Hernandez had an exceptional season at Miami's ace. The lefty started 17 games and went 11-0 with a 2.72 ERA in 112 2/3 innings. He also struck out 117 and walked 18, and opponents hit .223 off him.
SP Shane Davis
School: Canisius High School: Belmont (Ontario) East Elgin Ht.: 6-0
The Canadian had a tremendous season for the Golden Griffins. Davis started 13 games for the Griffs and went 12-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 89 1/3 innings. He also struck out 47 and walked 24, while opponents hit him at a .264 clip. Perhaps most impressive, Davis finished the year with 10 complete games.
SP Chance Ruffin
School: Texas High School: Austin (Texas) Lake Travis Ht.: 6-1
The right-hander blossomed into one of the Big 12's aces. Ruffin started 10 games for the Longhorns and went 8-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 78 innings. He also struck out 82 and walked 24, and held opponents to a .191 average. Ruffin established himself as one of the nation's future stars.
SP Kyle Blair
School: San Diego High School: Los Gatos (Calif.) High
Blair turned down the Los Angeles Dodgers after being drafted in the fifth round in last year's draft. That turned out to be a good move. Blair had an outstanding first season for the Toreros, starting 12 games and going 8-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 74 2/3 innings. He also struck out 99 and walked 34, while opponents hit .221 off him.
SP Seth Maness
School: East Carolina High School: Pinehurst (N.C.) Pinecrest Ht.: 5-11
The Pirates made yet another NCAA regional appearance with this freshman pitcher leading the charge. Maness had a terrific year for the Pirates, starting 15 games and going 9-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 98 1/3 innings. He struck out 81 and walked 20, while opponents hit him at a .254 clip.
SP Daniel Renken
School: Cal State Fullerton High School: Orange (Calif.) Orange Lutheran Ht.: 6-4
The Titans had another good season and Renken pitched like an ace on several occasions. Renken started 14 games and went 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 81 innings. He also struck out 80 and walked 22, and opponents hit .294 off him. Renken allowed just five homers.
SP Matt Harvey
School: North Carolina High School: Mystic (Conn.) Fitch Ht.: 6-4
The highly touted freshman certainly lived up to his billing this season. Harvey was a weekend starter for the Tar Heels. The right-hander started 16 games and went 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 67 2/3 innings. He also struck out 80 and walked 47, while holding foes to a .214 average.
He teamed with fellow freshman Brooks Raley in the weekend rotation. Loux had an impressive year on the mound, starting 16 games and going 6-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 90 1/3 innings. He struck out 81 and walked 35, while opponents hit him at a .227 clip. Loux is also a highly touted prospect.
Dempsay was absolutely dominant out of the bullpen for the Cougars. Dempsay made 33 appearances (one start) and had a 2.53 ERA in 64 innings. The right-hander also recorded 11 saves, struck 49 and walked 19. Opponents hit just .214 off him.
RP Drew Storen
School: Stanford High School: Brownsburg (Ind.) High Ht.: 6-2
We first saw Storen pitch against Texas early in the season and were impressed. Storen had a great year for Stanford. He made 31 appearances and had a 3.51 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. He also recorded eight saves, and struck out 50 and walked 15. Opponents hit him at a .257 clip.
RP Kevin Rhoderick
School: Oregon State High School: Scottsdale (Ariz.) Horizon Ht.: 6-0
Some were surprised when Rhoderick decided to leave Arizona for Oregon State. But the move was a good one as the freshman had a great year on the mound for the Beavers. Rhoderick made 20 appearances, recorded 12 saves and had a 2.39 ERA in 26 1/3 innings.
RP Matt Evers
School: Rice High School: Houston Stratford Ht.: 6-3
He flew a little bit under the radar for much of the season because of Rice's incredibly deep bullpen, but Evers was a key cog on the mound. The left-hander made 29 appearances for the Owls and had a 3.00 ERA in 42 innings. He also struck out 54 and walked 23, and opponents hit .232 off him.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.