College Baseball 360 Fall Notebook #2

September 13, 2010

By College Baseball 360 Editor Sean Stires

Are the leaves falling where you are yet? If you’re in the south or on the west coast it’s probably a moot point. They’re not falling where I am, but they are starting to turn colors a bit. It’s nice college football weather, but college baseball teams are beginning their official fall workouts as well. Now, some notes and thoughts from the past week…

Frankie Ratcliff

  • Some crazy news out of Coral Gables involving a college baseball player. According to the Miami Herald, Miami sophomore Frank Ratcliff was arrested after trying to sell marijuana to an undercover police detective. The 19-year old was detained after allegedly negotiating the sale of 21 grams of pot to an undercover officer. Police then allegedly found 101 more grams of marijuana and 19 vials of HGH in Ratcliff’s apartment. The University of Miami says Ratcliff has been indefinitely suspended. He hit .276 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and 13 stolen bases with 52 starts as a freshman for Miami’s 2010 Super Regional team.
  • TCU hasn’t released its 2011 baseball schedule yet, but the Horned Frogs did show up on a couple schedules that were released last week. Jim Schlossnagle’s Horned Frogs will open the season by hosting Kansas Feb. 18-20, and they will also host Houston March 25-27. Click Here for the full Houston schedule or Click Here for the full Kansas 2011 slate. Kansas plays another College World Series team, Arizona State, in March. Houston has a premiere non-conference home series with Ole Miss set for Feb. 25-27.
  • Arizona released its 2011 schedule last week as well. Rice and New Mexico are among the most interesting non-conference visitors to Tucson next season. The Wildcats also have non-league road series at Long Beach State and Wichita State.
  • We released our first Two-Sport Report of the fall last week. Guys like Heisman runner-up and Biletnikoff Award winner Golden Tate were the most notable players on the report last year. Clemson’s Kyle Parker is on the list again this year, but several other less high profile college baseball players who play other sports are on the lengthy list as well. For instance, Princeton’s Stephen Harrington. In addition to splitting time in the outfield and at first base on the diamond, Harrington also plays squash… yes, squash at Princeton.

    Coty Blanchard

  • Another two sport athlete made a big debut during college football’s opening weekend. Freshman quarterback/shortstop Coty Blanchard was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in helping Jacksonville State to a season-opening 49-48 2 OT win over Ole Miss on Sept. 4. Blanchard was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the June MLB Draft and will also play baseball for the Gamecocks.
  • New Notre Dame baseball coach Mik Aoki seems to be making a big early impression. Aoki’s Irish had their first practice of the fall last week, and the three hour workout is one his team won’t soon forget. Senior catcher Matt Scioscia (son of Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia) told me it was the toughest on-field workout he’s been through since he’s been at Notre Dame.
  • Rice released its 2011 schedule a day after Houston’s was released, and the Owls will see plenty of Pac 10 competition this year. They open the season by hosting Stanford at Reckling Park and then host USC the following weekend. Rice heads to Arizona March 1 and 2 for a pair of games, and then travels to San Francisco 10 days later for a tournament hosted by Cal. That’s at least nine games against the Pac 10.
  • I am often asked about how high school players can get noticed by college baseball teams. This is actually one of the best times of year for high school baseball players to do just that by attending fall baseball camps. I’m not going to recommend one camp over another, but they will soon be going on at most colleges around the country, so they’re fairly easy to find. What sets the fall camps apart from summer camps is enrollment numbers tend to be lighter than summer camps, so it’s easier to get a little face time with college coaches. Players can also typically get a written evaluation at the end of a fall camp, so can see their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of a college coach. Fall camps are pretty much for high school players only for this very reason.

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