College baseball has been going for a few weeks now and it is time to look at the fresh new faces who have been impacting the landscape and will continue to impact it.
1. Ryan Long - SS - Texas Tech Red Raiders
Long started only getting an at-bat here or there, but he showed enough to the coaches to get snag the starting spot at shortstop and he rewarded them by winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. He has batted .343 with 12 hits in 35 AB's so far and has shown a good glove as well to go with his bat. He has shown a knack for putting it in play even when he gets out. This is obvious by seeing that he has only 6 K's to his 12 hits so far. I think he will be a legit candidate for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
2. Phil Bickford - RP - Cal State Fullerton Titans
This guy was a top prospect in Baseball America's Rankings among many others and so far he has shown up big time for the Titans with a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings of relief. He is averaging 12.6 K's/9 and batters have a batting average of only .205 against him so far. His great control and ability to throw effective strikes will carry him a long way.
3. Ryan Cleveland - 1B - Georgia Southern Eagles
Cleveland has shown some early pop in the season with 3 HR's already and he has a solid .308 batting average to go with the power. His glove is great too as evidenced by his .982 fielding % so far. The Eagles have soared to a great 10-2 start and Cleveland has been a big reason why they've gotten off to such a great start and will continue to make a huge positive impact for this team.
Charleston Southern must be happy with this guy, every time he has gone out and started he hasn't given up a single earned run. He has started 3 games and pitched 15.1 innings and still has a 0.00 ERA to boot. He is more of a "throw strikes and let the your defense get outs for you" kind of guy and it has worked like charm for the Bucs. I will be keeping an eye on this guy to see how long he can keep this scoreless start going.
5. Matt Krook - SP - Oregon Ducks
He has a whopping 33 K's so far in only 19.1 IP. Wow. This is a guy who knows how to miss bats early and often and it has garnered him a 2.33 ERA to date. The real crime here is how he has wound with three no-decisions in all of his starts so far. I believe if he can keep missing the bats like this then the W's will have to start falling his way sometime for him.