Jan. 24, 2007
This is the second in a 17-day series previewing the 2007 Bearcats baseball team. Today's installment features a look at the 17 newcomers on the 2007 roster.
by Shawn Sell, UC Assistant Sports Communications Director
Just three seasons ago, the University of Cincinnati baseball team was in its second year of playing without a home. Johnny Bench Field was but a memory and Marge Schott Stadium was just a dream. Now three years later, the line from the movie "Field of Dreams" rings true for the Bearcats; "if you will build it, they will come."
"They" for the 2007 version of the Bearcats is a talented and deep group of 17 newcomers that will join 17 returning letterwinners in UC's quest for a BIG EAST Championship. The class is a diverse one featuring nine pitchers and eight position players; six are Division I transfers, one played last season in junior college and the balance were prep stars a year ago. All told, these 17 players will no doubt make their mark on UC Baseball for years to come.
The following is a capsule look at the newcomer class. A note on each player's accolades is provided, along with a projected look at their role with the 2007 Bearcats.
Catcher Ryan Baker
Background: An all-conference performer at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College.
Projection: Baker will battle with incumbent starter Nick Maragas and returning redshirt Dustin Alvey for the starting nod behind the plate.
Pitcher John Baird
Background: Pitched last season at Birmingham Southern, before excelling in the Great Lakes College League over the summer.
Projection: A frontrunner for a weekend starting assignment behind returnees Steve Blevins and Dan Osterbrock.
Pitcher Brandon Bouley
Background: Made team during walk-on tryouts after a successful career at Hamilton High.
Projection: Will provide another left-handed arm out of the bullpen.
Pitcher Scott Brothers
Background: Earned three all-conference awards at Delphi (Ind.) High.
Projection: Will bring depth to the bullpen.
Outfielder Tony Campana
Background: Enjoyed a successful two-year stint at UNC-Asheville, playing in 72 games with a .319 batting average and 22 stolen bases.
Projection: The front runner to start in centerfield, replacing LaFringe Hayes.
Infielder Michael Earley
Background: Hit .523 as a senior at Anderson (Ind.) High.
Projection: Will battle for playing time in the infield, most likely at third base.
Infielder Reggie Fugett
Background: Member of the UC Football team that joined the team following the International Bowl. Hit .438 as a high school senior at The Gillman School.
Projection: In the mix for the vacant starting job at first base.
Pitcher Brian Garman
Background: A second team All-Ohio selection at Wapakoneta (Ohio) High.
Projection: Should contribute right away out of the bullpen, while also having the ability to play in the outfield.
Pitcher Michael Hill
Background: Transferred from East Carolina after seeing limited action as a freshman.
Projection: Has the talent to contribute as either a starter or reliever. His exact role is still being defined.
Pitcher Kevin Johnson
Background: A two-time All-Ohio selection at Willard High.
Projection: Will most likely work in middle relief, but can also hit and play first base as needed.
Infielder Tim McEndy
Background: A two-time all-conference selection at Malevern (Pa.) Prep.
Projection: Will provide depth in the infield and a left-handed bat off the bench.
Outfielder Michael Obyc
Background: A transfer from Kent State who achieved great success as a prep at Bishop Watterson (Ohio) High.
Projection: A valuable reserve outfielder and potential designated hitter candidate.
Pitcher Brian Sand
Background: Joined team following walk-on tryouts after playing on the prep level at Oak Hills High in Cincinnati.
Projection: Another option out of the bullpen.
Outfielder Cameron Satterwhite
Background: Put up solid numbers in one season at Indiana. A highly accomplished prep player at Moeller High, where he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians.
Projection: Will start the season as the starting rightfielder.
Infielder Jamel Scott
Background: A first team All-Ohio selection at Dublin Scioto High.
Projection: Will challenge for the starting job at second base with good athleticism and speed.
Pitcher Robb Thompson
Background: An all-city performer as a two-way player at Elder High.
Projection: A left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, while also providing depth in the outfield.
Pitcher Billy Welsh
Background: Appeared in 18 games during two seasons at Tennessee Tech. Went 9-0 with a 1.30 ERA as a high school senior.
Projection: Will be in the mix for time as a middle reliever and mid-week starter.