Bulls lose signee Ferrara to Cards
As expected, USF has lost a second baseball signee to a pro contract, as Riverview left-hander Anthony Ferrara, a seventh-round pick of the Cardinals, has signed, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Ferrara joins Middleton's Corey Thomas as would-be Bulls that won't be; catcher Adrian Nieto, taken in the fifth round by Nationals, is expected to join them sometime before the Aug. 15 deadline. USF coach Lelo Prado had four other signees drafted, but none until the 29th round. He hopes the other four all make it to campus.
"I hope we don't lose anybody else," Prado said Monday, with specific praise for Clearwater Central Catholic Sam Mende, who was taken by the Yankees in the 40th round. Mende could take over for another Yankees draft pick, junior Addison Maruszak, and start at shortstop as a freshman for the Bulls. "He has a chance to be a great college player," he said. "In three years, he could be Todd Frazier," referring to Rutgers' standout infielder, who was the No. 34 overall pick last year by the Reds.
We missed a USF signee last week -- Matt Reed, a 6-foot-3 left-hander from Albemarle, N.C., who was drafted by the Dodgers in the 44th round. Normally, such a low-round pick wouldn't be a big threat to skip college, but there's an interesting catch: Reed's father, Marty, is in his third season as the Dodgers' minor-league pitching coordinator and has worked for the Dodgers for the last 10 years.
"I"m pretty much set on going to college and playing at USF," Matt Reed said Wednesday, noting that his father once coached with Prado.
-- Talk about adding some zip to the strength and conditioning program: Ronnie McKeefery has added to his staff, naming Ray Weisenbarger, formerly at Akron, as S&C coach for men's basketball. Here's his Akron bio page, and USF's official announcement, which I missed back in April. Weisenbarger has a track background, including an NAIA national title in the shot put in 2004.
-- More baseball: Pinstripesplus.com had a Q&A with the Yankees' VP of scouting, Damon Oppenheimer, which mentions Mende and identifies Addison Maruszak as a potential late-round sleeper.