USF's Giarratano gives gift to his father

Written by Stacy Hicklin on .

I have known Coach G since my senior year of high school in 1991, when he recruited me out of Cherry Creek HS in Englewood, CO.  I didn't play for him my freshman year but transferred to Trinidad State JC where I played for him in 1993.  Eventually I ended up working for Coach G at USF when he gave me my break in major college baseball, as the volunteer assistant at USF in the fall of 2000.  When I was thinking of getting out of the business world after college and into baseball, Coach G was the first person I called and he facilitated a fact-finding meeting with a friend of his, Doug Schreiber, head coach at Purdue.  That meeting spurred me on my way to my career that has seen me coach at the D1 level, scout for the Atlanta Braves, and now run a successful event while also assisting many players as they work toward futures in college baseball.

That I eventually followed my dream of being in baseball has everything to do with my relationship with Coach G.  You see, at the end of our 1993 season (which ended in the playoffs and short of our team's goal of reaching the JC World Series), in a hotel room in near Fruita, Colorado, Coach G told me in our one on one end of season meeting that if there was ever anything he could help me with in the future, I could call him and count on him.  I was injured during that 1993 season but continued to put my energy into our team, often sitting near Coach in the dugout and "pestering" him with my ideas during each game.  He appreciated the type of teammate I was while injured and when he said I could count on him, he meant it and he followed through on that promise. 

You see, Coach G is a loyal man, a good friend, a good man, a great leader and he has been an extremely important person in not only my life, but in the lives of so many of his former players.  If anyone has ever wondered why USF baseball has been so successful, look no further than the man who has been leading the way since the fall of 1998, Nino Giarratano.

In all likelihood Coach would not want his and his father's story made public because he is a private and a humble person with great inner strength, qualities that come from his mother and father, both of whom I have known over the years.  However, their story is public now and I just wanted you all to know him a bit more. 

The following story was not written by me, rather it was sent to me as a person with interest in USF Baseball.  Enjoy.

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By Stacy Hicklin
Assistant Media Relations Director

DENVER - Some collegiate baseball coaches spend the off-season coaching summer ball. Others run camps, all recruit and most take some vacation time. USF coach Nino Giarratano will spend his time off by recovering from a surgery that he underwent to give his father a kidney.

On July 11th, Giarratano checked into the Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver for his first-ever procedure that would require an overnight stay. He was wheeled into the operating room at noon and two hours later, doctors took his kidney next door and began surgery on his father, Mickey.

Unexpected News

In early September of this past fall, Mickey went in for what he thought was a routine gallbladder surgery. Following the surgery, his kidneys suddenly failed. Doctors started him on dialysis, hoping that would help his kidneys to recover. Days went by, then weeks and still no change.

A routine surgery turned into a 40-night stay. A short-term solution turned into a life sentence. Now, three times a week, Mickey reports to the hospital for a five-hour dialysis treatment.

It wasn't long into the treatments before Mickey began to dread going. He spent his life outdoors, competing in sports like softball and golf, taking in baseball games all across the country and socializing with friends and family. Suddenly, being subject to so many hours in the hospital began to take its toll on his normally energetic approach to life.

Doctors told Mickey that the only alternative to a life centered around his dialysis treatments was a kidney transplant. It seemed like a far-fetched possibility at his age of 80.

Worrisome Times

Back in San Francisco, Nino pushed through the fall baseball season, but spent countless hours worrying about his father and his health struggles.

"It really hit me when my dad got sick this fall," Nino said. "He has always been healthy and worked so hard his entire life so when he got sick I immediately thought 'what can I do to help?'"

A's Area Code Tryout

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I went to the A's Area Code Games tryout on July 6th in Stockton.  I am told they are going to keep 30 players for their team that will go to Long Beach for Area Code Games, August 5-10.  Here is the group I was most impressed with and the group I would take... if it was up to me, and clearly, it isn't up to me!

Mind you, I did not sit behind the backstop getting velocities for the pitchers.  I decided that I would eyeball the velocities (I was nearly spot on for the top guys) and mostly just watch arm action, side views of the pitchers.  I have no idea how many pitchers they plan to take but will assume as many as 15, as few as 12.  There are some players who were not at the event that will make the team but I will not concern myself with them for this. 

Pitchers

Miles Chambers - RHP - 2012 - Rio Linda HS - great delivery, short AA, downhill, good tight CB, good CHG, looked like 87-89

Jonah Wesely - LHP - 2013 - Tracy HS - great arm, max effort, lacks pitchability but what an arm, had to be at least 93, maybe touched 94

Trevin Haseltine - RHP - 2013 - Davis HS - fast arm, good FB angle, looked like up to 91, not pretty but stuff is there

Ben Eckels - RHP - 2012 - Davis HS - quick arm, loose and easy, hot FB at the plate, aggressive, looked like he got to 92, loved him

Freddy Avis - RHP - 2012 - Menlo School - athletic, long and easy arm, chance to have two plus pitches, up to 92, maybe 93

Nick Blackburn - RHP - 2012 - Heritage HS - tight CB, hoppy FB, live stuff, easy arm, was dominant, looked like 90-92, competes, loved him

Tyler Ferguson - RHP - 2012 - Clovis West HS - big body, good looking CB, FB had tilt, would guess 88-89, good delivery

Logan James - LHP - 2012 - Jesuit HS - quick arm, has some moxy, was a bit wild, CB could be plus, need a LHP or two

Steven Farinaro - RHP - 2013 - Head-Royce School - looked to be 87-90, loose and quick, good AA, nice CB, decent angle

Kevin Flemer - RHP - 2013 - St. Mary's HS - loose and quick arm, easy out of hand, 87-90 I would guess, CB has chance

Jesse Scholtens - RHP - 2012 - Rodriguez HS - solid 88-89, touches higher, SL flashes as future avg pitch, good body

James Marvel - RHP - 2012 - Campolindo HS - athlete on mound, two solid pitches, 88-90 velo, breaking ball pretty good

Cal Becker - RHP - 2012 - Redwood HS - another athlete, loose strong arm, FB up to 90-91, SL has chance, lacks some feel though

Ricky Delgado - RHP - 2012 - Deer Valley HS - big and powerful, FB peaks around 90, might touch 91, CB has a chance to be quite good

 

Catchers

Jake Shull - 2012 - Tracy HS - can receive good stuff, solid catch/throw, enough O, very calm within the game, tools just ok but good player

Austin Rei - 2012 - Campolindo HS - athlete who can block, catch/throw, hits well, good all-around catcher

Francis Christy - 2013 - Casa Grande HS - L/R, swings bat well, strong arm, receiving adequate, high high ceiling

 

1st Base

Ryan Tellez - 2013 - Elk Grove HS - LHH who can hit for avg and power, quick bat, body not pretty but he is a future big league hitter

Tyler Blake - 2013 - Franklin HS - LHH with pretty stroke, plus plus power potential, lots bat speed, as projectable as they come at 1B

 

Middle Infield

Erik Williams - 2012 - Stockdale HS - R/R, good D at 2B, good swing, battles, ballplayer, plays above tools

Dom Nunez - 2013 - Elk Grove HS - L/R, don't think he was there and if he was I was sleeping but saw him in AZ and he is a great young one

Preston Scott - 2012 - Hanford HS - R/R, strong, offense looked like it has a chance to compete, more of a 2B or 3B

Ryan Clark - 2012 - Clovis West HS - R/R, O is a little behind some others but he can play D and will play well at this level of competition

 

3rd Base

Mitchell Kranson - 2012 - De La Salle HS - L/R, not a pretty body but he sure can hit and he should handle the pitching at ACG

Jake Jefferies - 2012 - Foothill HS - L/R, tools not standing out but he plays with pace and feel and is better on D than I thought, solid hitter

 

Outfield

Steven Golden - 2012 - St. Francis HS - big time runner, big time tools, a little teeny bit raw but he has enough playability to stand out well

B.J. Boyd - 2012 - Palo Alto HS - L/R, has raw power, 6.5 speed, big bat speed, major athlete, type of talent who can show well on big stage

Braden Bishop - 2012 - St. Francis HS - plus runner, a very very good hitter, good athlete, tracks them down in OF, looks like big leaguer

Isaiah Yates - 2012 - Clovis East HS - loved his ability to get the barrel to contact on time, looks like he will hit and have extra base power

Giovanni Brusa - 2012 - St. Mary's HS (Stockton) - B/R, pro body, hitting tools, need some corner OF power types and he is one of them

 

I actually think 1B Lance Berringer from Oak Ridge HS (2012) belongs but don't see a spot for him.  SS Max Dutto from San Ramon Valley HS does fit and likely will be on the team too, he just wasn't at the tryout.  I also like Hunter Mercado-Hood (OF, De La Salle, 2013) a lot, he fits in terms of talent, can see him making it as well.  As a LHH he might be more attractive than Yates.  Catcher Collin Theroux (Serra, 2012) has the tools to be on the club, but I see them taking the young 2013 and standout LHH Christy.

 

Local players who have signed

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Here is a list of our local players to have signed so far.  The list is compiled from the Baseball American draft database and I have listed the signing bonus signed for, when that information is available.  BOLD is a former BAWS participant and former RNWS participant in the two years that BAWS was known as RNWS (the years I was scouting) before there were two events.

Round, Team, Player, School, Position, Bonus

1, Padres, Joe Ross, Bishop O'Dowd HS, RHP, $2,750,000

1, Reds, Robert Stephenson, Alhambra HS, RHP, $2,000,000

1s, Rays, Tyler Goeddel, St. Francis HS, 3B, $1,500,000

1s, Rays, James Harris, Oakland Tech HS, OF, $490,000

2, White Sox, Erik Johnson, Cal, RHP

2, Giants, Andrew Susac, Oregon State (Jesuit HS), C, $1,100,000

3, Indians, Jake Sisco, Merced College, RHP, $325,000

3, Brewers, Drew Gagnon, Long Beach St. (Liberty HS), RHP, $340,000

3, Tigers, Aaron Westlake, Vanderbilt (Shasta HS), 1B, $310,000

3, Rangers, Kyle Castro, Pleasant Grove HS, RHP, $267,300

4, D'backs, Evan Marshall, Kansas St. (Homestead HS), RHP, $232,500

4, A's, Bobby Crocker, Cal Poly (Aptos HS), OF, $198,000

4, Braves, J.R. Graham, Santa Clara (Livermore HS), RHP, $174,600

Brett Jackson update

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Came across this tidbit on former Miramonte HS & Cal star Brett Jackson...

* In other Cubs news, top prospect Brett Jackson(notes) homered twice and walked twice for Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday. He's up to 10 HRs and 14 steals on the year, and he's getting himself on base at a .389 clip. Alas, there's almost no chance that GM Jim Hendry will allow him anywhere near the big league lineup if he continues to draw walks at this current pace. Such a shame the kid doesn't hack at more un-hittable pitches, in keeping with the organization's guiding principles.

That was on a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball website.  The last sentence is obviously a shot at the Cubs team and their ability or inability to take pitches, which if you follow the Cubs you know has been a chronic issue for that team seemingly FOREVER!

Brett is the namesake for the BAWS Most Outstanding Player award.

All Americans Showcase, Menlo College, July 29-20

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

On July 29-30, at Menlo College, All Americans Showcase will come to the Bay Area.  If you are not aware, this is a big deal as All Americans Showcase is sponsored by and partnered with Baseball America.  Here is the announcement of the partnership from the Baseball America website

All Americans Showcase is the only showcase organization that is directly sponsored by Baseball America.  Standout performers, top 10 lists, tools breakdowns, etc. will be found within Baseball America and all the scouting information will go into the exclusive Baseball America scouting database, Prospects Plus.  Video will be taken of every player at All American Showcases as well.  This truly is a very strong opportunity for any player, of any ability level.  The price is right, the people running All American Showcase are experienced and respected and the sponsorship of Baseball America speaks for itself.

Players who participated in BAWS 2011 will be eligible for a discount to the event and they will soon receive an email with that information.  Players with interest can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information.  Eligible players are in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.  All Americans Showcase features players swinging BBCOR bats, the bats used at the D1 level.

This past weekend I was in San Bernardino covering the ABCL Top 20 Championships for All Americans Showcase and my reports can be found here, within the Baseball America Blog reports. 

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