June 9, 2004

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Five Notre Dame baseball players – Grant Johnson, Matt Macri, Chris Niesel, Steve Sollmann and Javi Sanchez – were selected in the 2004 Major League draft. See the enclosed text or PDF link for updated bio. capsules on each of the Notre Dame draftees.

Grant Johnson 2004 BIOGRAPHY CAPSULE – (Jr., RHP; Burr Ridge, IL/Lyons Township HS; 6-foot-5, 215 pounds)

(see PDF for career stats)

Selected by Chicago Cubs in 2nd round (66th overall pick) of 2004 MLB draft … has two years of eligibility remaining after missing all of ’03 season due to shoulder injury … 5th-highest drafted player in ND history behind RHPs Brad Lidge (1st rd/17th pick by Astros in ’98) and Aaron Heilman (supplemental pick/31st overall by the Twins in ’00, then 18th overall by the Mets in ’01) and C Ken Plesha (17th pick in ’65, White Sox) … drafted one spot behind CF Dan Peltier (’89, 3rd rd/65th pick, Rangers) and one spot earlier than former teammate and CF Steve Stanley (’02, 2nd rd/67th pick, A’s) … 25th college pitcher selected in ’04 draft, 41st college player and 40th overall pitcher … was forecasted to be a 2nd-rounder for ’01 draft but went undrafted due to strong commitment to ND …9th ND player to be drafted/signed as a free agent by the Cubs (either during ND career or out of high school), all in last nine years and seven in last five years (including two current Cubs minor leaguers, C Paul O’Toole and RHP Ryan Kalita).

CAREER NOTES – Has compiled a 2.89 ERA and 15-5 record in two ND seasons, holding opponents to .222 batting avg. over ’02 and ’04 seasons (missed all of ’03 while rehabbing from Dec. ’02 shoulder surgery) … his other ND career stats include 137 strikeouts, 70 walks and 133 hits allowed in 159.0 innings and 32 appearances (27 starts, 2 complete games), plus 6 wild pitches, 16 hit batters and 7 home runs allowed … 9-inning career averages: 7.8 Ks, 4.0 walks and 7.5 hits allowed, with 2.0 K-to-BB ratio … ended ’04 with 2.89 career ERA that ranks 10th all-time among ND pitchers with 60-plus IP – also 5th-best by ND pitcher in last 10 years (since ’94), trailing only current sophomore closer Ryan Doherty (2.30, below standing record of 2.36), four-year All-American Aaron Heilman (2.49, ’98-’01), Larry Mohs (2.52, ’94-’97) and former teammate and reliever Brandon Viloria (2.58, ’00-’03) …has posted 3.18 ERA and 4-1 record in 6 career postseason starts (39.2 IP, 35 H, 15 BB, 29 Ks, 9 HB, WP) … went 3-1 with a 4.21 career ERA in the NCAAs (4 GS, 16 Ks, 12 BB, 21 H, 25.2 IP) … tossed 1-hit masterpiece vs. South Alabama in ’02 NCAA Regionals (25-1; 29 BF, BB, HB, 8 Ks) before winning Super Regional opener that snapped top-ranked Florida State’s 25-game win streak (10-4; 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 2 Ks) … has posted a 1.44 ERA and 8-1 career record at Eck Stadium (12 GP/10 GS, 62.2 IP, 32 H, 56 Ks, 29 BB, WP, 7 HB) – including 5-0 with a 0.87 home ERA in 2004 (6 GS, 0.87, 31 IP, 14 H, 26 Ks, 13 BB, 4 HB) … his impressive numbers also include Dean’s List semesters in the fall of 2002 (3.63) and spring of ’04 (3.83), as a marketing major.

AS A JUNIOR – Closed ’04 regular season with back-to-back BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-week honors, then one of three pitchers named 1st team all-BIG EAST … Danny Tamayo (’01) is only other ND pitcher ever to earn back-to-back BE pitcher of the week … eased back into regular rotation, with limited pitch counts and 57.2 IP … his 1.87 ERA ranks 13th in ND record book and would have ranked 8th in nation for ’04 but he was 5.1 IP short of the NCAA min. (1 IP pre team game) … only Heilman (1.61 in ’98, 1’74 in ’01) and current teammate Tom Thornton (1.81, in ’03) have posted a better season ERA in the last 11 ND seasons (since ’93) … his .188 opp. batting avg. also would have led the BIG EAST (did not meet the same min.) and ranks 3rd in ND record book (stat kept since ’91) behind David Sinnes (.163, in ’92) and Heilman (.173, in ’01) … led staff in ERA while ranking 2nd in opponent batting avg., 3rd in Ks (51) and starts (13), and 4th in wins (6-0, good for 10th in BIG EAST), innings and groundouts (62) … other stats included 39 hits allowed, 26 walks, 7 hit batters, a 2.0 K-to-walk ratio and a single wild pitch … owned a .250 opp. slugging pct. (2 HR, 3B, 5 2B) that was better than most pitchers’ opp. batting avg. … dominated in conference games with BIG EAST-leading 1.91 ERA (5-0, .169 opp. avg., 33 Ks, 15 BB, 23 H in 37.2 IP) … joined Heilman (1.40, in ’01) as second ND pitcher to lead BE in ERA … his .200 opp. batting avg. with runners on base ranked 3rd on staff … 2nd on staff with .159 opponent 2-out batting avg. while his opponent leadoff on-base pct. (.271) also ranked 2nd … his 9-inning averages included ranking 2nd on the staff in fewest avg. hits (6.1), plus 3rd in Ks (8.0), 4th in batters faced (38.6) and 5th in GOs (9.7), also 4.1 walks … especially tough vs. righthanded hitters (2nd on staff with .176 opp. batting) while ranking 3rd on staff with .212 batting by lefthanded hitters … also 3rd on staff with 17 Ks “looking” … closed with 1.32 ERA and four wins in final six outings (5 GS, 32 Ks, 14 BB, 21 H, 34 IP) … did not allow a 2-out hit in his final four starts (0-for-24), posting 1.39 ERA in that stretch that included 7 shutout innings in back-to-back outings … held final five opponents to .173 batting with runners on … first extended action came on April 12 vs. St. John’s (5 IP, 0 R, 18 BF, 2 H, 3 Ks, HB, 49 of 72 pitches for strikes, 2 GO, 5 popups) … tossed sixth 1-0 game in Paul Mainieri era to beat BIG EAST rival Rutgers in 7-inning opener (4 H, BB, 3 Ks, 25 BF, 11 GOs, 60 of 85 pitches for strikes, 0-for-8 with runners on, 0-for-7 with 2 outs) … his 7 shutouts innings vs. Virginia Tech (in 9-inn., 9-0 win) completed 6-game stretch in which the ND staff posted 48 shutout innings (out of 52) … allowed just two balls out of the infield while holding Hokies to 2 H, 4 BB with career-high 9 Ks (plus 8 GOs, 2 popups, 1-of-9 with runners, 0-of-7 with 2 outs) … had solid outing at BIG EAST Tournament in showdown with BC’s Chris Lambert (1st-round pick of Cardinals), logging 7 innings (2 R/1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 9 Gos) … picked up NCAA win over UC Irvine (6-5; 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R/3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HB, 64 of 108 for strikes).

PRE-’04 NOTES (also see full bio.) – Impressive ’02 season included Freshman All-America honors and being selected to USA National Team … helped U.S. staff post team-record 1.48 ERA in summer of ’02 (1.80 ERA, 2-1, 5 GP, 25 Ks, 13 BB, 11 H, 20 IP), with games including international tournament in the Netherlands and World Championship in Italy … other pitchers on that record-setting staff included Cal State Fullerton’s Chad Cordero and Wes Littleton, Kyle Sleeth (Wake Forest), Phillip Humber (Rice), Brad Sullivan (Houston), Bob Zimmerman (Southwest Missouri), Huston Street (Texas), Abe Alvarez (Long Beach State) and Kyle Bakker (Georgia Tech) … the position players included catchers Landon Powell (South Carolina), Clint Sammons (Georgia) and Ryan Garko (Stanford), 1B Michael Aubrey (Tulane), 2B Rickie Weeks (Southern) and Eric Patterson (Georgia Tech), 3B Conor Jackson (California), SS Aaron Hill (LSU) and Dustin Pedroia (ASU), OF Sam Fuld (Stanford), Shane Costa (CSF), Mark Jurich (Louisville) and Carlos Quentin (Stanford).

Also see the below link for pre-2004 bio. (including prep and personal data)


Matt Macri 2004 BIOGRAPHY CAPSULE (Jr., 3B; Clive, Iowa/ Dowling HS; 6-foot-2, 190 pounds)

(see PDF for career stats)

Selected by Colorado Rockies in 5th round of 2004 MLB draft … became the 6th-highset drafted position player (9th overall) in ND baseball history and 2nd among infielders, behind SS Paul Failla (3rd rd in ’94, Angels) … others include C Ken Plesha (1st rd in ’65, White Sox), CFs Steve Stanley (2nd rd in ’02, A’s) and Dan Peltier (3rd rd in ’89, Rangers), and RF Ryan Topham (4th rd in ’95, White Sox) … combined with 2B Steve Sollmann (10th rd, Brewers) as highest drafted pair of infielders in ND baseball history (the only other time that’s happened was in 1994, with Failla in the 3rd and then utility IF Matt Haas in the 44th round to the Expos) … had been projected by Baseball America to be a 1st rounder in the 2001 draft but slipped to 17th round (Twins) due to strong commitment to ND … 4th ND player (first none-senior)to be drafted by the Rockies, who now have drafted a Notre Dame player in each of the last three seasons (including current minor-league RHP J.P. Gagne).

CAREER NOTES – Missed most of 2002 due to elbow injury before starting at SS in ’03 (switched to 3B in ’04) … owns a .316 career batting avg. in 138 games played (136 starts), plus a .536 slugging pct., .409 on-base pct., .945 “OBS,” 105 RBI and 19 home runs (127 R, 12 3B, 33 2B, 73 BB, 12 HBP, 117 Ks, 5 SF, 8 SAC, 30 Es, .937 fielding pct.) … his 12 triples already rank in 9th in ND history … hit just .273 in first two seasons, with .426 slugging and .359 on-base … his ’04 numbers included batting 94 points higher (.367) than his pre-’04 career avg., plus a boost in 241 slugging points (.667) and 94 on-base points (.465) … hit 14 HRs with 56 RBI in ’04 (61 GP) after totaling just 5 HRs and 48 RBI over 77 GP in ’02 and ’03 … his margin of walks (33) plus hit-by-pitch (6) minus strikeouts (71) was -32 his first two seasons but then was even in ’04 (40 BB, 6 HBP, 46 Ks).

AS A JUNIOR – Earned 2004 second team All-America honors from USA Today Sports Weekly and Collegiate Baseball magazine, joining catcher Walt Osgood (’64), centerfielders Peltier (’89), Eric Danapilis (’93) and Stanley (’02), and RHP Aaron Heilman (’00, ’01) as 6th ND player ever named 1st/2nd team All-America by multiple organizations … 1st team all-BIG EAST and then BIG EAST Tournament MVP after batting .429 (6-for-14, 5 RBI, 2 R, 2 HR, BB, SB) … third ND player (first since ’89) with 80-plus hits (87) and 40-plus walks (40) in same season …first ND player with 12-plus HRs (14) and 12-plus stolen bases (12-of-16) in same season … posted team-best .529 leadoff on-base pct., plus 3rd in 2-out batting (.333, 16 RBI) and batting with runners in scoring position (.366) … stellar .941 fielding pct. (11 Es) included 53 error-free games … hit team-best .410 after finals/May and June (16 RBI, 22 R, 7 HR in 19 GP) … finished 6th or higher in 11 of 12 BIG EAST overall categories (all but SB) … led BIG EAST in overall hits (87), runs (76; 4th ND history), triples (7; 6th all-time at ND) and total bases (158; 2nd ND history), also 2nd in slugging (.667), HRs (9th ND rec. book) and “OBS” (1.132 combined OB/slug), 3rd in walks, 4th in RBI (56), 5th in on-base (.456), 6th in batting avg. (.367) and doubles (15) … ranked 11th in nation for runs, 24th in triples … in conference games only, he finished 1st in hits (38), HRs (7), runs (36), 3Bs (3) and TBs (71), 2nd in slugging (.703), 3rd in OBS (1.174), 5th in batting (.376) and 6th in OB (.453) … first BIG EAST player ever to lead the conference in HRs (7) and 3Bs (3) during BIG EAST games … 4th player ever to lead BIG EAST in hits and HRs for same season (first since ’96) … ranked 1st (12) or 2nd (4) on ’04 team in 16 different categories … his other season stats included team-best 61 games played, 60 starts and 237 at-bats, 12 hit-by-pitch, 46 strikeouts, 3 sac. flies and 1 sac. bunt … tied BIG EAST record with three career BIG EAST player-of-the-week awards (two in ’04) … 2nd on team with .333 batting during Feb./March (26-for-78, 22 RBI, 20 R, 3 HR, 12 BB) and then 2nd in April as well (.358, 29-for-81, 18 RBI, 34 R, 4 HR, 5 3B, 20 BB) … owns .440 career batting avg. at Eck Stadium, with team-best .451 in ’04 (50-for-111, 25 RBI , 41 R, 7 HR, 5 3B, 21 BB) … made 58 starts at 3B in ’04 (2 at SS) … bulk of his starts came in leadoff (20) and No. 2 (19) spots … logged 18-game errorless streak …hit .346 batting vs. top-25 teams in ’04 (9-for-26, 8 RBI, 9 R, HR, 2 3B, 2 2B, 5 BB, 1 E) … All-Tournament at FAU Classic (.385, 5-for-13, 7 RBI, 7 R, HR, 3B, 2 BB) and Alamo City Classic (.400, 6-for-15, BB, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 2B) … led ’04 team with 25 multi-hit games (11 with 3-plus), 2nd with 15 multi-RBI games … grounded into just one double play (112 ABs with runners on) … combined with Craig Cooper (.470 batting) and Matt Bransfield (33 RBI) in making ND first team since ’89 (third in BIG EAST history) with conference leader in batting, HRs and RBI … enjoyed big games vs. Minnesota (4-for-6, 6 RBI, 5 R, HR, 3B), Virginia Tech (5-for-6. 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 HR, including one on ND’s first pitch faced) and Boston College in BE title game (3-for-5, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB) … his 14 HRs came on eight different counts (three with 2 strikes), with five leading off the inning.

Also see the below link for pre-2004 bio. (including prep and personal data)


Chris Niesel 2004 BIOGRAPHY CAPSULE (Jr., 3B; Plantation, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas HS; 6-foot-0, 205 pounds)

(see PDF for career stats)

Selected by Cleveland Indians in 9th round of 2004 MLB draft, joining fellow junior RHP Grant Johnson (2nd round, Cubs) as highest drafted pitching tandem in ND baseball history (that distinction previously belonged to the 2001 pair of Aaron Heilman, a Mets 1st-rounder, and Danny Tamayo, who went in the 10th to the Royals) … was slotted as a 3rd-10th rounder for the 2001 draft but slipped to the 48th round (Cubs) due to his strong commitment to ND … the Indians had drafted an active ND player just once previously, more than 20 years ago when RHP Steve Whitmyer (currently head coach at Navy) was a 6th-round pick in 1983.

CAREER NOTES – Owns ND record for career strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.09), also ranking 4th in appearances (47) and low walk avg. (1.88 per 9 IP), 5th in win pct. (.840, 21-4), 7th in strikeouts (233), 10th in innings (272.2) and 12th in wins (12) … only four-year All-American Aaron Heilman (.860. 43-7) owns a better career win pct. among ND pitchers during the last 80 seasons … joined Heilman, Darin Schmalz and former teammate J.P. Gagne as only ND pitchers ever to receive multiple all-BIG EAST honors (1st team/pitcher of the year in ’03, 2nd team in ’04) … his other career stats include a 3.21 ERA and .264 opp. batting avg. (41 GS, 4 CG, 277 H, 57 BB, 10 WP, 17 HB, 4 BK, 12 HR, 2 SV) … his other career 9-inning averages include 9.14 hits and 7.69 Ks … has compiled a 1.65 ERA and 3-1 record in 8 career postseason outings (7 GS, 33 Ks, 14 BB, 47 H , 49 IP) … his career NCAA Tournament stats include a 2.15 ERA and 2-1 record (6 GP/5 GS, 26 Ks, 12 BB, 32 H, 37.2 IP) – with noteworthy outings in 2002 vs. Ohio State (won 9-6 Regional clincher; 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 Ks, 2 BB), at top-ranked Florida State (won 3-1 Super-Regional clincher, 8 IP, 6 H, R, 5 Ks, 3 BB) and vs. the new #1 team the next week in the College World Series vs. Rice (no-decision in 5-3 ND win, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 7 Ks, 2 BB) … suffered 2003 tough-luck no-decision in the 4-3 NCAAA regional loss at Cal State Fullerton (8 IP, 6 H, 3 R/2 ER, 5 Ks, 4 BB) … he also retired two batters in a brief relief stint vs. Ohio State in the 2002 regional opener at Eck Stadium (8-6; K), returning two days later to beat the Buckeyes in the regional-title round (9-6; 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 Ks, 2 BB) … tossed near-no-hitter vs. West Virginia in ’03 (1-0; 7 IP, H, BB, 9 Ks) … has posted 2.90 career ERA, 7-2 record and 6.5 K-to-walk ratio (84/13) in games at Eck Stadium (16 GP, 13 GS, 87 IP, 88 H, 3 WP, 6 HB) … joined Tom Price, Erik Madsen, Chris Michalak and Pat Leahy as 5th ND pitcher ever to start 15-plus games in multiple seasons (15 in ’03 and ’04) … also one of five ND pitchers ever to post three games with double-digit Ks (10 vs. SIU in ’02, 11 vs. Villlanova in ’03, 12 vs. Ball State in ’04), with the others including Heilman (7 from ’98-’01; 18, 12 twice, 11 twice, 10 three times), Danny Tamayo (five 10-K games, from ’98-’01), Tim Kalita (four 10-K games from ’97-’99) and David Sinnes (one 11, two 10, from ’90-’93).

AS A JUNIOR – Earned 2nd team all-BIG EAST honors after going 4-1 with a 4.38 in league play (.330 opp. batting avg., 39 Ks, 9 BB, 64 H in 49.1 IP) … went on to lead the BIG EAST with 102.0 overall innings, also ranking 2nd in wins (8-3), strikeouts (84) and starts (15) and 7th in overall ERA (3.62) … posted a 4.20 K-to-BB ratio (84/20) that ranks 10th in ND record book (as do his 102 IP) … led staff in Ks, innings, starts, low walk avg. (1.76 per 9 IP), also ranking 2nd in wins, groundouts (109) and innings per outing (5.7), 3rd in batters faced per 9 IP (38.7), 4th in groundout-to-flyout ratio (1.22) and K avg. (7.41 per 9 IP) and 5th in appearances (18) … never walked more than two batters in a game (4 with 0, 8 with 1, 6 with 2), totaling more walks than Ks only once … his other season stats included 123 hits allowed, 3 wild pitches, 10 hit batters, 2 balks, a .309 opp. batting avg. and 3 home runs allowed … allowed .289 batting by LH hitters, .320 by RH, .305 with runners on base and .292 with 2 outs … allowed 39.3% of leadoff batters to reach … his other 9-inning averages included 10.9 hits and 9.6 groundouts … posted key early wins over #25 Winthrop (7-1; 7 IP, 8 H, R, 2 BB, 5 Ks) and #18 Arizona (4-2; 7 IP, 10 H, 2 R, BB, 6 Ks) … came out of the bullpen to help spark 7-6, 15-inning comeback win over Ball State … notched career-best 12 Ks vs. BSU, as one of six ND pitchers since 1980 to post 12-plus Ks in a game … logged 8.1 in the long relief stint vs. BSU (4 H), allowing just 5 balls to leave the infield (10 GOS, 2 popups, 74 of 102 pitches for strikes) … registered pair of big lateseason wins at Connecticut (4-0; 7 IP, CG, 6 H, BB, 6 Ks) and at home vs. rival Rutgers (7-1; 7 IP, 8 H, R, BB, 9 Ks) … added 9-2 win over St. John’s in BIG EAST Tournament (7.1 IP, 2 Ks, 11 GOs, 64 of 100 pitches for strikes, 2-for-18 opp. batting with runners on, 1-for-8 with 2 outs) … closed season with hard-luck, 2-1 loss to Kent State in NCAAs (7.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, BB, 4 Ks, WP, 72 of 107 pitches for strikes).

Also see the below link for pre-2004 bio. (including prep and personal data)


Steve Sollmann 2004 BIOGRAPHY CAPSULE (Sr., 2B; Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier HS; 5-foot-11, 195 pounds)

(see PDF for career stats)

Capped stellar career by being selected by Milwaukee Brewers in 10th round of 2004 MLB draft … rates as 6th-highest drafted senior in ND baseball history, behind RHP Aaron Heilman (1st rd, Mets, ’01), CF Steve Stanley (2nd rd, A’s, ’02), RHP Steve Whitmyer (6th rd, Indians, ’83), OF/1B Frank Jacobs (7th rd, Mets, ’91) and LHP Ed Lupton (8th rd, ’65, Senators) … former ND catcher Mike Amrhein also was a 10th-round pick as a senior (Cubs, ’97), as was RHP Danny Tamayo in 2001 (Royals) … combined with 3B Matt Macri (5th rd, Rockies) as highest drafted pair of infielders in ND baseball history (the only other time that’s happened was in 1994, with Failla in the 3rd and then utility IF Matt Haas in the 44th round to the Expos) …he and catcher Javi Sanchez (14th round) are 2nd-highest pair of drafted seniors in the program’s history, behind Heilman and Tamayo and ahead of Stanley and 3B Andrew Bushey (15th rd, Rockies) … one of 11 seniors who have been selected in the MLB draft during the 10-year Paul Mainieri era (all in the first 17 rounds) … went undrafted out of high school … returned for senior season after being a 32nd-round pick of the Oakland A’s in ’03 … first active ND player ever drafted by the Brewers, who signed a pair of ND players – 1B Tim Hutson (’88) and OF/2B James Sass (’89) – as free agents in the late ’80s.

CAREER NOTES – Finished storied career ranked 2nd in ND history with 302 hits, also ranking 4th in runs scored (210), stolen bases (84) and at-bats (84-of-111), 7th in games played (221), 8th in stolen-base pct. (.757) and starts (219), 9th in triples (12) and sacrifice bunts (20), 10th in batting avg. (.360) and 13th in walks (103) … also set ND record with 629 career fielding assists as four-year starter at 2B, after converting from CF (where he starred as a prep) … winningest four-year starter in ND baseball history, with the Irish winning 76.1% of their games during his ND career (195-61-1) … the team won at an even higher pct. when he was in the starting lineup (77.9%; 170-48-1), compared to just 65.8% in 38 games when he did not start (25-13) … hit a combined .478 (43-for-90) during the ’01-’04 NCAA Tournaments to rank as one of the program’s leading all-time postseason performers … his signature game was a 6-for-7, 7-RBI effort vs. top seed South Alabama in the 2002 South Bend Regional (25-1; 6 R, HR, 2 3B, 13 TB) … set NCAA Tournament record in that game for runs (6) while tying ND records for hits, RBI and runs (also tied NCAA Tournament records for hits and triples) … Matt Haas (.514, 19-for-37 from ’92-’94) is the only other ND player with a better career batting avg. in the NCAAs (min. 20 ABs) … also compiled .355 career batting avg. in regular season and just .245 in BIG EAST Tournament … 6th ND baseball player ever to earn Academic All-America in multiple seasons (2nd team in ’03, 1st team in ’04) … completed rare double of All-America and Academic All-America honors in 2003 (ND’s 11th non-senior, in any sport, ever to earn both honors) … joined two former ND players – DH Jeff Wagner (1st team, ’96-’99) and RHP Aaron Heilman (2nd team in ’98, 1st team ’99-’01) – as third BIG EAST player ever named to the all-conference team four times (1st team/rookie of the year in ’01, 2nd team in ’02 and ’03, 1st team in ’04) … 5th ND player ever to be named 1st team all-BIG EAST in multiple seasons, joining Wagner, IF Brant Ust (’97, ’98 and ’99, at three different positions), Heilman and CF Steve Stanley (’01, ’02) … recipient of ND Athletic Department’s 2003 Francis Patrick O’Connor Award, recognizing team spirit, inspiration and courage … graduated with 3.44 cumulative GPA (including 3.73 in fall of ’03, 4.0 in spring of ’04), as a business marketing major … MVP of ’02 NCAA South Bend Regional that sparked ND on to College World Series … also named to NCAA Tournament All-Regional teams in ’03 and ’04 … earned Freshman All-America honors in ’01 … one of seven ND players ever to post double-digit home runs (13) and 10-plus triples (12) in his career … his other career stats include 38 doubles, 146 RBI, 19 hit-by-pitch, 88 strikeouts (he was +34 in BB-to-K margin), 13 sac. flies, 39 errors (.962 fielding pct.), .435 on-base pct., .480 slugging pct., .915 “OBS,” and 91 multi-hit games (28 with 3 hits, 6 with 4 hits and 6-hit game vs. South Alabama in ’02 NCAAs) … a .383 career hitter at Eck Stadium (138-for-360, 68 RBI in 102 GP, 98 R, 4 HR, 4 3B, 30 2B, 45 BB, 36 SB) while batting .342 on the road .. averaged 8.9 games per error over final three seasons (8 in ’02, 8 in ’03, 2 in ’04).

AS A SENIOR – Closed his final few weeks at Notre Dame with a 4.0 semester GPA, his fourth career all-BIG EAST honor (1st team) and a spot on the prestigious 1st team Academic All-America squad (which includes just 11 players) … overcame early ’04 slump to bat 10-for-21 in five-game stretch before fractured jaw in freak collision with teammate (April 3), sidelining him for 21 games (team was just 15-6 in his absence, compared to 34-6 in games he played during ’04) … his return sparked ND to 16-3 record, batting 21-for-62 (.339) in those 19 games … led ’04 team in stolen bases (17, also 10th in BIG EAST) despite missing one-third of season, also ranking 3rd on team in on-base pct. (career-best .442), hit-by-pitch (11) and sacrifice bunts (4) and 4th in walks (26) and 5th in batting avg. (.311) … also 2nd on team in 2-out batting (.366, 10 RBI) and 4th in batting with runners on (.355) … ranked 2nd on team in hits (1.18) and runs (0.98) per game … his +19 margin of walks (26) plus HBPs (11) minus strikeouts (18) was best on the team (the rest of the Irish were +4) … did not make an error in his first 154 chances of the 2004 season before 9th-inning E vs. Central Florida on May 19 (he quickly recovered and threw to third base to catch the runner over-running the bag for the final out) … totaled just 2 Es for .991 fielding pct…. his .444 conference batting avg. (20-for-45) would have ranked 2nd behind teammate Craig Cooper among all BIG EAST players but he did not meet the AB min. (65, or 2.5 per team game) … ranked 3rd in BIG EAST with 11 SBs in league play … reached on 35.1% of his leadoff plate appearances while batting .286 with runners in scoring position … grounded into 4 double plays … helped turn 28 of team’s 59 double plays … hit .396 at Eck Stadium (21-for-53, 5 RBI, 12 R, 4 2B, 10 BB, 7 SB) … all 40 of his starts came at 2Bm batting mostly in 2-hole (25) or leadoff spot (15) .. posted 14 multi-hit games (4 with multiple RBI) … closed career with third NCAA All-Regional performance after batting 5-for-11 (RBI,2 R, BB, SB, SF, SAC) to go along with several highlight-reel defensive plays.

Also see the below link for pre-2004 bio. (including prep and personal data)


Javi Sanchez 2004 BIOGRAPHY CAPSULE (Sr., C; Miami, FL/Columbus HS; 6-foot-3, 205 pounds)

(see PDF for career stats)

Drafted by Minnesota Twins in 14th round of 2004 MLB draft … combines with 2B Steve Sollmann (9th rd, Brewers) as 2nd-highest pair of drafted seniors in the program’s history, behind RHPs Aaron Heilman (1st rd, Mets) and Danny Tamayo (10th rd, Royals) in 2001 and ahead of CF Steve Stanley (2nd rd, A’s) and 3B Andrew Bushey (15th rd, Rockies) in ’02 … one of 11 seniors who have been selected in the MLB draft during 10-year Paul Mainieri era (all in the first 17 rounds) … went undrafted after high school career … the only former ND player who has gone on to play in the Twins organization is 1B Dan Leatherman (a free-agent signee in 1998) … two Irish RHPs – Robert Bentley (30th rd, ’66) and Aaron Heilman (supplemental pick/31st overall, ’00) – were drafted by Minnesota but returned to Notre Dame for their senior seasons while SS Matt Macri went on to play for ND after being a 17th-round pick of the Twins out of high school (he had been projected as a 1st-rounder in ’01 but fell due to his strong commitment to ND).

CAREER NOTES – Prep 2B who filled in as starting SS for 2002 College World Series team (after early-season injuries to pair of teammates) before tackling new position of catcher in ’03 and ’04 … ranks 8th on ND career hit-by-pitch list (27) and 9th in career putouts (751) … his .281 career batting avg. matched his 2002 avg. and ended just above his ’04 avg. (.278) … his other career stats included 186 hits in 661 ABs, 135 runs, 96 RBI, 8 HRs, 4 3B, 34 2B, 65 BB, 74 Ks, 9 SF, 15 SAC, 9-of-14 SB, .958 fielding (46 Es), .366 OB, .381 slugging … his ’03 honors included BIG EAST Tournament MVP (8-for-11, 4 BB, 4 SAC, 6 RBI, 5 R) and a spot on the NCAA Fullerton Regional all-tournament team (6-for-15, 2 RBI, 4 R) … closed undergraduate studies with 3.70 GPA in 2004 spring semester (as business management major).

AS A SENIOR – Spirited leader and team tri-captain, earning 3rd team all-BIG EAST honors … ranked 2nd on squad in doubles (14; also 12th among BIG EAST players), hit-by-pitch (15; also 3rd in ND history) and games started (59), plus 3rd in games played (59), 4th in runs scored (43) and 5th in RBI (41) … his .340 batting vs. LHPs ranked 4th-best on the team … to be a clutch hitter throughout the 2004 season, ranking just 9th in overall batting avg. (.278) but 4th in batting with 2 outs (.320, 17 RBI) and with runners in scoring position (.329) … hit 73 points above his overall batting avg., with “double-clutch” scenario of 2 outs and runners in scoring position (.351, 14 RBI) … his other stats included 60 hits, 41 RBI, 2 home runs, 20 walks, 24 strikeouts, 7 sac. flies, 2 sac. bunts, 2-of-5 stolen bases, .978 fielding (9 Es), a .368 on-base pct. and .370 slugging pct. … ranked 2nd on team with +11 margin of walks (20) plus HBPs (15) minus strikeouts (24), with rest of the team at +12 … hit .308 in BIG EAST regular season, ranking 8th among BIG EAST players with 8 doubles in conference play … hit 21 points higher on the road (.287) than at home (.266) during his ND career, with 6 of his 8 HRs coming outside of Eck Stadium (including a 3-run blast vs. Stanford at the 2002 College World Series) … top games included batting 3-for-5 in win over #25 Winthrop (2 RBI, 2 R, 2B) and 4-for-6 in comeback win over Southern Illinois (2 R, 2B) … homered on senior day to tie regular-season finale vs. Virginia Tech (ND won, 2-1) … delivered the RBI 77% of the time (2nd-best on team; 20-of-26) with runner on 3rd base and fewer than 2 outs … his other situational stats included .262 leadoff on-base pct. and 3 double plays grounded into … hit just .279 in Feb. and March (19-for-68, 10 RBI, 11 R, 4 2B, 13 BB, 14 Ks, 2 SF, 4 SAC, 2 SB, 2 Es) before ranking 3rd on team with .338 batting in April (27-for-80, 22 RBI, 20 R, HR, 3B, 7 2B, 12 BB, 4 HBP, 18 Ks, 2 SB, 7 Es) … caught 92 straight innings prior to Virginia Tech series (while freshman Sean Gaston was sidelined with mononucleosis) … made 49 starts behind the plate (4 at DH, 4 at 2B, plus single start at 3B) … logged 32 starts as cleanup batter, plus 10 in the 6-hole – also batting in the 3rd (4), 5th (8) and 7th (5) spots … hit .292 in ’04 games vs. top-25 teams (6 RBI, 3 R, 2B, BB in 7 GP) … totaled 15 multi-hit games and 12 with multi-RBI (4th on squad).

Also see the below link for pre-2004 bio. (including prep and personal data)