Jan. 7, 2002
Notre Dame is one of eight teams in the nation to place multiple players on Baseball America’s list of 2002 preseason All-Americans, as junior leftfielder Brian Stavisky (Port Allegany, Pa.) has been named to the elite 12-player first team while second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) is a third-team selection and one of just eight sophomores among BA’s 42 preseason All-Americans (no freshmen were named to the team).
The selections are based on input from scouting directors of Major League baseball teams, recognizing performance, talent and Major League potential.
Stavisky is the only repeat selection on BA’s preseason first team All-America team and received more support than any other outfielder during the evaluation process.
Three Notre Dame players now have received preseason All-America honors, as senior centerfielder Steve Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio)-who was married in Columbus on Saturday, Jan. 5, the same day his former Irish teammate Jeff Wagner was being married at Notre Dame’s Sacred Heat Basilica-was named a first team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine (Sollmann also was a third-team pick on the CB list).
The BIG EAST Conference placed five players on the BA preseason All-America list, trailing only the Pacific-10 and the Atlantic Coast for the most selections from the same conference (the Big-12, with three, was the only other conference with more than two). Notre Dame was one of eight teams with multiple players on the list, trailing only Stanford, USC and Miami.
Stavisky-who is slated to flip corner outfield positions with classmate Kris Billmaier-turned in a solid 2001 season as Notre Dame’s cleanup hitter and rightfielder, with a .386 batting average and team-leading totals in RBI (66) and home runs (10). A 33rd-round selection of the Chicago Cubs in the 2001 Major League draft, he hit five of his 10 home runs during the final seven games of the 2001 season His season statistics also included a .386 batting average (second on the team) and team-best totals in walks (31, with just 24 strikeouts), slugging percentage (.657) and on-base-pct. (.467), plus 19 doubles and nine stolen bases. He also repeated as a second team all-BIG EAST Conference selection and was named a third team Academic All-American, carrying a 3.52 cumulative grade-point average into the 2002 spring semester (as a business major).
Stavisky showed his potential for dominating play during the first and last weeks of the 2001 seasons, batting 9-for-13 and reaching base 10 consecutive times at the season-opening Mississippi State Classic before closing the season by hitting 10-for-21 with 11 RBI and 22 total bases in the NCAA Tournament South Bend Regional.
Sollmann-who joined Southern University shortstop/DH Richie Weeks as the only sophomore middle infielders named to BA’s preseason All-America team-was the 2001 BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year, the conference’s first-team second baseman and a consensus first team Freshman All-American, after making an impressive position switch from the outfield to second base. He finished third on the 2001 Irish squad with a .362 season batting average while starting 61 of 63 games. Sollmann ranked 4th among BIG EAST players in stolen bases (23-of-34), 5th in runs (52), 6th in hits (80), 7th in walks (30) and 9th in on-base percentage (.440). Four of the righthanded-hitter’s five home runs in 2001 were opposite-field shots.
Notre Dame joined five schools-Stanford, USC, Miami, Georgia Tech and Clemson-as the only teams with multiple position players on the BA list (Rutgers and Nebraska each had a position player and pitcher on the preseason All-America teams).
In addition to Sollmann and Weeks, the other sophomores on the BA preseason team include five outfielders-Michael Aubrey (Tulane), Anthony Gwynn (San Diego State), Matt Murton (Georgia Tech) and Carlos Quentin and Sam Fuld (both of Stanford)-plus Tennessee catcher Javi Herrera and Arizona State righthander Mike Esposito.
Sollmann is one of 17 players on the list who have not previously been drafted, with that group including six outfielders, four pitchers, three first basemen and four middle infielders (the others are North Carolina junior 2B Russ Adams, Stanford senior 2B Chris O’Riordan and Weeks).
Eight players from teams on Notre Dame’s schedule were named to the team, including three BIG EAST players: Rutgers righthander Bob Brownlie (1st team) and outfielder Val Majewski (3rd team) and Virginia Tech lefthander Joe Saunders (2nd team). The Pac-10 was the only conference in the nation to place more than two pitchers on the BA preseason All-America list while the BIG EAST was one of three conferences with two pitchers on that list.
Other 2002 Notre Dame opponents on the lost include three Southern California players-righthander Anthony Reyes (1st team), catcher Alberto Concepcion (2nd team) and shortstop Anthony Lunetta (2nd team)-plus Brigham Young outfielder Matt Carson and Ball State righthander Ryan Bullington (both 2nd team).