Feb. 8, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – When fans come out to see Notre Dame baseball games during the 2001 season, they will have the chance to watch three of the nation’s top professional prospects-all playing for the Irish.
Based on Baseball America’s annual listing of the top prospects in college baseball, Notre Dame ranks among the nation’s top teams by virtue of having three players among the top 50 on that prospects list: senior righthanded pitcher Aaron Heilman (No. 7), sophomore rightfielder Brian Stavisky (No. 17) and junior catcher Paul O’Toole (No. 46).
Notre Dame-currently ranked ninth in BA’s national poll-joined the nation’s number-one ranked team, Georgia Tech (three), as the only schools with multiple players among the top 28 prospects while the Irish and Yellow Jackets (four) are the only teams with three-plus players in the top 46.
Notre Dame’s three prospects among the top 50 are more than the totals from 25 of the nation’s 30 Division I conferences, with just the ACC (9), the SEC (8), the Pacific 10 (5) and the Missouri Valley (4) conferences having more than three players among the top-50 prospects (the Big-12 has three on that list).
Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) also is listed as the No. 14 overall prospect (when including high-schoolers, seventh among all pitchers) and he is listed fourth among all college pitchers, behind his former 1999 Team USA teammates Mark Prior (Vanderbilt transfer from USC, 2nd) and Josh Karp (UCLA, 3rd), plus Middle Tennessee State’s Dewon Brazleton (5th).
|Sophomore rightfielder Brian Stavisky|
Heilman also was tabbed by BA for having college baseball’s “best pure slider” while ranking among the top three for “best overall control.”
Other top-10 prospects include Georgia Tech third baseman Mark Teixeira (1st), LSU transfer (from Washington) outfielder Todd Linden (4th) and Auburn outfielder Gabe Gross (6th).
Stavisky (Port Allegany, Pa.) is the eighth position player listed, behind Teixeira, Linden and Gross, plus Long Beach State SS Bobby Crosby, San Francisco 1B/3B Taggert Bozied, LSU 2B Mike Fontenot and Southwest Missouri 1B Ryan Howard.
O’Toole (Lakewood, Ohio) is the 22nd position player and third catcher on the list, behind Georgia C/1B Doc Brooks (21st) and Oklahoma State’s Ryan Budde (28th).
Heilman combines with Evansville righthander Preston Larrison (9th) to give Indiana schools two players among the top 12 prospects (California schools have four players in the top 12 while there are two currently playing at schools in Tennessee, one of which is a USC transfer).
|Junior catcher Paul O’Toole|
Heilman is not the only Indiana native on the list, as Ball State righthander Justin Wechsler (a native of Anderson, Ind.) is listed 37th. Only four states-Florida (with five) and California, Texas and Missouri (three each)-can claim more than two natives among the top 37 prospects.
In addition to Wechsler, five other players from teams on Notre Dame’s 2001 schedule were included on BA’s list of college baseball’s top 100 prospects for 2001: New Mexico OF Donny Sevieri (66th), Fresno State RHP Zach Minor (81st), Mississippi State RHP Tanner Brock (88th) and St. John’s OF Charlie Bilezikjian (97th)
The top 50 prospects included two junior college players and one from an NAIA school, with the 47 Division I players hailing from 19 different conferences and 35 schools. Twenty-five different home states were represented among the top-50-rated players.
Baseball America Draft Preview 2001 – Top 100 College Prospects
(final preseason ratings)
|Player, Position||School||Hometown||Class||B-T||Ht.||Wt.||Last Drafted|
|1. Mark Teixeira, 3b||Georgia Tech||Severna Park, MD||Jr.||B-R||6-2||215||Red Sox ’98 (9)|
|2. Mark Prior, p||Vanderbilt||San Diego, CA||Jr.||R-R||6-5||220||Yankees ’98 (1)|
|3. Josh Karp, p||UCLA||Bothell, WA||Jr.||R-R||6-5||195||Braves ’98 (8)|
|4. Todd Linden, of||LSU||Bremerton, WA||Jr.||B-R||6-2||218||Never drafted|
|5. Dewon Brazelton, p||Middle Tenn. St.||Tullahoma, TN||Jr.||R-R||6-6||210||Never drafted|
|6. Gabe Gross, of||Auburn||Dothan, AL||Jr.||L-R||6-3||205||Never drafted|
|7. Aaron Heilman, p||Notre Dame||Logansport, IN||Sr.||R-R||6-5||215||Twins ’00 (1)|
|8. Bobby Crosby, ss,||Long Beach State||Cypress, CA||Jr.||R-R||6-3||190||Angels ’98 (34)|
|9. Preston Larrison, p||Evansville||Aurora, IL||Jr.||R-R||6-4||215||Devil Rays ’98 (20)|
|10. Mike Gosling, p||Stanford||Salt Lake City, UT||Jr.||L-L||6-2||210||Twins ’98 (14)|
|11. Taggert Bozied, 1b/3b||San Francisco||Arvada, CO||Sr.||R-R||6-3||210||Twins ’00 (2)|
|12. Len DiNardo, p||Stetson||High Springs, FL||Jr.||L-L||6-4||190||Red Sox ’98 (10)|
|13. Rhett Parrott, p||Georgia Tech||Dalton, GA||Jr.||R-R||6-2||185||Brewers ’98 (4)|
|14. Jon Switzer, p||Arizona State||Houston, TX||Jr.||L-L||6-2||180||Pirates ’98 (26)|
|15. Mike Fontenot, 2b||LSU||Slidell, LA||So.||L-R||5-8||180||Devil Rays ’99 (21)|
|16. Ryan Howard, 1b||SW Missouri State||St. Louis, MO||Jr.||L-L||6-4||215||Never drafted|
|17. Brian Stavisky, of||Notre Dame||Port Allegheny, PA||So.||L-R||6-3||230||Expos ’99 (12)|
|18. Patrick Boyd, of||Clemson||Palm Harbor, FL||Sr.||B-R||6-3||205||Pirates ’00 (4)|
|19. Shelley Duncan, of||Arizona||Tucson, AZ||Jr.||R-R||6-5||210||Never drafted|
|20. Tim Merritt, ss/of||South Alabama||Cantonment, FL||Jr.||R-R||6-0||180||Never drafted|
|21. Doc Brooks, c/of||Georgia||Phoenix City, AL||Jr.||R-R||6-0||190||Tigers ’98 (15)|
|22. Tyrell Godwin, of||North Carolina||Council, NC||Sr.||L-R||6-0||195||Rangers ’00 (1)|
|23. Brian Sager, p||Georgia Tech||Branford, CT||Jr.||R-R||6-5||215||Diamondbacks ’98 (13)|
|24. Josh Brey, p||Liberty||Allentown, PA||Jr.||B-L||6-0||180||Never drafted|
|25. Trevor Hutchinson, p||California||Del Mar, CA||Jr.||R-R||6-5||210||Phillies ’98 (35)|
|26. Ben Crockett, p||Harvard||Topsfield, MA||Jr.||R-R||6-3||195||Never drafted|
|27. Lee Delfino, ss||East Carolina||Pickering, ONT||Jr.||R-R||6-1||180||Blue Jays ’98 (5)|
|28. Ryan Budde, c||Oklahoma State||Midwest City, OK.||Jr.||R-R||5-10||182||Mets ’98 (12)|
|29. Khalil Greene, 3b||Clemson||Key West, FL||Jr.||R-R||5-11||195||Never drafted|
|30. Matt Coenen, p||Charleston Southern||St. Michaels, MD||Jr.||L-L||6-5||230||Never drafted|
|31. Adam Peterson, rhp||Wichita State||Abrams, WI||Jr.||R-R||6-2||190||Royals ’00 (15)|
|32. Jake Gautreau, 3b||Tulane||McAllen, TX||Jr.||L-R||6-0||180||Never drafted|
|33. Kenny Baugh, p||Rice||Houston, TX||Sr.||R-R||6-4||195||Athletics ’00 (5)|
|34. Aaron Sheffield, p,||Young Harris (Ga.) JC||Marietta, GA||So.||R-R||6-3||205||Devil Rays ’99 (26)|
|35. John-Ford Griffin, of||Florida State||Sarasota, FL||Jr.||L-L||6-2||185||Never drafted|
|36. Justin Wechsler, p||Ball State||Anderson, IN||Jr.||R-R||6-1||200||Never drafted|
|37. Chris Burke, 2b||Tennessee||Louisville, KY||Jr.||R-R||5-11||180||Never drafted|
|38. Kurt Birkins, p||Los Angeles Pierce JC||West Hills, CA||So.||L-L||6-2||180||Orioles ’00 (33)|
|39. Mike Rodriguez, of||Miami||Cooper City, FL||Jr.||L-L||5-10||175||Devil Rays ’98 (17)|
|40. Steve Kelly, p||Georgia Tech||Fairfield, OH||Jr.||R-R||6-1||190||White Sox ’98 (5)|
|41. Dallas McPherson, p||The Citadel||Randleman, NC||Jr.||L-R||6-4||215||Braves ’98 (44)|
|42. Shane Komine, p||Nebraska||Honolulu, HI||Jr.||R-R||5-10||165||Never drafted|
|43. Chris Smith, of/p||Cumberland (Tenn.)||Wantagh, NY||Jr.||L-L||6-1||190||Pirates ’98 (11)|
|44. Jon Skaggs, p||Rice||Sugar Land, TX||Sr.||R-R||6-5||220||Orioles ’00 (4)|
|45. Wyatt Allen, p||Tennessee||Nashville, TN||Jr.||R-R||6-4||195||Pirates ’98 (32)|
|46. Paul O’Toole, c||Notre Dame||Lakewood, OH||Jr.||L-R||6-2||210||Never drafted|
|47. Billy Brian, p||Louisiana State||Covington, LA||Jr.||R-R||6-5||231||Royals ’00 (25)|
|48. Richard Lewis, 2b||Georgia Tech||Marietta, GA||Jr.||R-R||6-1||180||Never drafted|
|49. Kelly Shoppach, c||Baylor||Fort Worth, TX||Jr.||R-R||5-11||210||Never drafted|
|50. Ben Keiter, p||Wichita State||Arvada, CO||Jr.||R-R||6-3||206||Devil Rays ’98 (10)|