It's early signing period for college baseball. In the last few days the GPP has scoured cyberspace, spoke with several high school and junior college coaches and received e-mails from parents of future FIU players, to bring you this list of the newest Golden Panthers baseball players that apparently have signed with FIU to play in the 2009 season.
It looks like an impressive list, new FIU coach Turtle Thomas has assembled. Not surprising, with the new truncated season, there are eight pitchers among the signees and more may be on the way when the baseball signing period ends on the second Wednesday in April 2008. Been told FIU will not release an official list of signed players until April when the baseball signing period ends.
Among the players signing with FIU are four junior college all-stars, one high school pitcher of the year, the No. 1 prospect in Wisconsin and the No. 13 outfielder in the nation. Here are your newest Golden Panthers:
Scott Rembisz (photo, left), a 6-1 230-pound right-handed pitcher from Manatee CC. He was a JCC All-Star who was 8-2 with a 2.93 ERA and struck out 87 in 73.2 IP last season. His 87 Ks led Manatee, which has won its conference championship 29 times in the last 49 years.
Tim Jobe, infielder and RHP, from Indian River CC. Another JCC All-Star who struck out 30 in 31 innings and hit .289 while leading his team with 31 RBI.
Matt Gilson, a 6-4, 214-pound LHP from Broward Community College, was 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA. The lefty also a JCC All-Star was second on BCC with 53 Ks.
Miguel Mejia, a 6-1, 190-pound RHP from Pensacola CC, was a JCC All-Star. The Puerto Rico native was 11-0 with a 2.65 ERA last season.
R.J. Fondon, LHP from Pembroke Pines Flanagan was 10-1 with a 1.51 ERA last season. Fondon was the 2007 Broward High School Pitcher of the Year.
Looks like TT went to the land of cheese and got Wisconsin's No. 1-ranked prospect in Sam Munson, who is listed as a utility player. Locally FIU got outfielder Pablo Bermudez from Miami Springs High. According to Perfect Game, Bermudez is the 13th-best OF in the nation.
With more games per week now in the new NCAA baseball season format, FIU will need catchers. Sean Reilly, from the home (Mass.) of the World Champion Boston Red Sox, signed with FIU.
Local players set to become Golden Panthers include: Killian LHP Mason McVay (6-3, 1.92 ERA, 78 Ks), and Killian infielder Mike Martinez.
Krop High infielder Garrett Wittles, who hit over .400 the last two years, also became a Golden Panther. As did St. Thomas Aquinas and BCC left-handed pitcher Robbie Scott.
Staying down south, FIU inked infielder Raiko Alfonso from Key West High. Alfonso is ranked the 107th best overall player in the U.S.
Other FIU signings include: Bryam Garcia (photo below right), a RHP from Gulf Coast CC, who was 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA to lead the team. Doug Joyce, a utility player from Washington. Alex Kush from Satellite Beach High. "This is Kush" hit .444 with 3 HR, 20 RBI. Outfielder Stephen Spradling from Delray American Heritage and utility player Michael Vargas from Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey.
Reading Herald High School writer Andre Fernandez's Dade signing story today, I got a chuckle from a quote from Hurricanes signee and Killian left-handed pitcher Sam Robinson, who said of playing against his high school teammates at FIU: "It's going to make the series with FIU a lot of fun playing against some of my teammates."
Apparently in Coral Gables, they have not told their signees that the series with FIU has a slim and none chance of continuing beyond the two games this year.
Be back on here tommorrow afternoon with a preview blog of FIU vs. Louisiana-Lafayette football.
UltimateFIUFan: Sun Belt basketball tournament is in Mobile, Alabama. Unlike football, where the Sun Belt has gotten two additional bowl bids besides the New Orleans Bowl the last two seasons, Sun Belt hoops needs to win conference tourney to get into NCAAs. The only TV for the FIU vs. Purdue and Kentucky hoops game may be local TV in Indiana and Kentucky.
Yandro: Your baseball blog is above.
FIUChris: I'm sure the sports content of the Beacon is just fine. The only things I was pointing out were some factual errors with FIU football and spelling mistakes. I know it's tough there, especially without much support. Maybe they can get the journalism school involved in the paper. Ash Parker can become one of the best football players at FIU before his career is over here. He's a natural athlete which we can see in his transition from offense to defense this season.
FIUJM, FIU Fanatic & FIU-GO-PAWZz: Thanks on the Toronto story and FIU centers.
Quijote: Apparently just the rumor mill.
Even though CJ/Jim from American Pie has volunteered, I must say it's a damn funny exchange between some GPP readers on who they most resemble considering no one has their picture up on the GPP except yours truly. OK, I'll bite, I'll hear my look-a-likes.