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Around The Field With Turtle

Nothing new to tell you about FIU football recruiting on this hump day, so let's go back to the diamond Tt with FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas (right) and take a look at the Panthers on the field 23 days before Opening Night against Jacksonville.

PP: How does the infield shape up going into this month of practice before the season starts?

TT: Steven Stropp is behind the plate. Tim Jobe from Indian River CC, has an unbelievable amount of power. He’s by far our most powerful hitter that we got. We just have to get the consistency of his stroke Mollica day in, day out to where it kind of needs to be. Jobe is a 1b/DH and he’s a right-handed pitcher with the best curveball on the team. He’s had a little iffy elbow deal so we just have to make sure he’s OK.

Ryan Mollica (left, Alex J. Hernandez photo) returns at second base. Garrett Wittels from Krop High could be at shortstop/third base. He did a real nice job there in the fall. He is more advanced than a lot of freshmen are. Junior Arrojo could also see some time at shortstop.

Raiko Alfonso from Key West has done a nice job for us at third base. Raiko being a switch-hitter is a nice thing to have. He’s got to keep working on defending, on his range, a little more consistency with his hands, but he’s coming along pretty good.

PP: What about the outfield how does that look and can we expect more speed there than last season?

TT: Pablo Bermudez (right) will definitely be our leadoff guy and starting centerfielder as long as he’s healthy. He is definitely far advanced for most freshmen, a very talented young man.

The team speed is definitely better. We got some guys like Michael Vargas from New Jersey, who Bermudez played at the national high school champ at Don Bosco Prep (33-0). Vargas is definitely a speedy guy. Bermudez is a runner. We got a couple of guys like that.

You may not realize this, but Junior Arrojo led the Valley League this summer in stolen bases. He has as good a first step in stealing a bag as any Major Leaguer would have. He has a perfect technique. He just has to get the consistency of getting on base where he has that opportunity to steal.

Vargas played 2b in high school, but Ryan Mollica is in that spot so Vargas is going to get some playing time in left field. He’s a speedy guy. You put him and Pablo out there in the outfield and you have a chance to run down a few fly balls that hopefully won’t fall in.

We put Tyler Townsend mostly all fall in right field and he’s taken to it pretty good. It’s either a corner outfield spot or first base for him.


We'll wrap up our preseason talk with Turtle on the next post where he'll tell us what the batting lineup looks like going into the season.


Always open to suggestions for poll questions, so here we go with FIUBlueandGold's question:


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Loving the baseball blogs Pete, keep em' coming. Sounds like Turtle has a really young team this season, hope that translate into a bright future for them.

Good blog, looking forward to FIU getting back to winning ways.

Seems like we have a ton of talent

Like i said last season, it'll take 2 or 3 years most likely. This is really TT first year of full recruiting and they already seem to be making some good strides in the right direction.

I must say between football and baseball, not too sure whats going on with other sports, FIU is headed in the right direction. TT and Cristobal are both standup guys and wish them the best.

As usual, great info, Pete. Keep it coming!

This week at UM... Basketball players breaks into home to rob it AND yet another UM student gets arrested for groping girls.

Just another week at "DAHHHHH U".

Posted by: FIUFloridaPower&Light | January 29, 2009 at 05:57 AM

MIAMI (CBS4 News) Three Florida International University football players were arrested during an attempted armed robbery over the weekend. It happened in a dormitory parking lot on the University Park Campus, near the 107th Avenue entrance. The players are all being held without bond and all suspended from the team.

Police say Everett Baker fired a gun into the alleged victim's car. No one was hurt. Baker, from Kissimmee, is charged with attempted felony murder.

Diamos Bernard Demerritt, a Miami Norland High graduate, is charged with 2 counts of armed robbery with a firearm, 2 counts of aggrevated assualt with a deadly weapon, 2 counts of carrying a concealed firearm, and drug possesion.

Randy Arnold, from Tallahassee, is charged with armed robbery.


Thanks for the bone Pete. Thought my question would be appropriate considering the HYPE around several recruits.

I'm big fan of McGee and think he can play many positions for us. That gives Mario and staff more options for other guys and increases our depth in the 2 deep rotation.

Have you heard where they project to use McGee at ???

That was like 5 years ago, do you really want me to go back into scUM's history books, sorry the Miami Dade County prison roster? I wouldn't get myself into a competition with ANY school in the nation when it comes to Criminals and Thugs if I were scUM. That's one contest you guys win hands down (talk about a #1 recruiting class).

Hey Pete!

Can you please try and dig up some info/truth on the rumors of former NW star LB, Quavon Taylor being interested in tranfering to FIU?

& can you imagine that trio of LBs for FIU??
Mars, Dillard & Taylor?

Lets hear your thoughts on it
Thanks Pete



Posted by: UmGrad86 | January 29, 2009 at 09:39 AM


I am with Max. I am loving the baseball blogs. Baseball is my second favorite at FIU after football. Reading your blogs helps make the time for baseball come quicker. I can't wait! I am excited to see what Turtle brings on the field this season.


Are they any plans to spruce up the Baseball Stadium a little bit? The exterior paint is fading and that logo above the entrance is ancient. The inside of the stadium looks great. Especially with that new padded wall in the outfield. It would be great to see a new paint job and the new logo above the entrance for opening day.

Did anyone else notice that TT said that Tim Jobe is the player with the most power? Someone has more power than Tyler Townsend? NICE! Jobe and Townsend are going to be a nice power duo.

If everybody ignores the worthless UM fans that sit on an FIU blog bc they have zero life, then they'll eventually stop. Just dont even respond. There points are just dumb and not even funny. They should be more concerned why they are too scared to play against such a "worthless, cr@pp-E, bad, etc..." team like FIU in sports.

Just ignore!

Down with the U!

I watched this team all Fall and they are going to be good, the pitching is much improved and all of the holes are filled with some quailty backups. The team may be a little young, but I do not think so and the rest of the league is not as good this year. TT has 2 very good players in Molica & Townsend that can carry a team a long way. I normally would agree with gpantera about winning the games that you should and throw in a few surprises, but this year's schedule is very different from the past. The past always had the northern cupcakes that we managed to mess up a game or two against, this year only has one cupcake weekend against Farleigh Dickinson. The good news is there are only a couple of teams (FS-Tenn-CC)that we will be underdogs against, the other 50 games are a toss up.

I agree with pikedanny. Tyler has always mashed, so teaming up with Jobe will be a deadly 1-2 combo. By the way, I didn't know Tyler could play RF. I thought Jobe would DH when Tyler played first, and then maybe play first in the later innings.

I think the plans are to try Tyler in the outfield and move him into 1st in the later innings. Jobe & Stropp have more "batting practice" power than Townsend,hopefully they can carry it to the field. It is going to be a fun year, finally.

Since no one's mentioned it yet... props to the men's hoops team for beating UNO on the road last night. Only the 2nd road W all season, and done without Asprilla. Plus, Galindo didn't have much of an impact, either.

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