Baseball

Preseason All-American anchors infield

The University of Miami baseball team lost three of its five starters around the diamond to the MLB draft, but they are still led by slick-fielding shortstop Ryan Jackson.

Jackson, a junior, is co-captain along with closer Kyle Bellamy and provides leadership on and off the field. Jackson is a 2009 preseason All-American and is projected to go in the first round of this year’s draft.

Last season, Jackson had a breakout season. As a tall lanky player, he had always been known for his defense until he proved to be one of the best hitters in the country with the second-best batting average on the team at .360, 124 points better than his freshman campaign. This year he put on more muscle and is the first one out on the field taking grounders and hitting in the cage.

The reigning 2008 First Team All-ACC shortstop is keeping the same mentality despite the fact that he is expected to be a leader for this young squad.

“[My approach] does not change that much. If you let it get to your head, it’s going to change the way I go about my business,” he said. “I am keeping the same approach I had last year. I am always talking to young guys telling them what they should be thinking in different counts.”

Up the middle the Hurricanes are strong as they have junior college transfer Scott Lawson playing second base. He has quick feet and is a line drive hitter who has very good plate discipline. At Grayson Community College in Texas, Lawson had back-to-back seasons in which he hit over .420. Like his predecessor, former Miami star Jemile Weeks, he bats second, plays second and wears No. 2.

The hot corner will feature new faces as junior college transfer Chris Herrmann replaces Mark Sobolewski at third. Herrmann is highly regarded as he was drafted in the 10th round by the Baltimore Orioles. He was teammates for two seasons with fellow Hurricane Taylor Wulf while at Alvin Community College in Texas.

At first base lies the biggest shoes to fill: those of Yonder Alonso, the seventh overall pick. Junior Jason Hagerty, a backup catcher last year, will see most of the time there. He could also play in the outfield or at catcher, too. Hagerty might possess the most power on the team; last year he hit a home run every 17.8 at bats.

Sophomore Yasmani Grandal will be the back stop. He is a tremendous defensive catcher, whom head coach Jim Morris believes is one of the best in the country. He came on strong late last season with only one error in the final 16 games and was tied for second on the team with eight RBIs in postseason play.

February 18, 2009

Reporters

Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.