2008 & 2009 American League steals leader Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox was recently named the #1 college outfielder of the decade by Baseball America as voted on by Division I college head coaches.
Ellsbury was first introduced to college baseball as a member of the 2002 Bend Elks. Jacoby joined the Elks following his senior season at Madras High School as the fleet-footed left-handed hitting outfielder turned down an offer by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Tampa selected Ellsbury in the 23rd round of the 2002 MLB June draft) to play for Pat Casey (pictured) at Oregon State University.
Casey, who sends most of his players to the West Coast League to develop in the summer, was named collegiate coach of the decade.
“The West Coast League has been a great collegiate league for our players to compete in during the summer. When you have such great summer organizations close to Corvallis, it gives our players a great opportunity to play in great environments. The quality of play is really quite beneficial for our student-athletes,” said OSU baseball head coach Pat Casey.
Pat’s Beavers, who won back-to-back College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007, were named the #2 college team of the decade by Baseball America.
Over the past 10 years, Beaver greats like Ellsbury, closers Kevin Gunderson (Knights) and Eddie Kunz (Bells); second basemen Joey Wong (Elks) and Chris Kunda (Elks); big league infielder Brian Barden (Elks); first basemen Andy Jenkins (Knights) and Bill Rowe (Knights); outfielders Cole Gillespie (AppleSox), Tyler Graham (Elks), John Wallace (Knights) and Aaron Mathews (Elks); pitchers Daniel Turpen (Knights) and Jorge Reyes (Pirates); and third basemen Drew George (Elks) and Lonnie Lechelt (Falcons) honed their skills in the summer with West Coast League clubs.
This spring’s 2010 OSU roster features 19 players and coaches with experience playing in the WCL including catcher Travis Anderson (Knights), infielder Carter Bell (Knights), outfielder Rob Folsom (RiverHawks), pitcher Sam Gaviglio (Knights), pitcher Ryan Gorton (AppleSox), outfielder Brandon Hayes (Elks), outfielder/pitcher Dylan Jones (Knights), outfielder Michael Miller (AppleSox), pitcher James Nygren (Knights), pitcher Josh Osich (Knights), pitcher Greg Peavey (Knights), pitcher Craig Sitton (RiverHawks), pitcher Taylor Starr (Knights), pitcher Nick Stiltner (Elks), catcher Andrew Susac (Knights), second baseman John Tommasini (Elks), outfielder Brent Warren (Knights), undergraduate assistant coach Logan Boyd (RiverHawks) and undergraduate assistant coach Koa Kohalehoe (Elks).