Jan. 12, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Three Arizona State University baseball players have been picked to College Sports Madness' Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference First-Team and head coach Tim Esmay has been selected Coach of the Year, according to the website.
Junior infielder Deven Marrero was named to the first team after earning Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors and First Team All-Pac-10 last season. He started 54 games at shortstop for the Sun Devils, hitting .315 (69-219) with two homers and 20 RBI. He was also named ABCA Second Team All-West Region, Second Team Academic All-Pac-10 and Second Team Academic All-District VIII.
Junior Joey DeMichele was also selected to the first team as an infielder. He won the Pac-10 batting crown with a .368 average last year as a sophomore and also led the conference in slugging percentage (.663), triples (7) and total bases (128). Appearing in 52 games, primarily as a designated hitter, he collected 51 RBIs and a team-leading nine home runs. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Tempe Regional and was a First Team ABCA All-American, a Third Team Baseball America All-American, a First Team ABCA All-West Region choice and a First Team All-Pac-10 pick.
Brady Rodgers, a junior right-handed pitcher, earned a spot on the first team after going 9-4 last season with a 2.75 ERA. He struck out 87 batters while walking only nine, and allowed just one home run all season, tied for fewest in the Pac-10. He was a 2011 All-Conference honorable mention.
Esmay, who enters his third season as head coach, led the Sun Devils to a 43-18 record, including a 17-10 conference mark, last season as ASU advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. He was named the 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year in his first season at ASU after guiding the Devils to a conference title and a berth in the College World Series.
College Sports Madness named Marrero a Second Team Preseason All-American, while DeMichele earned a spot on the fourth team.
The Sun Devils open the 2012 season by hosting a three-game series against Western Michigan from Feb. 17-19 at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.