Jan. 29, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Several Arizona State Sun Devil baseball players earned preseason acclaim in Baseball America's annual College Baseball Preview. Rating and previewing in detail each college baseball conference and team in the nation, Baseball America picked ASU to finish third in the Pac-10 behind consensus preseason No. 1 Stanford and No. 4 USC.
The Sun Devils, who are ranked 18th by the publication heading into its 91st season of collegiate baseball, were also picked third in the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll. Baseball America also gave creed to the Pac-10, listing it as the No. 2 conference in the nation for college baseball behind the ACC.
Individual 'Best Tools' awards were handed out to Sun Devil sophomores Rod Allen and Jeremy West. West and Allen both made the preseason all-conference team, while Allen was named the Pac-10's best pure hitter. In addition, sophomore starting pitcher Mike Esposito and Allen were listed as top prospects for the 2002 and 2003 MLB drafts respectively. Junior college transfer shortstop Ian Kinsler was named as one of the top newcomers in the conference.
Arizona State opens the 2002 season this Thursday (Jan. 31) with a 4 p.m. game against Oregon State at Hohokam Park in Mesa. ASU will also play Southern Utah (Friday and Sunday) and Oral Roberts (Saturday) in the inaugural Bill Kajikawa Baseball Classic.
The annual Baseball America College Baseball Preview will be sold through Nov. 17 and can be found at most bookstores. For more information, please visit their website at www.baseballamerica.com.