Sept. 28, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. -- In the recent issue of Collegiate Baseball, the group of current players who made up the recruiting class of 2000 for the Arizona State University baseball program ranked third in the nation behind Cal State Fullerton and defending College World Series champion LSU.
The addition of several young talented players is good news for the Sun Devil program that is coming off another strong year in 2000. Head Coach Pat Murphy's Sun Devils return 15 letterman and nine starters from the squad that finished 2000 with a 44-15 record and were crowned Pac-10 Champions.
Eight players who were drafted in the annual Major League Amateur Baseball Draft this past June highlight the group of 2000 newcomers. The group includes: UT/P Eric Keefner (4th round pick by Astros/Chicago, Ill.), P/C Ryan Schroyer (16th round pick by Tigers/Tucson, Ariz.), LHP Jonathan Gutierrez (20th round pick by Red Sox/Central Arizona College), OF Skyler Fulton (25th round pick by Mets/Olympia, Wash.), INF/OF Rod Allen (34th round pick by Reds/Phoenix, Ariz.), OF Michael Guerrero (36th round pick by Red Sox/South Mountain CC), INF Steve Garrabrants (42nd round pick by Twins/Phoenix, Ariz.), and OF Chris Duffy (43rd round pick by Red Sox/South Mountain CC).
Other top newcomers who are expected to contribute on the Diamond for ASU this spring are RHP J.J. Jackson (Chandler, Ariz.), RHP/INF Alex Creel (Roseville, Calif.), LHP Matt Shartis (Piedmont, Calif.), OF Ryan McKenna (Elgin, Ill.), 1B Jeremy West (Las Vegas, Nev.), RHP Billy Silvestri (Scottsdale, Ariz.), INF Julian Benevidez (Oakland, Calif.), OF Andre Either (Glendale, Ariz.), OF Jon Sheaffer (Mesa, Ariz.) and RHP/INF Matt Sopko (Joliet, Ill.). In all, ASU has 17 newcomers on the fall roster.
"We are very excited about the recruiting class that has joined our program," said ASU recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Jay Sferra. "We have a real good mix of position players and pitchers who can step right in and contribute. It is a great class that represents both the state of Arizona and the rest of the nation."
Three of the freshmen also double as athletes on the gridiron for Coach Bruce Snyder's football team. Keefner (LB), Fulton (RB) and Sheaffer (WR) are all currently on the ASU football roster. The third-ranked recruiting class could have finished even higher, but six players, including a first-round draft pick, were lost to signings following the amateur draft in June.