Jan. 2, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The preseason awards for Arizona State Baseball players Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia continued Friday with the pair being named to Baseball America's 2004 Preseason All-America Team. Larish earned first-team honors, while Pedroia was selected to the third team.
Pedroia already earned first-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA, while Larish was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball and a second-team pick by NCBWA. The Baseball America team differs from the other preseason publications as Baseball America makes their selections based on performance, talent and major league potential and polls major league scouting directors to form the elite team.
Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) earned first-team honors from Baseball America after being a second-team selection by the NCBWA and a first-teamer by Collegiate Baseball. The two-year starter will make the transition from first base to the outfield for 2004 and is regarded as one of the top prospects for the MLB June Amateur Draft. Larish hit .372 (87-for-234) as a sophomore while leading the team with 18 home runs and 95 RBI. He also led the nation with 78 walks and became only the second Sun Devil to record at least 70 walks and 70 RBI in a single season (Alvin Davis). Larish also teamed with Pedroia to help the USA Baseball National Team to a silver medal in the Pan Am Games. He led the team with 23 RBI and eight home runs. Larish is ranked by BA as the No. 17 overall prospect and the No. 11 college prospect for the 2004 MLB draft.
Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) earned his third preseason honor after also picking up first-team honors from the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. The junior shortstop was the 2003 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year after hitting .404 (120-for-297) with a Pac-10 and ASU single-season record 34 doubles. He was only the 11th Sun Devil to record over 100 hits and hit .400 in the same season. He enters his junior campaign as a .379 hitter and the Collegiate Baseball National Defensive Player of the Year has made only 12 errors in 542 chances during his career (.978 FLD%). He is ranked by BA as the No. 41 college prospect for the 2004 MLB draft.
The Sun Devils (ranked No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball), led by 10th year head coach Pat Murphy, are scheduled to begin preparations for the 2004 season on Jan. 5 at Packard Stadium. ASU will hold the annual alumni game on Jan. 17 (1 p.m.) and open the season against No. 24 Florida State on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. The annual Baseball America Preseason Top 50 will be announced Monday from the publication's headquarters in Durham, N.C.
A complete listing Baseball America's preseason all-America teams is available at BaseballAmerica.com.