STORRS, Conn. – The UConn baseball team kicked off its 2015 fall schedule on Friday with the annual Scout Day at J.O. Christian Field. Husky head coach Jim Penders, staff, and players welcomed over three dozen major league talent evaluators to Storrs to run the current crop of Huskies through fielding, hitting and pitching drills.
Earlier this month, the program reached new heights when five former Huskies held spots on MLB rosters at one time. Former CF George Springer (’11) returned to the lineup for the Houston Astros after suffering a wrist injury in early July, while Nick Ahmed (’11) has held down the starting shortstop position for the Arizona Diamondbacks, boasting a .391 batting average over his last seven games. Mike Olt (’11) was picked up on waivers by the Chicago White Sox and joined the club immediately, playing in seven games since Sept. 6. Scott Oberg (’12) has appeared out of the 54 times for the Colorado Rockies after making his big league debut in April, while Matt Barnes (’11) has rejoined the Red Sox bullpen.
Since Penders took over the helm of the program in 2004, 38 Huskies have been selected in the MLB draft, including three picks in 2015. Vinny Siena (’15) shined in his first pro season, earning a spot on the New York-Penn League All-Star roster before being promoted to the High-A St. Lucie Mets. Former Husky ace Carson Cross (’15) made nine starts for the State College Spikes, putting together a stellar 2.70 ERA, while backstop Max McDowell (’15) opened his professional career with the Arizona League Brewer, holding a .340 OBP in 23 games.
At Scout Day, UConn postion players began the day with speed testing before going through positional fielding drills. An extended batting practice session followed, before nearly every member of the Husky pitching staff took a turn to throw with the scouts looking on.
Earlier this month, Penders announced that the team would hold fall walk-on tryouts on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Interested students can find more information by CLICKING HERE.
The Huskies continue their fall schedule on Sunday, Sept. 27 when they prepare for the 2015 Alumni Game and UConn Baseball Barbecue where the2015 team awards will be revealed. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and is open to the public.