Sixteen Sun Devil baseball student-athletes took their talents to various summer baseball leagues across the country, including the Cape Cod League, Northwoods League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
The biggest accolade for Arizona State this summer is that rising sophomore Ryan Burr and head coach Tim Esmay are donning red, white and blue for the Collegiate National Team. Esmay is the assistant coach and hitting coach for Team USA this summer.
Summer baseball is nearly three months of continuous games for college athletes to improve on their skills. The young players compete in wood bat leagues so they can get a taste of what it’s like to play at the next level, and professional scouts are constantly recruiting during the summer month.
Since the midway point of the summer season recently passed, let’s hand out some grades and analysis on how the 2013-14 Sun Devils are doing.
RHP RYAN BURR: A+
Burr has been nothing short of sensational this summer for Team USA during their first full month traveling. The 6-foot-4, 215 pound relief pitcher picked up right where he left off at ASU and he leads the staff with four saves. He broke the Sun Devil freshman save record with 12 saves.
Not only has the Highlands Ranch, Colorado native not surrendered any runs in his five appearances, but he has not given up a hit. In Burr’s five innings of work, he has 11 strikeouts and four walks.
Burr has been the best reliever on Team USA’s roster and Coach Esmay said last season that he sees Burr as a future starter for the maroon and gold. Ladies and gentleman, this future may very well be in 2013 due to the departure of Arizona State starting pitcher Trevor Williams in the second round of the MLB Draft.
HEAD COACH TIM ESMAY: A-
The Sun Devils’ skipper has done a fantastic job thus far working with the Team USA’s hitters. In the eight games USA played against Coastal Plain League opponents, the team averaged over six runs per game en route to a perfect 8-0 start.
The team is batting .307 through 16 games and they have nearly three times as many RBIs as their opponents (83-to-31). The team has eye-popping stats, which include 29 doubles, four triples, four home runs, and a team on-base percentage just below .400. Esmay loves to play small ball in Tempe and the red, white and blue already have 12 sacrifice hits and are 37-for-45 in stolen base attempts.
The only reason there is a minus next to his grade is because five players on the roster already have double-digit strikeout totals, and the team averages nearly eight punch-outs per game at the plate. Also, his team dropped three of the five games in the series against Team Japan.
Regardless, Esmay can add this to his accomplished coaching resume.