We’re still about a month away from the first official day of spring, unless you’re like me and you prefer to observe the baseball calendar.
And baseball spring starts today.
From coast to coast (mostly in southern latitudes) college baseball teams are opening their seasons today. William & Mary is the northern-most team hosting a game in the Eastern part of the country. Out West, Seattle University is actually hosting a game.
But though baseball remains far away from here, this is the beginning. It’s coming.
A couple of notes for the start of baseball spring:
Vanderbilt vs. Stanford looks like the best series of opening weekend, and it’s one with plenty of Cape connections. Both teams have a lot of players ticketed for the Cape in 2012, including Vanderbilt’s Friday and Saturday starters, Kevin Ziomek and Tyler Beede. Both are on the Cotuit roster. Cape League 2011 cameo star Mark Appel is slated to go against Ziomek for Stanford on Friday night.
If you haven’t checked out all of Baseball America’s season preview content, you should go ahead and do that. All kinds of good stuff over there, including conference previews and features on 2011 CCBL MVP Travis Jankowski and Hyannis standouts Dan Gulbransen and Adam Brett Walker.
BA also has its All-America teams out, and the first team is dominated by Cape Leaguers. With Team USA’s shortened schedule last summer, the Cape had some extra talent, even if they were making cameos. That’s reflected on these All-America teams. Twelve of 15 first-teamers have played on the Cape, including 2011 stars Jankowski, Stephen Piscotty, Chris Beck and Victor Roache.
The extra talent is also likely to be reflected in the 2012 draft. The first 10 college players on BA’s top 100 draft prospects are all Cape League alums, and it’s possible that Mark Appel will become the first Cape Leaguer to go No. 1 overall since Luke Hochevar in 2006.