Baseball – 2014 Preview: Asbury Park
Asbury Park Blue Bishops
Head Coach: Johnny Grasso, eighth season
Record Last Year: 1-16 (1-13, eighth in B Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Paul Bacon||Sr.||3B/P||.314/.442/.486, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 R, 5 RBI, 4 SB||19 IP, 28 H, 30 BB, 20 K, 12.89 ERA|
|William Brooks||Sr.||P||1 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 ER|
|Jahmel Dixon||So.||UTIL||.286/.367/.286, 6 R, 7 SB|
|Angel Rosario||So.||SS||.324/.405./378, 2 2B, 5 R, 5 RBI, 6 SB||8.2 IP, 13 H, 23 BB, 7 K, 8.08 ERA|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Jarrod Fletcher||Jr.||OF/2B||1-for-10||1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 ER|
|Transfer||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Will Wells (Neptune)||Sr.||OF|
Key Losses: Will Lezin (OF/C), Herm Mondesir (OF), Steven Nonez (INF), Willie Speller (OF/P) – Transferred to Academy Charter
Key Newcomers: Joel Hernandez (Fr., C), Calvin Simms-Carter (Fr., 1B), Paul Reed (Fr., OF), Tyrone Bailey (Fr., OF), Sal Swain (Jr., P)
The Blue Bishops got some discouraging news when Acadamy Charter started a baseball tea, which took sophomore standout Willie Speller away from Asbury Park and left the Bishops to replace a player who had the makings of an All-Shore talent this season. As a freshman last year, Speller hit .531 with a homer, four triples and 24 stolen bases while also striking out 58 batters in 36 innings. Asbury Park will attempt to replace one of the county’s best young talents with even more freshmen, which is sure to make the going rough at times this season.
Speller was one of three freshmen to start for Asbury Park last year, so not only have the Blue Bishops been through this drill before, but they have young players who have spent significant time at the varsity level. One such player is sophomore shortstop Angel Rosario, who had a solid debut considering his age and was overshadowed somewhat by the colossal debut of his freshman teammate. Rosario hit .324 with two doubles last year and classmate Jahmel Dixon also hit .286 with seven stolen bases in his freshman season.
Senior Paul Bacon is the team’s best all-around returning player after hitting .314 with two doubles and two triples last year. Bacon will also open the season as the team’s top pitching option. Senior Neptune transfer Will Wells should also give the Asbury Park lineup a boost after holding his own in a very competitive Class B North division last year. If Asbury Park can combine the powers of its five freshmen into one Willie Speller, then it has made major progress and should push toward that No. 5 spot in the division. That has not, however, been the trend for the Blue Bishops in recent years and all signs point to a team that will play a few close games but may not have enough to claw out of the cellar.