By Spencer Hirsch |Staff Writer|
Josh Pond, Cory Caruso, and Brandon Day are looking to follow in Aaron Brooks’ footsteps
Josh Pond, Cory Caruso, and Brandon Day would love to have a deep playoff run and make it all the way to the NCAA Division II Baseball College World Series in North Carolina.
The icing on the cake for the three of them will occur at season’s end in June if they are drafted and sign with a major league team.
Coyote right-handed pitching phenom Aaron Brooks did it last year as he was drafted and signed by the Kansas City Royals.
Pond, Caruso, and Day hope to be the next Coyotes turned pro.
“It has always been my dream to play professional baseball. That is my ultimate goal,” said left-handed pitcher Caruso.
“It would be great getting to do something on a daily basis that I have grown to love,” said first baseman Day.
Pond was selected by the San Diego Padres, while Caruso was selected by the Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) in last year’s MLB draft, but they did not end up signing.
They hope their second go round will lead to them not only getting drafted, but signing with the team that drafts them.
“For me, it meant a lot to make the draft last year. The past is the past. I just want to go out and have a good season. If I just focus on that, the rest will take care of itself,” said Pond.
Each one of them hopes to have a big senior season and impress major league scouts by the time the draft comes around.
To standout to MLB scouts, Day feels he needs to better his body and get faster on a daily basis.
As a hitter, he feels he needs to be able to use all fields.
Pond said that he needs to attack the zone more and not get behind in the count so often, so he can allow his defense to work behind him.
Caruso pointed to consistency, hard work in the weight room and focusing on what he can control as the keys for him to standout.
An MLB National League scout, who asked to not be identified, summed up what pro scouts look for in pitchers and position players.
“What we look for in pitchers is arm action, delivery, and secondary stuff. What we look for in position players is athleticism, bat speed, ability to play the game, and work ethic.”
Pond, Caruso, and Day had outstanding seasons last year and hope to repeat that this year.
Pond was lights out as the Coyotes’ closer last season, notching 16 saves in 17 opportunities. That effort made him the school’s single season and career saves record holder.
According to the CSUSB’s athletic page, that mark tied him for the NCAA lead in saves for the season as well as tying the single-season California Collegiate Athletic Association saves record.
Caruso struck out 44 hitters in 64.1 innings pitched last season, which was second behind Brooks, who had 78 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched.
Day led the way on offense last season, having the highest batting average at .356 and the most RBIs at 33.
According to mlb.com, the first-year player draft takes place from June 4 through June 6.
Check out the Coyote athletic page in June to see if Pond, Caruso, Day and any other players on this year’s team get drafted.