Posts Tagged ‘justin nicolino’

Baseball Recruiting, 8-Month Update

February 14, 2011

Of the nine recruits who committed to HC Brian O’Connor and staff (according to perfectgame.org – list below), only seven are on the current roster

 Name Pos Ht Wt B-T High School Hometown State
Ryan Ashooh  LHP 6-2 175 R-L Centreville Clifton VA
Kyle Crockett  LHP 6-0 150 L-L Poquoson Poquoson VA
Derek Justice  LHP 5-10 169 R-L Orange Unionville VA
Artie Lewicki  RHP 6-1 190 R-R St. Joseph Regional Wyckoff NJ
Justin Nicolino  LHP 6-2 155 L-L University Orlando FL
Mark Podlas  OF 6-2 190 L-L Westhampton Beach Remsenburg NY
Mitchell Shifflett  OF 6-1 170 R-R Cosby Midlothian VA
Tyler Skulina  RHP 6-6 235 R-R Walsh Jesuit Strongsville OH
Austin Young  RHP 6-4 240 R-R Atlee Mechanicsville VA

Nicolino’s path is relatively well-known.  He was selected in the second round of the MLB amateur draft, and reportedly received a signing bonus of $615,000 from the Toronto Blue Jays.  He was “actually at a car shop getting my engine looked at” when he got the call.  Slated to debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2011.

As for Skulina, he took the path less-traveled.  He spent the fall in Charlottesville, and started Games 2 and 7 of October’s “Orange & Blue  World Series,” earning a win in both outings.  In Game 2, he threw five scoreless innings, yielding only two hits while striking out 5.  In Game 7, he went 2 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and 2 runs (1 earned) in Orange’s 9-8 series-winning victory.

Three months later, he was at Kent State, looking forward to “a fresh start,” according to his high school coach:

Former Walsh Jesuit standout pitcher Tyler Skulina is returning to Northeast Ohio.

And, presumably, Kent State couldn’t be happier about it.

After spending the fall at the University of Virginia on a baseball scholarship, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound right-hander has transferred to KSU for the second half of the school year and the foreseeable future.

”It’s absolutely true,” Walsh Jesuit baseball coach Chris Kaczmar confirmed to the Beacon Journal. ”He is now enrolled at Kent State and is on the team, all moved in and looking forward to a fresh start at Kent.”

Skulina, who was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 46th round (1,385 overall) of the 2010 major-league draft, will sit out this season, but will have four years of eligibility intact, Kaczmar said.

Virginia did provide him with a release, he said.

Calls to Skulina were not immediately returned.

The right-hander never lost in his high school career and struck out 221 batters with a blazing fastball that often reached 95 mph.

With a firm commitment to Virginia, Skulina fell in the major-league draft.

Once on campus, Skulina realized Virginia was not the right fit for him in the long term, Kaczmar said.

He will now be eligible to get drafted again as a redshirt sophomore in 2013.

At Kent State, Skulina will be reunited with left-handed pitcher David Starn. The two combined to help lead Walsh Jesuit to a Division II state championship in 2008.

”A lot of his teammates have had a lot of success at Kent State and he felt comfortable there,” Kaczmar said.