2018 College summer ball - UConn players

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With the UConn season over, time to start this thread. Here's where members of UConn's baseball team will be playing this summer in the summer collegiate leagues. I have only checked out rosters in the three local summer leagues, so more will no doubt follow:

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Karl Johnson - Mystic Schooners
Paul Gozzo - Danbury Westerners
Colby Dunlop - Keene Swamp Bats
Michael Woodworth - Keene Swamp Bats
CJ Dandeneau - New Bedford Bay Sox

Futures League

Andy Hague - Bristol Blues
Matt Bonvicini - Bristol Blues
Patrick Winkel - Bristol Blues
Vinnie Pallisco - Brockton Rox
Caleb Wurster - Brockton Rox

Cape Cod League

Jake Wallace - Bourne Braves
Anthony Prato - Bourne Braves
Mason Feole - Wareham Gatemen
 
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Last summer Anthony Nucerino played for the Elmira Pioneers of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. I checked to see if he went back there to play, and found that apparently he brought along some UConn friends to Elmira and the rest of the league:

Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League

Anthony Nucerino - Elmira Pioneers
Nate Panzer - Elmira Pioneers
Angus Mayock - Elmira Pioneers

Kenny Bergmann - Watertown Rapids
Ben Maycock - Watertown Rapids
 
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New England Baseball Journal previews the Summer Collegiate Leagues in this months issue: NEBJ June cover (keep hitting right > to scroll). Haven’t made my way through it yet.
 
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New England Baseball Journal previews the Summer Collegiate Leagues in this months issue: NEBJ June cover (keep hitting right > to scroll). Haven’t made my way through it yet.
I took a quick look at the Summer Collegiate League section, and it does list several UConn players and commits playing for teams in leagues in New England that I did not list before above. It may be that these players will eventually report, but currently players like Joe Simeone (Yarmouth-Dennis) and Chris Winkel (Mystic Schooners) are not yet listed on the on line rosters for these teams. Maybe these players will report to these teams, or maybe not. One thing I've found over the last few years of looking at summer collegiate team rosters is that they can be rather fluid, as players are always coming and going from these teams.
 
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How does the process of figuring out where you're going to play in the summer usually work? Are you recruited? Do you try out for teams? Does Penders or past coaches have connections?

Just wondering
 
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How does the process of figuring out where you're going to play in the summer usually work? Are you recruited? Do you try out for teams? Does Penders or past coaches have connections?

Just wondering
I certainly don't know the whole process, but assuming that a player wants to play summer ball, I get the idea that the college coaches will do legwork and do have connections in terms of placement. As far as connections go, UConn players do tend to show up on certain teams, and often those teams have UConn alumni connected with them either in the front office or on the field. In the Cape Cod League, UConn players tend to land at Bourne and Wareham. In the NECBL, the Mystic Schooners has been a big UConn landing spot. In the Futures League, UConn players often end up with the Bristol Blues.

I have a friend from Rhode Island whose son just completed his freshman year in college playing for a Division 3 school in upstate New York. The kid made it known to his coach that he wanted to play summer ball. The coach found a couple of teams for the kid to choose from. The kid ended up choosing a team in upstate New York in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
 
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I certainly don't know the whole process, but assuming that a player wants to play summer ball, I get the idea that the college coaches will do legwork and do have connections in terms of placement. As far as connections go, UConn players do tend to show up on certain teams, and often those teams have UConn alumni connected with them either in the front office or on the field. In the Cape Cod League, UConn players tend to land at Bourne and Wareham. In the NECBL, the Mystic Schooners has been a big UConn landing spot. In the Futures League, UConn players often end up with the Bristol Blues.

I have a friend from Rhode Island whose son just completed his freshman year in college playing for a Division 3 school in upstate New York. The kid made it known to the coach that he wanted to play summer ball. The coach found a couple of teams for the kid to choose from. The kid ended up choosing a team in upstate New York in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Thanks!
 
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Last summer Chase Gardner played for the Healdsburg Prune Packers (yes, it's a great name) of the California Collegiate League. He's there again, and he has UConn friends.

California Collegiate League

Chase Gardner - Healdsburg Prune Packers
Jeff Kersten - Healdsburg Prune Packers
Cole Brodnansky - Healdsburg Prune Packers

Cole Brodnanksy's school on the Healdsburg website is listed as UConn, so it appears he is the latest California JUCO for the Huskies. He is a catcher who last played for Santa Rosa Junior College.

Cole Brodnansky | #5 | C | Santa Rosa - California Community College Baseball Coaches Association

Healdsburg Prune Packers
 
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uconnbaseball

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I wonder if he will catch or give us another option at DH? We are kind of loaded at catcher at the moment.
 
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I wonder if he will catch or give us another option at Dan Hurley? We are kind of loaded at catcher at the moment.
UConn is very loaded at catcher indeed. This new catcher may just have been a contingency in case Pat Winkel decided to go pro. At any rate, it would not surprise me if a catcher or two doesn't make the team or just decides to leave the squad. In the case of Brodnansky, I have no idea if he will be a walk on or a partial scholarship guy. Also, the Healdsburg roster is the only place at this point that connects him to UConn, I haven't seen another place that mentions it.
 
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I'd love it if he could play some corner OF.
DeRoche-Duffin, Blake Davey, and Tyler Gnesda were all listed as catchers on UConn baseball rosters. DeRoche-Duffin and Davey did end up in corner outfield spots, so that could be a possibility. I think Davey is the only one who saw any time behind the plate.
 
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Chris Winkel is with the Mystic Schooners.
Chris Winkel is now indeed showing on the online roster for the Mystic Schooners. Another UConn name that just showed up on the Mystic roster is Conor Moriarty. Mystic is now up to its usual complement of three or so UConn players.
 
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Futures League

Tyler Briggs - Pittsfield Suns

Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League

AJ Penny - Allentown Railers

AJ Penny was on the UConn fall ball roster, but did not make the 2018 team. Perhaps he will try to make the 2019 UConn team, perhaps not, but his school is still listed as UConn on the Allentown website.
 
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Futures League

Tyler Briggs - Pittsfield Suns

Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League

AJ Penny - Allentown Railers

AJ Penny was on the UConn fall ball roster, but did not make the 2018 team. Perhaps he will try to make the 2019 UConn team, perhaps not, but his school is still listed as UConn on the Allentown website.
Denny probably has a decent shot at making the 35 man roster next spring, by my count he is one of only four LHP tied to the program right now. (Denny, Feole, Gardner, Wurster)
 

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I certainly don't know the whole process, but assuming that a player wants to play summer ball, I get the idea that the college coaches will do legwork and do have connections in terms of placement. As far as connections go, UConn players do tend to show up on certain teams, and often those teams have UConn alumni connected with them either in the front office or on the field. In the Cape Cod League, UConn players tend to land at Bourne and Wareham. In the NECBL, the Mystic Schooners has been a big UConn landing spot. In the Futures League, UConn players often end up with the Bristol Blues.

I have a friend from Rhode Island whose son just completed his freshman year in college playing for a Division 3 school in upstate New York. The kid made it known to his coach that he wanted to play summer ball. The coach found a couple of teams for the kid to choose from. The kid ended up choosing a team in upstate New York in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
Just like everywhere else in life, coaches have relationships with certain FO people of those teams.

I interned for a few summers with an NECBL team. It is not an accident that you saw players from the same schools on its roster every single summer.
 
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Denny probably has a decent shot at making the 35 man roster next spring, by my count he is one of only four LHP tied to the program right now. (Denny, Feole, Gardner, Wurster)
Unless you have some inside information about Denny, I would be skeptical about him making the team next spring. At this point Denny does not necessarily have a tie to the program that I know of, other than having been on the fall ball roster last year. We'll see if he gets added to the roster this fall, but it will behoove him to have a productive summer in Allentown. As it is, he has his work cut out for him if he wishes to rejoin UConn baseball. I don't think Coach Penders is going to add a lefty just for the sake of having a southpaw, Denny will need to get hitters out.

It’s a fairly rare event that a player that was cut from the UConn fall ball roster comes back and makes the team a year or two later. There are three that I know of that did it in recent years. John Russell did it after resurfacing and playing for Avery Point for a year. Current Husky Ben Maycock another one. Avery Santos (who also played for Avery Point) is the third, but I suspect he would have made the team in 2017 if he hadn't needed Tommy John surgery which sidelined him for the season.

I’m sure there will be a few players that will leave the program before the start of the next spring season. But with all the returning players, the three transfers (Paul Gozzo, Nate Panzer, and Karl Johnson) that will be eligible to play next season, and with all the incoming recruits coming into the program (12 that I know of), roster spots for the next spring season will be at a premium. With or without AJ Denny, the cuts needed to bring the roster down to 35 players next spring already will be interesting.
 
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Unless you have some inside information about Denny, I would be skeptical about him making the team next spring. At this point Denny does not necessarily have a tie to the program that I know of, other than having been on the fall ball roster last year. We'll see if he gets added to the roster this fall, but it will behoove him to have a productive summer in Allentown. As it is, he has his work cut out for him if he wishes to rejoin UConn baseball. I don't think Coach Penders is going to add a lefty just for the sake of having a southpaw, Denny will need to get hitters out.

It’s a fairly rare event that a player that was cut from the UConn fall ball roster comes back and makes the team a year or two later. There are three that I know of that did it in recent years. John Russell did it after resurfacing and playing for Avery Point for a year. Current Husky Ben Maycock another one. Avery Santos (who also played for Avery Point) is the third, but I suspect he would have made the team in 2017 if he hadn't needed Tommy John surgery which sidelined him for the season.

I’m sure there will be a few players that will leave the program before the start of the next spring season. But with all the returning players, the three transfers (Paul Gozzo, Nate Panzer, and Karl Johnson) that will be eligible to play next season, and with all the incoming recruits coming into the program (12 that I know of), roster spots for the next spring season will be at a premium. With or without AJ Denny, the cuts needed to bring the roster down to 35 players next spring already will be interesting.
He does have a tie to the program as a recruited freshman and will be with the program in the fall. From my understanding he was one of the last cuts to 35 in the spring. The difference from being the last guy in or first guy out on a spring roster does not really matter as you are both getting red shirted.

He has just as much shot at making the team in the spring as any of the other RS Freshmen or any of the Freshmen coming in to the program who have not pitched an inning in the college game. Not saying he will make the spring roster at this point however he should get a decent shot and a good showing in the summer would not hurt.

Penders typically over recruits the pitching position and let's that weed itself out by transfers out of the program (i.e. Schwartz and Stimpson from the 2016 class). Denny's commitment to stay with the program after being recruited in and cut the first year speaks for itself, alot of guys would transfer away the first chance they could get.

As of right now (assuming Burrows is still on board) I count 45 guys connected to the program for next year for 35 spots. And I am sure there are transfers in/out that we don't know about yet. Definitely a good problem to have in having more than enough quality players to whittle down to 35 and then 27.
 
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Last summer Chase Gardner played for the Healdsburg Prune Packers (yes, it's a great name) of the California Collegiate League. He's there again, and he has UConn friends.

California Collegiate League

Chase Gardner - Healdsburg Prune Packers
Jeff Kersten - Healdsburg Prune Packers
Cole Brodnansky - Healdsburg Prune Packers

Cole Brodnanksy's school on the Healdsburg website is listed as UConn, so it appears he is the latest California JUCO for the Huskies. He is a catcher who last played for Santa Rosa Junior College.

Cole Brodnansky | #5 | C | Santa Rosa - California Community College Baseball Coaches Association

Healdsburg Prune Packers
Safe to say I have a new favorite California League team..
 
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He does have a tie to the program as a recruited freshman and will be with the program in the fall. From my understanding he was one of the last cuts to 35 in the spring. The difference from being the last guy in or first guy out on a spring roster does not really matter as you are both getting red shirted.

He has just as much shot at making the team in the spring as any of the other RS Freshmen or any of the Freshmen coming in to the program who have not pitched an inning in the college game. Not saying he will make the spring roster at this point however he should get a decent shot and a good showing in the summer would not hurt.

Penders typically over recruits the pitching position and let's that weed itself out by transfers out of the program (i.e. Schwartz and Stimpson from the 2016 class). Denny's commitment to stay with the program after being recruited in and cut the first year speaks for itself, alot of guys would transfer away the first chance they could get.

As of right now (assuming Burrows is still on board) I count 45 guys connected to the program for next year for 35 spots. And I am sure there are transfers in/out that we don't know about yet. Definitely a good problem to have in having more than enough quality players to whittle down to 35 and then 27.
Some good information there on AJ Denny and other stuff, thanks for sharing.

From following the UConn baseball program during this decade, it definitely seems that the competition for spots at the bottom of the roster has improved over the last several years. I’m inclined to think that UConn has higher quality players competing for those last roster spots than there were earlier in the decade. As you point out, it’s definitely better to have more than enough quality players competing for those final spots than too few.

From what I’ve read, a player cut from the fall ball roster cannot practice with the team during the spring season. A redshirted player that is on the 35 man spring roster can practice with the team. While both players would be redshirts, that would be the main difference in being the last player cut and the last player to make the team. I agree that under such circumstances that it speaks well of AJ Denny’s commitment to the program.

There is no question that Penders over recruits the whole roster, and not just pitching. From what I can tell UConn is not much different in this regard from many other college baseball programs. College baseball coaches have to over recruit to a certain extent in order to protect their programs. Players are always coming and going, whether it is Juniors getting drafted and moving on to the pro ranks, or players transferring to other college programs, whether they move on to other four year schools or junior colleges. Such fluidity is no doubt caused by the low number of total scholarships and scholarship money when compared to some other college sports, plus the goodly number of walk ons that are part of any college baseball program.
 
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