Monday, April 23, 2007

This Guy is Worth a Blog Entry

It's not everyday you get to do two things: 1) craft a really cheesy, puntastic headline, ala ESPN, and 2) talk up an overlooked college athlete.

But thanks to some recent buzz, I get to throw up a post about Danny Worth, Pepperdine's fantastic junior shortstop.

Worth is leading my alma mater, the Mighty Waves, (I added the Mighty, but I'm pushing head coach Steve Rodriguez to consider making it official) to the #11 ranking in the country and catching the eye of major league scouts in the process. Keith Law of Scouts, Inc. currently has him at #77 on his list of pro prospects, and considering his cannon arm and consistent bat, I expect Worth to climb that list as the spring turns to summer. He recently moved into fourth place on Pepperdine's all-time doubles list, and is hitting .373 with 34 RBI, a .997 OPS, and a 24:15 BB/K ratio through 43 games (the Waves are 30-13). Worth is either first or second on the team in batting average, hits, runs, doubles, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, walks, on base percentage, and stolen bases. Not bad. And even his fairly low home run total (2) is misleading, given that the Waves play in a spacious yard in Malibu. Breathtaking, yes, but it turns a lot of home runs into doubles. Despite being marooned in Chicago during most of the college baseball season, I've seen Worth play enough to know that he has the chops to be a big league shortstop. Right now I would say the best comparisons would probably be to the Pirates' Jack Wilson or to Bobby Crosby of the A's (hopefully minus the injuries), but time will tell.

You may be wondering why this is relevant, especially on a blog currently obsessed with the NBA Playoffs. Well, I don't owe you an answer to that.

Just kidding. The answer is that in light of the recent success of former Waves like Randy Wolf, Danny Haren, and Noah Lowry, this blog will now be spending more time detailing the successes of the Pepperdine baseball team. College baseball doesn't get nearly enough attention, so consider this one small step to rectifying that. And this way, when some of these guys eventually turn pro and crack the big leagues, you will feel like you know them. Which is always fun.

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