Feb. 11, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --The preseason honors continue to roll in for Vanderbilt baseball as three players were named to Baseball America's and Rivals.com All-American teams.
Junior third baseman Pedro Alvarez headlined the group as he was named Preseason Player of the Year by Rivals.com. Joining Alvarez in the publication's first-team All-America list is senior outfielder Dominic de la Osa and junior shortstop Ryan Flaherty.
"After taking a step forward last season, the Commodores are in outstanding shape with the return of three All-Americans," said Kendall Rogers, Rivals.com College Baseball Editor. "Flaherty is the top defensive shortstop in college baseball, while Alvarez is as close to a five-tool player as you're going to get. De la Osa returns for his senior campaign hoping to continue where he left off last season. There hasn't been a collection of players in a lineup like this in awhile."
Baseball America had Alvarez on its first-team, de la Osa on the second-team and Flaherty on its third-team.
Alvarez led the Commodores with a .386 batting average to go along with 18 homers and 68 RBI en route to unanimous All-American honors a year ago. He led the USA Baseball National Team in hitting for the second straight summer and is listed by Baseball America as the No. 1 college prospect entering the 2008 season.
De la Osa led the Commodores with 20 homers in the 2007 season and also batted .378 with 20 stolen bases and 62 RBIs. He was one of only three players in the country to have 20 homers and 20 stolen bases and was also a unanimous All-American selection. The Florida native was drafted in the 10th round by the Detroit Tigers, but returned to Vanderbilt for his senior year after playing the Cape Cod League over the summer.
Flaherty finished the spring with a .381 batting average to go with four homers, 23 doubles (tied for team high) and 57 RBI. He carries a school record 35-game hitting streak into the 2008 campaign. The Maine native was a second-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rivals.com and started at second base for the USA Baseball National Team over the summer.
Vanderbilt opens the 2008 season next Friday, Feb. 22, against two-time defending champion Oregon State at the DeMarini Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The Commodores will also face preseason No. 1 Arizona State and Miami (Ohio) in the tourney.