Feb. 9, 2011


Rider is team to beat in Metro Atlantic


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2011 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at the Metro Atlantic (eight of nine coaches responded).


The team to beat is: Rider


Rank the top three starting pitchers: *Mike Thomas, Rider (pictured right); *Shane Davis, Canisius; Kyle Putnam, Marist


The top closer is: (tie) Tyler Smith, Rider; and John Soldinger, Manhattan


The pitcher you least want to face is: Shane Davis, Canisius


The most underrated pitcher is: Ryan Poplawski, Siena


The best defensive catcher is: Bryce Nugent, Marist


The best catcher arm is: Bryce Nugent, Marist


The best defensive infielder is: Sean Jamieson, Canisius


The best infield arm is: Sean Jamieson, Canisius


The best defensive outfielder is: Brandon Cotten, Rider


The best outfield arm is: Mike McCann, Manhattan


Rank the three best pure hitters: Dan Paolini, Siena (pictured right); Mike McCann, Manhattan; Kevin Quaranto, Siena


Rank the three biggest power threats: *Dan Paolini, Siena; Chad Salem, Manhattan; Brian Burton, Canisius


The hitter you least want to face is: Dan Paolini, Siena


The toughest hitter to strike out is: (tie) Mike McCann, Manhattan; and Mike Onorati, Manhattan


The most underrated hitter is: Jon Schwind, Marist


The best base-runner is: Justyn Carter, Saint Peter’s


The best game coach is: Barry Davis, Rider


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: no assistant received more than one vote


*unanimous selection

(Thomas photo by Hugh Tsung, Paolini photo courtesy of Siena Media Relations Office)