Jonesboro (KAIT) - Opening Day for ASU baseball is just 3 days away, but the Red Wolves have received more preseason accolades.
Junior outfielder Todd Baumgartner has been selected to Baseball America's preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team, while freshman Michael Faulkner and senior Ross Humes were named two of the top-ten newcomers in the league.
Baumgartner, a 6-1, 180-pound centerfielder, has already garnered a 2010 preseason All-SBC honor and a preseason SEBaseball.com All-SBC first team selection. He started all 53 games for ASU in 2009, leading the Red Wolves with a .350 batting average, an increase of over 100 points from his sophomore season. He delivered a team-high 84 hits, which also ranked fifth in the SBC at the end of the regular season and posted a team-high 26 multiple-hit games, including 10 with three or more hits. Baumgartner scored a team-high 54 runs including 33 in SBC action. He struck out just 24 times in 240 at-bats and led ASU with 129 total bases, three triples and 13 stolen bases.
Faulkner, a 5-10, 155-pound outfielder, comes to ASU from Germantown High School ranked as the fourth-best high school prospect in the state of Tennessee by Perfect Game and ranked as a three-star prospect by Baseball America, while Humes, a 5-11, 170-pound left-handed pitcher, transferred to Arkansas State from Washington State where he was a two-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and ranked second at WSU with 19 career saves.
The Red Wolves were picked to finish ninth in the conference by Baseball America, while defending conference champion Middle Tennessee was chosen as the league favorite.
Arkansas State opens the 2010 season Friday, Feb. 19th when it hosts Southern Illinois in a 1:00 p.m. matchup at Tomlinson-Kell Stadium.
2010 Baseball America Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team
Starting Pitchers: Kenneth Roberts, Middle Tennessee; Tyler Ray, Troy; Scott Rembisz, FIU
Relief Pitcher: Glenn Troyanowski, FAU
Catcher: Matt Rice, Western Kentucky
First Base: Nick Schwaner, New Orleans
Second Base: Boomer Blanchard, ULM
Shortstop: Junior Arrojo, FIU
Third Base: Nick Wade, ULM
Outfielders: Todd Baumgartner, ASU; Mike Martinez, FIU; Adam Heisler, South Alabama
Designated Hitter - Tim Jobe, FIU
Utility - Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee
Preseason Player of the Year
Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Kenneth Roberts, Middle Tennessee
Baseball America Top-10 Sun Belt Conference Newcomers
1. Michael Faulkner, OF, Arkansas State (HS - Germantown, TN)
2. Ross Humes, LHP, Arkansas State (Transfer - Washington State)
3. Daniel Palo, RHP, MTSU (HS - Germantown, TN)
4. Alberto Cardenas, RHP, FIU (HS - Naples, FL)
5. Andy Mee, OF/RHP, FAU (Transfer - Santa Fe CC)
6. R.J. Alvarez, RHP, FAU (HS - Palm Beach, FL)
7. Tyler Vick, 1B, USA (Transfer - Meridian CC)
8. Tanner Perkins, LHP, WKU (HS - Mount Vernon, KY)
9. Michael Petello, OF, UNO (Transfer - Scottsdale CC)
10. Yoandy Barroso, OF, FIU (Transfer - Miami-Dade JC)
Baseball America 2010 Preseason Poll
1. Middle Tennessee
2. Florida International
3. Western Kentucky
6. Florida Atlantic
8. South Alabama
9. Arkansas State
10. New Orleans
11. Arkansas-Little Rock