Boys of spring try to become boys of summer

For the vast majority of GW baseball players, the conclusion of the Atlantic 10 tournament marks the end of their playing careers. A very select few are fortunate enough to get the opportunity to follow their dreams of playing professional baseball.

In 2005, the GW baseball team’s roster boasted many of the elder statesmen of the A-10 conference. Seven of the Colonials’ most productive players were ready to leave Foggy Bottom to tackle the professional ranks. But like almost all professionals, the GW seven will need to brave small towns and succeed on the lower rungs of the professional ladder to make it to the big time.

Class of 2005

Brad Rosenblat’s senior campaign during spring 2005 was successful, as he led the A-10 in almost every important offensive category including hits, home runs and stolen bases. At the end of the regular season Rosenblat was named A-10 player of the year. In the last several months, Rosenblat has gone through a humbling experience after going undrafted during the 2005 Major League Baseball draft and unsigned by any of the 30 major league teams.

GW head coach Steve Mrowka was shocked that someone with Rosenblat’s ability had such trouble finding a place to play.

“I was very disappointed that he didn’t get drafted or signed,” Mrowka said. “I don’t know the exact answer, maybe the scouts saw him on a bad day or the fact that he is a little older at 24. I was very disappointed and very frustrated.”

Running out of options, Rosenblat signed with the Broxton Rox, of the CanAm Professional Baseball League, on June 28. The Rox are best known for having 46-year old Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, a former Boston Red Sox player, on their roster.

Rosenblat had a slow start to the season but has warmed up quickly. He is currently hitting .319 with 10 home runs, 27 RBI and is slugging a team-best .604.

Nate CasaGrande, a mainstay out of the Colonials bullpen throughout the last two years, is also playing in the CanAm league with the Grays. In 11.2 innings of relief work, CasaGrande has a 3.09 ERA with nine strikeouts.

Joe Michalski and Dan Sullivan also went undrafted but signed contracts to play minor league ball. Michalski, a catcher, signed with Baltimore Orioles and was assigned to the Aberdeen IronBirds of the New York-Penn League (Class A Short-Season). He has played in just 17 games and has 40 at-bats since being signed.

Sullivan, a left-handed pitcher, signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and was assigned to Princeton, W. Va. (Rookie), pitching 10.2 innings with a 2.53 ERA and 15 strikeouts.

Avi Rasowsky signed with Florida Marlins in July and is playing for the Gulf Coast Marlins in rookie ball. In 9.2 innings he has struck out nine batters and has a 2.79 ERA.

The only Colonial drafted in 2005 was Ryan Roberson. The Detroit Tigers selected GW’s starting first baseman and clean-up hitter with the 900th pick (30th round). Roberson is also in the New York-Penn League with the Oneonta Tigers. He is hitting .264 with three home runs and 29 RBI this season.

“When you get there your first year, your objective is to just try to get invited to next year’s spring training,” Mrowka said.

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