Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Daniel Federman is the first of three and possibly six to be signed in the post draft selection as a free agent. In his roller coaster ride as pitcher for the Canes he saw his role as starter, set-up, closer, but where he shined the best was in relief. You were never certain on which Daniel would be taking to the mound but when he was on, he was on. He finished the year strong only allowing a single run in his final 19 innings thrown. One thing you can definitely say about him is that everytime he came to the mound he was energized to the max. The Orioles are a perfect location for Daniel to make his mark and best opportunity of moving up in the organization rapidly. Being last in Eastern Division, the Birds are in badly need of pitching and Daniel just might be the answer to help fill this void. Great opportunity for him and the very best in his fulfilling his dream and getting the chance to make it to the Big Show.
Two other hopefuls who are waiting in the wings to hear their names called are Alex Toral and Raymond Gil. Some team will see the potential for both of these players for their power potential that they could add to their team. What hurt them was their strikeout numbers which with a good batting coach could correct. Raymond had decent speed, unlike Alex, and a strong throwing arm. They both have HR power and I wouldn’t be surprise to see their phone ringing for the opportunity and chance to take it to the next level.
The other three notables that also have a possibility of making it to the next level is a favorite of mine; Gabe Rivera. I felt he was never given the opportunity to show his full potential. He had the power and best throwing arm of our outfielders. Like so many other Canes, not one of his better years and suffered with his numbers. Another is Tony Jenkins with similar issues at the plate. He just couldn’t find a hit to save himself. His defensive play was always outstanding and speed covering CF making one spectacular play after another. Both Gabe and Tony could definitely make a difference with better coaching taking them under their wings. Lastly, there is Spencer Bodanza. He was our go-to pitcher when our starters faltered not being able to get beyond the 5th. One of the best ERAs on our pitching staff he was always assured of one or two scoreless innings getting us through the middle innings. Maybe over used, he was getting hit upon in the final games but for most of the season, he was untouchable. Would love to see him back next year as a senior and work on his credentials for next year’s draft.
The one person I have not mentioned and should have been in the draft itself was Big Brother Christian Del Castillo. He had all the numbers and primary reason the Canes did as well as they did. Recognized by the ACC as Player of the Week, he led the team in batting and 4th overall in the ACC. The only reasons why he may not have been selected was possibly his age and maybe he let it known that he was not interested in a career in baseball and wanted to pursue a career utilizing his post graduate degree. This was a magical year for him and us as fans and disappointing that he was not recognized for what he contributed. I felt the same way last year with closer Brian Van Belle who eventually was picked up as a free agent by Boston and is now playing with their High A affiliate team, the Greenville Drive.
Don’t count any of these players out. They have the heart and the ability. They just need a home that believes in them and given the opportunity to prove they belong at the next level.