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Joey Baran Verbally Commits to Birdball

Versatility coming to The Heights

Not only does Mike Gambino still have a job, he's apparently still out there on the recruiting trail trying to make Boston College a decent baseball team.

Joey Baran, a versatile speedster with the ability to pitch and play several positions, verbally committed to BC, according to a report from the Greater Hazleton Standard Speaker. Given his scouting report, he could step in and compete for a starting role almost immediately.

According to various scouting outlets, Baran is both a solid pitcher with raw talent and a speedster on the basepaths. He's been clocked from home to first in less than 4.5 seconds, which is a solid time, and he's currently ranked as the #19 recruit in the state of Pennsylvania. A lefthander, he went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA as a sophomore and hit .427 when playing the outfield

A three-pitch lefty, he has a heater clocked in the mid-to-high 80s, occasionally touching 90, with a nasty curveball and changeup clocking in the mid-70s. He'll be a pitcher first but be expected to play as a two-way baseball player for the team. Boston College was chosen over Virginia, Stony Brook, VCU, Pitt, and Winthrop.

We're all hesitant to call anything a recruiting coup given Coach Gambino's recent history in game play, but this kid has the raw talent to be considered the best coup they've had this offseason to date. Call me a complete optimist, but with Andrew Chin improving on the hill pitching and Chris Shaw continuing to develop as a hitter, BC might finally have a couple of centerpieces if Baran pans out the right way.

Welcome to the heights, Joey!