Raleigh making his pitch to keep draftees

Coach is hoping that Bell, Morgado stay

Todd Raleigh visited Cape Cod over the weekend, but it wasn't for a clambake or sailing lessons.

It's re-recruitment time for college baseball coaches.

Tennessee's coach checked in with two pitchers who have decisions to make on whether to sign pro contracts or play for the Vols in 2010.

Chad Bell, a transfer from Walters State, and Bryan Morgado, who will be a junior if he returns to UT, are having nice summers in the Cape Cod League.

Bell, a South-Doyle alum, is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA. He was a 14th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in June.

Morgado is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA. He was a third-round pick of the Chicago White Sox.

"I saw Morgado pitch Saturday night and he was as good as I've ever seen him,'' Raleigh said.

"Chad and I had a great visit. (Sunday) night he pitched six-and-two-thirds (innings) and struck out 10. He's continued to be brilliant.''

The Vols are also anxious to see what happens with Kentrail Davis and Milwaukee. The outfielder was the 39th player taken, a supplemental first-round pick.

The suspense is over, however, for the four incoming freshmen who were drafted: They're all in summer school at UT.

Thus, pitchers Jon Reed (21st round, Cincinnati), Alan Walden (43rd round, Atlanta), Andy Hillis (49th round, St. Louis) and first-baseman Cody Stubbs (29th round, Boston) will play for UT.

Raleigh said he approached men's athletic director Mike Hamilton about the advantages of enrolling signees in summer school and Hamilton was receptive.

"I told Mike I knew it was going to be an (added) expense but look how much time and money we've put into these kids already in recruiting,'' Raleigh said. "I think it's a great investment.''

Freshman signees Michael Theodore and Chris Fritts are also in summer school.

"Baseball is unique,'' Raleigh said. "No other sport has to deal with the draft.

"We're not football or basketball so we're not giving a full ride. After we sign them, we've got to recruit them all over again and try to keep 'em out of the draft (or at least from signing after they are drafted).

"We decided we should get these guys attached to the University of Tennessee and get 'em on campus where they're not being hounded by scouts.

"Plus, we get 'em in the weight room and get 'em acclimated academically.''

Raleigh is cautiously optimistic about Bell and Morgado. They have until school starts on Aug. 17 to negotiate.

"Chad is extremely mature and he's been as honest and up front as any kid I've ever recruited,'' Raleigh said.

"He has a number in mind and if they don't meet his number, he'll come to Tennessee. I don't think he'll panic and take less than what he's asked for.''

In Morgado's case, a strong junior season at UT could boost him to first-round money in the 2010 draft.

Raleigh is less optimistic about Davis returning for his junior season. The Vols take some hope in the fact that Davis picked tough negotiator Scott Boras for his agent. A prior Boras client, UT pitcher Luke Hochevar, refused to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005 as a first-rounder.

"The truth of the matter is that they (Boras clients) tend to go to school more often than non-Boras guys,'' Raleigh said.

"Kentrail can still get better and he turned down a lot of money out of high school.''

Lost Who?: Raleigh was surprised to read last week that UT had "lost" pitcher Zac Fuesser to the draft. Fuesser, who pitched at Walters State last season, was a 34th-round pick by Pittsburgh. Fuesser told his hometown paper, The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C., he was planning to pitch for UT if the Pirates hadn't made an acceptable offer.

Raleigh said he had never heard of Fuesser and the only contact had been a phone call from an assistant coach to Fuesser's dad.

"We didn't 'lose' anybody,' '' Raleigh said. "That's not what happened.

Forsythe Done: Catcher Blake Forsythe's summer with USA Baseball's national collegiate team is finished. Forsythe hit .293 as the U.S. went 19-5, closing out with an 8-1 win over Germany in the title game of the Enbridge Northern Gateway World Baseball Challenge in British Columbia.

Roster Notes: Raleigh said all returnees are academically eligible and he expects no defections.

Also, Raleigh has had "positive conversations" with infielder Tyler Horne about returning. Horne, who had a blowout with Raleigh late last season, will attend UT regardless.

Another newcomer is third baseman Matt Duffy, a transfer from Vermont, was the America East Conference player of the year. Vermont cancelled its program.

Signee Khayyan Norfork, an infielder from Jackson State Community College, is hitting .161 in summer ball in Wisconsin. He hit .415 at Jackson State.

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Comments » 8

ALL_VOL75 writes:

go pro!

RoadTrip writes:

If you believe this hype you probably believe that Elvis is still alive.

MikeTheTiger writes:

HMMMM......should I return to TN and Todd Raleigh, who never let me pitch......or should I go pro since I was a 3rd round pick???? Nice waste of a trip Coach Raleigh!!

If I was you Coach, I would start recruiting the following:
a). A Clue
B). A new job.

Vol4ever_1 writes:

The headline is definitely the downfall in this story.
The last time CTR made his "pitch" or was involved in pitching, bad things happened.
Hernandez, Harris, Wiltz, didn't get better.
Morgado got mentally worked and didn't pitch his role.
Got rid of CFC who was the guy qualified to to the job.
No one got better when he took over, adkins, laconte, hochevar etc.
On a great note, the article said he went up there and may have dropped the texting strategy. The scarecrow factor in effect.
Where's my "Raleigh" towel?

Intheknow30 writes:

I was told by a parent that this would happen. Raleigh is trying to change his ways. This isnt what I would have liked in a perfect world but it may just work. Chad Bell is a bada**, and so is Morgado as long as no one ruins his head. And he stands a lot to gain from another year of school.

The fact that Raleigh has talked to Horne tells a lot. We may have caused this man to grow up. I wont say lets forgive him just yet but hes obviously understanding he wasnt headed in the right direction.

Volunatic writes:

I hate to say it, but Morgado would be crazy to stay here. He will have much better coaching in the minor leagues than he would with Todd Raleigh, and can earn a decent living in the process.

sampears writes:

We have a baseball team??.....

Intheknow30 writes:

in response to ETorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know you dont mean everything you said verbatum but saying that the teams were the worst prepared ever is more of a shot at the players, who do not deserve the blame here. The difference between the vol players and little leaguers is that little leaguers love showing up to the ball park for a game. I think you could probably argue that mentally the players werent prepared for the day in day out mind-boning that raleigh provided them.

But totally agreed. Losing to in state teams is an embarrassment.

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