February 7 - Two area natives were tabbed by Baseball America as the Atlantic-10 Conference’s preseason Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, in the publication’s 2019 preview of the conference.
Patriots junior catcher Logan Driscoll (Lake Braddock), a first-team all-conference selection after finishing fourth in the A-10 with a .342 average and totaling 19 extra-base hits and 37 RBI last year, was picked by Baseball America’s staff as the league’s preseason Player of the Year.
“If he can tap into more power, he’ll be an all-around threat offensively,” BA’s Carlos Collaza wrote. “Defensively, Driscoll has an advanced understanding of handling the pitching staff, so much so that he calls his own game, with a strong throwing arm and solid receiving and blocking abilities.”
Driscoll, who hit .323 as a freshman in 2016, is expected to be taken in June’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Jared DiCesare (Chantilly), meanwhile, was tabbed as the A-10’s preseason Pitcher of the Year after a sophomore campaign that saw the efficient right-hander go 6-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 appearances (10 starts). Also a potential draft pick in June, DiCesare impressed in 2018 by only walking 15 batters in 83.2 innings during the spring with George Mason and then just two in 36.2 innings while posting a 2.95 ERA over the summer with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League.
“[DiCesare] lands [his fastball] and each of his secondary offerings for strikes while rarely putting batters on base for free,” Collaza wrote.
Baseball America picked the Patriots to finish fifth in the 13-team league. George Mason went 29-27 overall and 16-10 in the A-10 last year, then reached the conference championship game before falling to St. Louis. The league’s head coaches will vote on their preseason poll in the coming days.
The Patriots open their season on Feb. 15 against Iowa in Kissimmee, FL.
Photos of Logan Driscoll and Jared DiCesare courtesy of George Mason Athletics