The UC Irvine baseball team’s prospects for 2009 appear to be enhanced considerably by the expected return of Major League draft picks Ben Orloff, Bryce Stowell and Tony Asaro.
Anteaters Coach Mike Gillespie said Thursday that none of the aforementioned players have signed with their respective organizations and all are making plans to return to UCI for their senior seasons next year. The return of Asaro, selected in the 47th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, appears certain, though Orloff and Stowell could still opt for the pro ranks, should contract negotiations escalate, Gillespie said.
Orloff, a first-team All-Big West Conference shortstop, was drafted in the 19th round (587th overall) by the Colorado Rockies.
Stowell, a right-handed pitcher who was the Most Outstanding Player at the Lincoln Regional, was taken in the 22nd round (681st overall) by the Cleveland Indians.