Brewin’ Features – Transfers
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Brewin’ Player Feat. (Transfers)
Ben Rozenblum – C
FIU & Calvary Christian HS (Ft. Lauderdale)
Here it is. Our first feature about the group of transfers coming in to help the 2022 USF Baseball team. Today we’re talking about Ben Rozenblum, a Catcher/3B who brings two years of experience at the D1 level to the Bulls.
Ben grew up in Albuquerque, NM before moving to Florida for high school baseball. He played at Calvary Christian (Ft. Lauderdale) and was teammates with current USF Baseball player, Roberto Pena (Chamo). In 2018, when Ben was a junior and Chamo was a senior, they won the FHSAA class 4a state championship together. Ben was the leadoff hitter.
After Ben’s prep career, he went to FIU in Miami to start his college baseball career. As a true freshman in the spring of 2020, Ben immediately claimed a starting role in the Panthers lineup. He started 14 out of 15 games in the COVID shortened season, mostly at 3B. During that freshman campaign, Ben posted a very impressive .306 batting average.
This past season (spring 2021), Ben was also a starter for the Panthers. As he racked up more at bats and plate appearances, a trend started to emerge. It became clearly evident that Ben is really good at getting on base. Whether it be via basehit, drawing a walk, or getting hit by a pitch, Ben gets on base a lot.
Just how good is he at getting on base? Over 222 career plate appearances with FIU, Ben’s career OBP (on base percentage) was .423. For context, that would have been 1st place on last year’s USF Baseball team.
Because of this unique skill he has, we here at Brewin’ have dubbed him Ben “Mr. Moneyball” Rozenblum. The “Moneyball” reference refers to the 2011 movie that featured Brad Pitt. The movie was about how the Oakland Athletics built a winning baseball team on a tight budget by focusing on acquiring players that have high On Base Percentages.
At USF, he has 3 years of eligibility remaining and will be a redshirt sophomore with us this year. We can’t wait to see him working long at bats in the Green & Gold and frustrating the heck out of opposing pitchers!
Brewin’ Player Feat. (Transfers)
Hunter Mink – RHP
UF (Gainesville) & Palm Harbor University HS (Palm Harbor, FL)
Today we’ll be sharing our 2nd of 5 transfer Brewin’ features. The player we’re focusing on here is Hunter Mink, a right handed pitcher who comes to USF after two years at the University of Florida.
The elephant in the room that needs to be addressed is that Hunter is the twin brother of fellow USF pitcher Tanner Mink. #FearTheMinks. Hunter was on the UF team that USF defeated in last year’s NCAA tournament in Gainesville.
Despite being a highly decorated high school pitcher (more on that in a second), Hunter was never given a real opportunity to make an impact with the Gators. His first season with the Gators was the 2020 COVID shortened season which sure didn’t help. Then last year, he appeared in 3 games total and didn’t allow any runs in 4 innings pitched.
In high school, Hunter dominated. During his senior year, he made 10 starts, pitched 59 innings and struck out 81 batters (12.36 K/9) while posting a 0.95 ERA. In the summer before his senior year, he attended the 2018 Perfect Game National Showcase which is an invite only event for the country’s top rising seniors. The pedigree is there. He just needs an opportunity.
This past summer, we got a small glance of what Hunter can do at the college level. He pitched for the Covington Lumberjacks of the Valley Baseball League. In his time with Covington, he pitched 16.1 innings across 3 starts. He posted a very solid 2.75 ERA and racked up 14 strikeouts. That strong performance earned him a spot in the Valley Baseball League All Star game.
Hunter’s pitch arsenal includes a 90-92 FB, 86-87 CH, and 79-80 CB. When you watch his film, you see that his pitching mechanics are very fundamentally sound. His simple delivery allows him to use his strong lower half to generate power.
It’s encouraging that despite the limited opportunity at UF, he stayed in good form and did well in summer baseball. We are excited to see Hunter in the Green & Gold alongside his brother Tanner. He has an opportunity to play a big role in the road to #Bullmaha.
Brewin’ Player Feat. (Transfers)
Nolan Hudi – LHP
TCU & Calvary Christian HS (Clearwater, FL)
Today we give you the final of our 3 features on USF’s D1 to D1 transfers. Nolan Hudi comes to USF after spending the first two years of his college career at TCU.
By coming to USF, it gives Nolan the opportunity to return to his hometown. Not only that, he gets to play with two of his old high school teammates (Freshman RHPs Jack Cebert & Tyler Dietz).
As a senior in high school, Nolan helped lead his team to the 2019 FHSAA 4A State Championship title. In the prior season (2018), Calvary Ft. Lauderdale had defeated his team in the state championship game. Nolan got a chance at redemption in 2019 when he was given the ball for a semi-final re-match against Calvary Ft. Lauderdale. He was able to capitalize on the opportunity by throwing a complete game, only allowing 1 run, and recording 6 strikeouts in a team victory.
After that great finish in high school, Nolan had high expectations heading to TCU. Unfortunately, an injury and the COVID cancellation kept him off the field as a freshman in 2020. Later in 2020, he played summer ball with the Amarillo Sod Dogs and did well. However, in the fall of 2020, the injury bug started to bite again. Ultimately, he decided it would be in his best interest to return home to Tampa Bay and reap the benefits of receiving treatment with the support of family nearby.
The decision to return to Florida has paid off so far. This past summer he was healthy enough to play again. He played for the Seminole County Snappers of the Florida League. His first start was a little rough which is understandable after the long lay off. But over his next 5 starts he caught fire. In those final 5 starts he went 21 innings, 23K:2BB, 3.43 ERA, and a microscopic .76 WHIP.
Nolan works a solid FB, CH, CV mix that projects him as a starter long term. We’re excited to see what kind of role he carves out for himself with these 2022 Bulls. He knows how to win championships which fits right in with the way the USF Baseball program is trending.
Brewin’ Player Feat. (#JUCObandits)
Ethan Brown – LHP
Seminole State College (Sanford, FL) & Lakeland Regional HS (Wanaque, NJ)
Today we share with you a feature on 1 of USF’s 2 incoming #JUCObandits for the 2022 season. The JUCO talent pool has served USF very well recently. Last season, we saw Roberto Pena, Jarrett Eaton, Brad Lord, and Devin Hemenway come in from JUCO and make a big impact right away.
Today’s feature is about Ethan Brown, a left-handed pitcher from New Jersey who comes to USF by way of Seminole State College in Sanford, FL.
After high school, Ethan came down to Florida and started his college career at Seminole State. He was there for the COVID shortened 2020 season and also this past spring of 2021. Due to the COVID year, Ethan comes to USF with 3 years of eligibility remaining.
Ethan is a big time talent and that is obvious when you look at the film. The spin he generates on his pitches routinely freezes batters or generates swing and miss. This is also backed up by data from the MLB Draft League which Ethan participated in this past summer. On June 5th, 2021 he registered the 4th highest breaking ball spin rate in the league with 2858 RPM on his curveball.
After Ethan’s stint in the MLB Draft League in the early part of summer, he finished his summer ball in The Florida League with the Winter Garden Squeeze. He pitched extremely well with Winter Garden compiling a 3.17 ERA over 6 starts and striking out 44 batters in 28.1 innings (13.98 K/9). This performance earned him 1st Team All Florida League recognition.
With a really solid 4 pitch mix (FB, CB, SL, CH), Ethan projects as a starter long term. The most unique thing about his pitch arsenal is that he gives 2 completely different looks with the slider and curveball. The curveball has more depth whereas the slider has more horizontal movement. Most pitchers will only throw 1 breaking ball but he looks like he can be effective with 2.
Ethan is a really exciting prospect for USF that figures to play a big role in the road to #Bullmaha in 2022.
Brewin’ Player Feat. (#JUCObandits)
Dylan Vega – RHP/OF
State College of FL (Bradenton, FL) & Pembroke Pines Charter (Pembroke Pines, FL)
Today is the 5th and final feature focused on transfers. Dylan Vega comes to USF after 1 season in JUCO with the State College of Florida.
Dylan has taken an interesting path to USF. Originally from Pembroke Pines in Broward County, Florida, Dylan played his prep baseball at Pembroke Pines Charter. He was on the Varsity team all four years and was always a 2-way player (Pitcher and Outfield). His 6.65 speed helps him navigate the outfield with ease.
Dylan’s senior year of high school baseball (2020) was completely wiped out by COVID so most of his achievements were as a sophomore and junior. Over his varsity career he pitched 85.1 innings and held a 3.28 ERA. He also hit well finishing with a .766 career OPS.
I really think the student-athletes who were seniors in high school when COVID hit really got impacted the most. The MLB Draft was shortened to 5 rounds in 2020 and all college baseball players were given an extra year of eligibility. This caused a log jam of talent at the college level and limited opportunities for high school seniors like Dylan.
However, he made a wise decision by committing to the State College of Florida in Bradenton, FL. Going to SCF gave Dylan an opportunity to get playing time at the college level right away and he really made the most out of it. At SCF, he primarily pitched and went 17.1 innings with 18 Ks, 4 BBs, and a 2.60 ERA.
Dylan carried that momentum into summer ball where he played with the Johnstown (PA) Millrats of the Prospect League. There he was used as a pitcher and an outfielder and excelled in both roles. He had a 2.45 ERA over 7.1 innings pitched and held an incredible .415 batting average over 12 games.
Although he can really hit (#Bulltani), Dylan will primarily be used as a pitcher at USF. The extra year at JUCO really helped Dylan prepare for the D1 level as he has gotten his fastball up to 92mph. He also throws a sinking change and sweeping curveball according to his Perfect Game scouting report.
We’re excited to see how this multi talented player impacts the 2022 USF Baseball season.