Archive | Alumni/Player News

Ruffnecks Populate College Ranks & MLB!

Jacob Stevens - Boston College

Baseball season is here.  Even the warm weather in New England has ball players out and about.  The NEBC continues to transform the landscape, hosting the earliest Division I game on record in New England! Folks can find Ruffnecks working out at the NEBC, in the batting cages, and at early morning Winter Workouts at Harvard University.  No wonder that numerous Ruffnecks alums populate the ranks of Divison I programs, and even Major League spring training camps!  The Division I collegiate season is two weeks old.  Major League camps are in their first week of exhibition games.  Ruffnecks are everywhere… and it is a warm, satisfying feeling to know they once dreamt the dreams our current players dream.  They also shared a work ethic that is embedded in the Ruffnecks experience.  It is a work ethic that inspires our coaches, parents, and friends.  And it continues to draw college recruiters to Ruffnecks action all summer long… at the NEBC, in Georgia, Tennessee, New Jersey, and everywhere we travel.

Twitter, texts, emails, and even phone calls (remember them?) convey the success of Ruffnecks who are currently playing at the highest levels, which includes Division I, II, and III college baseball.  We share a brief update on several.

Major League Prospects

Tucker Healy - Oakland A's

The 2017 MLB season finds the first two Ruffnecks to appear in Big League camps.  Tucker Healy is a RHP with the Oakland A’s and Adam Ravenelle is a RHP with the Detroit Tigers. Both players were five year Ruffnecks, playing their entire pre-college summer careers with the ‘Necks.  Amazingly, Healy is the last “original” Ruffneck standing.  A member of the first Ruffnecks team in 2003, Healy went on to captain Needham High School.  He was not recruited to any D-I programs, attended and graduated from Ithaca College, and distinguished himself at Ithaca, college summer ball, and eventually the Cape Cod League.  He was a 30th round sign for Oakland and has risen through the ranks to earn his current Major League camp invite.  Ravenelle’s path was significantly different.  A standout two-way player for Coach Kirk Fredericks at Lincoln-Sudbury, Ravenelle did not discover pitching until he was a 16U Ruffneck.  He was highly recruited and committed to Vanderbilt, where he got the final 6 outs of the clinching game for the Commodores in their 2014 NCAA Championship.  Rav is with the Detroit Tigers as a RHP.  Another top MLB prospect is Isan Diaz, currently ranked among the Top 100 minor league prospects.  The Milwaukee Brewers infielder continues to rise in the ranks.  He is only 20.

We even have several Major League baseball front office alums in Graham Tyler (Tampa), Harrison Slutsky (Boston), and Garrett Horan (Washington).  Former coach Devitt Moore is currently the East Coast Scouting Supervisor for the Seattle Mariners.  And no one is happier than the Ruffnecks family for long-time pitching coach Matt Blake, who is now with the Cleveland Indians.

College Headliners

College action is fast and furious with two weekends in the books for Division I programs.  Jacob Stevens is the Friday (#1) starter for Boston College.  He is a likely draft pick in the June draft.  The burly Stevens is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 15 Ks, and only 4 walks.  Opponents are hitting a paltry .134 off him.  Wills Montgomerie recently struck out 10 in a start for the UConn Huskies.  Cam Walsh and Scott Holzwasser are playing steady ball for the Northeastern Huskies.  Holzwasser already smacked his first collegiate HR.  Paul Campbell contributes out of the bullpen for Clemson University.  Freshman pitchers Morgan McSweeney and Holden White are finding their way at Wake Forest.  And of course, there is Josh Ellis, the captain for the Harvard Crimson baseball team.  John Simourian and Kevin Superko are on the field for Georgetown University, while Jake Nelson is closing for UPenn.  We have undoubtedly forgotten to mention many others currently contributing to college baseball teams.  Suffice it to say we are happy for each and every one who has had the chance to continue to play the game they love.  The common bond of the Ruffnecks experience is something we all can share.

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Former ‘Neck, Isan Diaz, Continues to Succeed

Isan Diaz

The Milwaukee Brewers have named former Ruffneck, Isan Diaz, their 2016 Minor League Player of the Year.  The recognition continues a string of successes for the Springfield, Massachusetts native who came to the Ruffnecks as a 15 year old.  Diaz found the Ruffnecks when Dan Brookes, who was then the head coach of the Ruffnecks 18U squad, recognized his talent and interest in baseball while teaching at Springfield Central High School.  The Diaz family quickly embraced the Ruffnecks experience, though it was not without some frustrations for the young Diaz, who credits Brookes and Coach Kirk Fredericks for much of his growth and development.  Isan’s father, Raul, recently said, “None of this would have happened without the Ruffnecks.  We will always be thankful for the opportunity.”

Diaz led his Single A team, the Wisconsin Rattlers, in home runs and RBI.  He was recognized as an all-star during the minor league season for the second consecutive year.  He just turned 20 this past May, and the future looks bright for one of the top prospects in professional baseball.  A standout in high school, Isan Diaz, found his rhythm and was noticed during his time with the Ruffnecks.  He had intentions to do a PG year at Salisbury School, and then head to Vanderbilt, but becoming a second round supplemental pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks during the June draft of his senior year changed his course.  Arizona packaged Isan in a trade to Milwaukee at the end of last season.  He continues his ascent, and everyone in the Ruffnecks organization enjoys watching his growth and success.

Adam Ravenelle & Diaz in Arizona Fall League

Ravenelle at Vanderbilt 2015

Diaz joins another former Ruffneck player, Adam Ravenelle, on the roster of the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, which gets under way on October 11th.  The Arizona Fall League is Major League Baseball’s most select off-season developmental league for top MLB prospects.  Ravenelle and Diaz never played together with the Ruffnecks, and find themselves on the same roster by coincidence.  Ravenelle, a top pitching prospect for the Detroit Tigers, was a 5-year Ruffnecks player who began when he was 13.  He and Isan Diaz share some of the same baseball influences, namely Coach Fredericks, who continues to be one of the most respected coaches in the Ruffnecks organization, and in all of New England.  Coach Fredericks was Ravenelle’s high school coach at Lincoln-Sudbury.  “Fred” and former Ruffnecks pitching coach/coordinator, Matt Blake, were instrumental in Ravenelle’s development.  “Rav” went on to a terrific career at Vanderbilt University, closing out the 2015 Championship season on the mound for the Commodores.

We wish both a healthy and successful fall in Arizona.  And thanks for being Ruffnecks!

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Important Notices

(Updated Friday, April 28 at 7:45am)

Wednesday, April 26
OPEN HITTING
6:30-8:00 at NEBC

Thursday, April 27
13U & 14U Practice
6:00 to 8:00 at NEBC

Saturday, April 29
13U Ruffnecks
RI Jr. Gulls
9:00 at NEBC


Saturday, April 29
14U Ruffnecks
at CT Bombers

1:30 at Rochford Field
550 Newhall Street
Hamden, CT

Sunday, April 30
13U Ruffnecks
at RI Jr. Gulls

1:30 at Swansea, MA

Sunday, April 30
14U Ruffnecks

at RI Jr. Gulls
9:00 at Swansea, MA


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