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San Diego State hasn’t even begun fall team workouts yet, but it already has the tough chore of replacing ace right-handed pitcher and top prospect Corey Black, who was dismissed from the program Tuesday morning.
Sources close to the situation wouldn’t elaborate on Black’s dismissal, but it certainly comes as a surprise. It also comes at a bad time for the Aztecs, who have begun the fall semester and are nearing workouts.
Black had issues establishing consistency as a freshman two seasons ago with an earned-run average over six. However, as a sophomore last season, he evolved as a starting pitcher and a prospect.
Last season, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound, pitcher from San Diego, Calif. (Mission Bay HS), started 11 games and appeared in 19, and tallied a 3.56 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. He also struck out 78 and walked 42 and finished the campaign with a 4-5 record.
Despite his smallish frame, Black is expected to be a high-round prospect in the 2012 MLB draft. Black was consistently 93-95 mph with his fastball throughout the ’11 campaign. He also threw a changeup in the 81-83 mph range, though, that pitch in particular could use some work.
Should Black establish more consistency, he definitely has the ability to become an even higher profile prospect in the months leading up to next summer’s draft.
Black hasn’t announced where he’ll now attend college, but some potential options could include Azusa Pacific, Oklahoma City University, Lee University and Cal State-San Marcos, where Dennis Pugh, his former high school coach, is the head coach. It's also worth noting that former San Diego State player Ryan O'Sullivan transferred to Oklahoma City University after two seasons with the Aztecs. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Dodgers this summer and signed for $100,000. Lee University is another NAIA college with Aztecs ties. Former Aztecs player Lance Zawadzki, now in the big leagues, transferred there before getting drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB draft.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org