By BRUCE LOWITT
© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 29, 2001
Former Jesuit High pitcher Ryan Gloger, who was drafted in 1999 by the Devil Rays but chose to attend Stanford, is transferring to South Florida. He has signed a scholarship.
"I went (to Stanford) because I thought it would be the best fit for me, but things just didn't work out. I wasn't given an opportunity to play. I'm not sure why," said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-hander, the 1999 Times All-Suncoast Player of the Year and winner of the Tony Saladino Award as the Hillsborough County player of the year.
"My goal is to be (USF's) Friday night starter," Gloger said, a reference to a team's No. 1 pitcher. "I think that's everyone's goal. ... No one's going to guarantee you anything, but I know I'm going to have the opportunity."
Said Bulls coach Eddie Cardieri: "He's a left-hander with a tailing fastball around 90 (mph), and then the curve and changeup. He's got a chance to be a dominant No. 1. He hasn't pitched much in Division I, but he's done well in the Cape Cod League. Out of high school we would have projected him as a Friday night guy."
Also joining the Bulls are former Gaither High outfielder Kris Howell, a Times All-Suncoast honorable mention and second-team All-Hillsborough County selection in 2000 and '01, right-handed pitchers Mike Choquette (North Florida Community College) and Mike Yeager (Tallahassee CC), and left-hander Paul Griffin from West Orange High in Winter Garden.
Gloger couldn't find much pitching room on the strong Cardinal staff as a freshman (4 games, 1 start, 32/3 innings, 9 hits, 9 runs allowed) and considered leaving then.
But he had a strong summer with the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League (4-2, 1.72 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 34 hits allowed in 521/3 innings, plus 8 scoreless innings and a win in his only post-season appearance), and he decided to return to Stanford.
"When I got back there, I thought things might change," Gloger said. "They didn't."
He pitched one inning (2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, no strikeouts).
"So I knew I needed to make a change," he said. "I wanted to come back to Florida and felt USF was the best fit. My family and friends can see me play again. I've got some friends on the (Bulls), and I'll be living in an apartment about 10 minutes from home." With the Whitecaps this summer he is 1-0 in four games (two starts) with 182/3 shutout innings, 7 hits, 1 walk and 21 strikeouts.
Gloger, a former prep All-America selection by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, was projected as a high-round pick in the 1999 major-league amateur draft. His stock dropped because, he said, his first choice was college. His mind could have been changed, he said, with a Rays offer of "good first-round money. We never got close to that."