Prospect Rundown: Santa Barbara ForestersProspects
The Santa Barbara Foresters might be the most consistent program in all of college summer baseball over the last two decades. Longtime head coach Bill Pintard has built a dynasty that just keeps on churning out championships. Not only are the Foresters the premier power in the California Collegiate League, but this past weekend they won the NBC World Series for the seventh time — the most titles by any program in the 84-year history of the tournament. All seven Santa Barbara championships have come in the last 13 years, including five in the last eight years.
This year’s NBC World Series title carried just a little extra significance because it came in the tournament’s final year at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The NBC World Series will leave its longtime home for Wichita State’s Eck Stadium next year.
“It was a very rewarding summer. A sense of accomplishment — that’s what I feel” Pintard said. “Because we had an incredible year, we had some adversity, and made a little history. To go to a tournament that has existed for 84 years, and you know the people that have played in it, the prestige — Satchel Paige, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Whitey Ford, you name them. And to win it in the last game ever played in that stadium at the NBC was really special. It was amazing, really. So we shut the door, turned out the lights.”
Santa Barbara’s calling card over the last two and a half decades has been strong pitching, year-in and year-out. Coaches from premier programs around the country always send some of their talented arms to Pintard, who has a strong track record of helping them develop. This year was more of the same: The Foresters carried a sub-2.00 ERA late into the season (it finished at 2.63 after they gave up some runs in Wichita).
“We have always had pitching,” Pintard said. “It was the deepest pitching staff that I’ve ever had in 24 years — the deepest. We’ve had bigger No. 1s, but we’ve never had 1 through 15 like this. And in summer ball you have to have a deep staff because you’re playing six days a week, and you need to use three or four a game. This staff was absolutely fantastic.”
So let’s take an in-depth look at Santa Barbara’s talent on the mound, followed by a look at its top position player prospects.