Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leading man

by Barca Blog - Baseball head coach Tim Corbin decided to change things up at Arkansas last weekend by putting junior catcher Andrew Giobbi in an unfamiliar position... at the top of the Commodores' batting lineup.

“It’s actually the only spot that I hadn’t hit in college baseball.” Giobbi admitted.

Giobbi might not look like your prototypical leadoff hitter, but according to Corbin, “a leadoff hitter is a leadoff hitter usually one time during the course of the game. Giobbi is a fastball hitter and good on the bases, too.”

Before Giobbi appeared first in the order, Brian Harris had occupied that spot for 31 of 32 games. In the Commodores’ two victories over the top-ranked Razorbacks, Giobbi responded to the move by reaching base four times in eleven trips to the plate. He had a double, single, two walks, three RBIs, three runs, and two stolen bases.

That’s right, two stolen bases. Giobbi came into the series with only five career steals. But speed isn’t the only factor in determining a good leadoff hitter.

“He’s got very, very good instincts on the bases,” Corbin said. “Baserunning is more instinctual, it’s more reading the looks of the pitcher and getting the timing down. Andrew’s very good at that."

“We watch a lot of film on (Baltimore Orioles player) Brian Roberts,” Giobbi added. “You can be the fastest guy in the world but if you can’t get a lead because you’re scared to get picked off, you’re never going to steal a bag.”

Of course, teammates were quick to poke Giobbi about being "the slowest leadoff hitter in the history of college baseball."

And that’s fine with him.

“Get on base and score runs - that’s all it is.”

[Editor's Note: In his third consecutive game in the leadoff role Tuesday against Middle Tennessee, Giobbi hit a three-run homer in the Commodores' 15-7 rout of the Blue Raiders. He finished with a team-high three hits and four RBIs with two runs, a walk, and another stolen base.]


  1. great story-thanks, man

  2. The baseball world laughed at the A's when Jeremy Giambi batted lead-off, but that team won the division and made the playoffs. If Giobbi can get on base, then that's all we need.

  3. According to the announcers, Brian Harris was ejected from the MTSU game for not sliding into home and running into the catcher during a plan at home plate. What is the rule on this? Was that why he was thrown out of the game?