Future Stars Series Fast Five (Or So) Alumni Update: College Spotlight (4/26)

There never seems to be a shortage of alumni of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series making waves at the collegiate level.

This past week was certainly no different, as we bring you a quick look at five players who stood out in NCAA action.

MICHAEL BROOKS, a two-time participant at International week who authored one of the most memorable moments in the history of the event with a walk-off hit at Fenway Park in 2019, was named the American Conference’s player of the week thanks to a stretch for the University of Central Florida in which he hit .556 with two home runs and six RBI in a sweep of Wichita that helped move his team into a tie for first place in the conference standings.

BRADEN MONTGOMERY continues to show there’s little he can’t do.  A two-way standout during his many appearances with the Future Stars Series, including a dominant showing on both sides of the ball at 2020 International Week, Montgomery has emerged as one of the top freshmen in the country.  He delivered his second two-homer game of the season this past Friday in a win against Grand Canyon, and is now hitting .298 with 11 homers and 32 RBI on the year.

SILAS ARDOIN is finally starting to get the respect he deserves when it comes to the upcoming MLB Draft, cracking MLB Pipeline’s latest Top 150 rankings.  The University of Texas standout catcher has thrown his last nine attempted basestealers and is getting it done at the plate as well, hitting .314 with eight homers and 36 RBI in his first 43 games played.

ADRIAN COLON is perhaps one of the more under-appreciated FSS alums (2018 International Week) after fighting for playing time in his freshman and sophomore campaigns at USC.  No longer.  He’s had a breakout year as a junior, and is now hitting .324 with with seven homers and 28 RBI in a season that will surely get him on the radar of big league teams looking for a power outfield bat in the draft.

DREW GILBERT has seemingly shifted his focus solely to hitting, and it’s done the University of Tennessee standout wonders at the plate.  Regarded as one of the better prospects for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft, Gilbert, who was used as both a pitcher and a hitter at International Week in 2018, is slugging a career-high .654 at the NCAA level and has drawn a career-best 24 walks as well.

JOSH PEARSON is overlooked at times with fellow FSS alum DYLAN CREWS, who is considered to be a potential number one overall pick in 2023, on the LSU roster as well.  Not here.  The freshman, who holds several International Week records over his two appearances at the event, is coming off a two-hit performance on Saturday against Missouri, driving in two runs on two singles to up his season average to .276.

JARED SOUTHARD is another 2018 International Week alum who’s making significant noise at the college level.  The redshirt sophomore has been turning heads as a teammate of Ardoin’s at the University of Texas, racking up strikeouts in a high-leverage bullpen role.  Southard has recorded 23 K’s in just 15 1/3 innings pitched thus far, and has allowed just nine hits all season.

EDDIE SALDIVAR was a 2020 International Week standout, and is still turning heads wherever he goes.  Now at Long Beach State University delivered his eighth multi-hit game of the season this past Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a triple and a hit by pitch in their game against Fresno State.

Mike Ashmore

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