Andy D’Alessio’s experience at the College Baseball World Series ended earlier than he would have liked, so he’s coming back for his senior year to take another shot at an NCAA title.
D’Alessio, Clemson University’s junior ABCA second-team All-American first baseman and a 10th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has decided not to sign with Los Angeles and return to Clemson for his senior year.
The money the Dodgers offered the Barron Collier grad was not enough to entice him to sign, D’Alessio said. He had hoped for a $100,000 signing bonus, but the Dodgers offered $60,000, a number much lower than what was offered by the Cincinnati Reds when they chose D’Alessio in the 10th round after D’Alessio’s senior year at Barron Collier.
“It took about a week to make the decision,” D’Alessio said. “I looked at all my options and I talked with (Barron Collier) Coach (Ted) Parsons and my dad. I decided to go back to school and, whatever happens next year, I’ll start my career from there.”
D’Alessio knows his bargaining power will take a hit as a senior signee, but he said the money he’ll be offered as a senior won’t be much less than what he was offered this year. And the prospect of finishing his degree in business management tantalized him.
“The percentage of guys who come back and finish their degrees after signing as juniors is pretty low,” he said. “Right now, I’m a little more than a year away from finishing. If I come back next year, I’ll be within half a semester of finishing.”
He’ll also be within striking distance of several career school records. D’Alessio established himself as one of college baseball’s best sluggers with 23 home runs (tied for seventh-best all-time in school history) and 85 RBIs (third-best in school history) in 2006.
His 42 career home runs are ninth-best in team history and 17 homers away from Jeff Baker’s all-time mark. Another RBI year like 2006 will put him in the school’s top five all-time. D’Alessio now has 167 RBIs.
D’Alessio was named a first-team All-American by College Baseball Foundation and the NCBWA, and a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
D’Alessio still can’t figure out why those power numbers didn’t translate to a higher draft pick — he said neither he nor those he talks to have solved that mystery — but now he can focus on a return trip to the College World Series for his Tigers. Clemson entered the tournament as its top seed but was eliminated by Cal State-Fullerton.
“We’re getting our entire infield back,” D’Alessio said. “We’re losing our three weekend (pitching) starters but there are some young guys ready to step into those roles. We’ll be good. We’ll be a little bit young, but we’ll be good.”