Boston High School: Rick Foresteire

All the intangibles clicking for BB&N's Wiseman

April, 9, 2012
Rhett WisemanBB&NSome scouts have projected BB&N outfielder Rhett Wiseman to go in the first round in June's MLB draft.
Rick Foresteire listened to the question, paused and then admitted defeat.

Name the last New England high school position player who was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft?

Foresteire, now in his 13th season as the baseball coach at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols, had no answer. What he does know is that the next New England position player taken in the first round could be his current center fielder, senior Rhett Wiseman.

“I've heard everything from the end of the first round to not getting drafted at all because of his signability,” said a scout from an American League organization. “He's not for everybody, but a certain type of organization might pay that kind of money.

“The question is: Is he a center fielder or a left fielder? I don't know if he has the arm to play right field.”

Wiseman committed to Vanderbilt following his sophomore season at BB&N. Former Salisbury Prep (Conn.) shortstop Anthony Hewitt –- the last New England position player taken in the first round -– also committed to Vanderbilt before the Philadelphia Phillies took him with the No. 24 pick in the 2008 draft. Hewitt elected to sign with Philadelphia.

“If the situation is right I think [Wiseman] would entertain signing,” Foresteire said. “He's a very good student too [Wiseman is BB&N's student body president]. He's not a kid who would be ducking college because of academic deficiencies.

“I think he could be ready to start a pro career. It'll depend on money –- where he's taken in the draft.”

Wiseman's close friend Tyler Beede faced a similar situation last year, following his senior season at Lawrence Academy. Toronto selected Beede, a pitcher, with the 21st pick in last summer's draft, but he elected to attend Vanderbilt instead.

Wiseman's strength? Has to be his speed. He has run the 60-yard dash in 6.47 seconds. Anything 6.5 or better is considered above average.

“My speed is one of my top weapons, whether it's stealing a base or tracking down a fly ball,” he said. “Just getting on the basepaths I can change a game.

“There's another weapon that I consider to be my best –- my ability to hit for power. I'm a left-handed swinger [he throws right-handed] and my bat speed is a God-given gift. It's something I've had since I was young.”

Wiseman, a Mansfield resident, has been a starter for BB&N since his freshman season. He hit .447 with 11 home runs and stole 29 bases for the Knights last year. The BB&N program is seeking its 16th consecutive winning season and 12th ISL championship this spring.

“We knew he was going to be a high-level college player after his freshman year,” Foresteire said. “A potential first-round draft pick? That we didn't know. His bat speed and raw speed -– those are things you can't teach. You can improve on it, but it's either there or it isn't.

“He's a tremendous hard-worker. Loves the game. Dedicated in the weight room. In terms of attitude, you're not gonna find a better kid.”

Wiseman blazed through the recruiting process. He took unofficial visits to Boston College and Clemson before he visited Vanderbilt. He committed to the Commodores before he left campus, and then canceled planned visits to Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

Wiseman was 15 when he made his college decision.

“It was the third stop on my recruiting trip and I knew nothing could top it,” Wiseman explained. “I was walking on the field with my dad at night and I said, 'This is where I want to play college baseball.' When you know, you know.”

Wiseman became a household name among professional scouts after his performance at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla., last year. The event featured some of the best high school players in the country.

Wiseman said his performance at that showcase earned him invitations to other national events last summer. Since then, representatives from 26 major league teams have visited the Wiseman home.

“I was fortunate to play well,” he said. “I wasn't a big name going in. I was low profile. It really put me on the map.”

As for this summer's draft, Wiseman may find himself in a position similar to the one Beede was in last year.

“As far as the draft goes, I cannot make a wrong decision,” Wiseman said. “It's, What step do I want to take in my life? Vanderbilt is incredible. I couldn't make a better school for myself. Being a pro baseball player is also very seductive. It won't be an easy decision.”

Dexter baseball doubles up BB&N

May, 2, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Dexter School head baseball coach Dan Donato didn’t forget the two losses his team suffered last season at the hands of BB&N, apparently neither did the rest of his team.

Donato’s club ran it’s winning streak to eight games in 2011 after an 8-4 win over BB&N (8-4) on Monday night at Harvard University, which was the site of an exciting extra-innings affair won by the Knights last season.

“We came over here with a little sense of purpose to avenge some of those losses,” said Donato.

Dexter used a four-run top of the fifth inning, and tacked on three more in the final two innings to give starter John Magliozzi and relief pitcher Ryan Sullivan breathing room to work. Magliozzi gave up two earned runs and struck out seven in six innings of work, while Sullivan survived the seventh despite watching two runs cross the plate.

The Knights’ grabbed the early 2-0 lead after Rhett Wiseman took advantage of some second life in the bottom of the third. Wiseman got jammed, but Pat Curtis couldn’t corral the short pop-up despite a valiant diving attempt.

Wiseman smacked the next pitched up the middle by the diving centerfielder to plate Mike Samko and Robert Krentzman.

Dexter started 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, but finally broke through when freshman Mark Webber singled in Barrett O’Neill in the top of the fourth. Knights’ starter Devin Perry was moving through the lineup with five strikeouts in the first four innings, but a blister he developed on the top of his thumb on his throwing hand opened the Dexter floodgates.

Dexter plated four in the top of the fifth, with Curtis coming through with the crushing two-run double to push the lead to 5-2. Magliozzi’s sacrifice fly brought home Matt Cuneo in the top of the sixth off of reliever Matt Pugh, and Brendan Fitzgerald later scored on a throwing error as the right-fielder overthrew the cut-off man.

“It came down to some fundamentals and I thought our kids did a good job in those areas,” Donato said. “We found a way to battle a good pitcher”

Keeping the runs coming against a very tough BB&N team was very important for Donato, because Magliozzi had to weasel his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth and the Knights did tack on two in the final frame.

“I knew we had to, because their bats are that good,” Donato said. “In the late innings we were still running, we were still trying to manufacture runs, because I have a lot of respect for what they do and how they play the game.”

Life Without Chin
There was a glaring void for BB&N on the mound as Andrew Chin is out for the remainder of the year. The talented lefy, who is expected to play next season at Boston College, will undergo Tommy John Surgery in the next few weeks, according to Knights’ head coach Rick Foresteire.

Foresteire has had to do some shuffling, and seeing his new No. 1 starter Perry leave the game with a blister issue was probably the last thing that he wanted to see.

“He just cut it somehow on the top,” he said. “It’s not anything long-term. He hasn’t had a chance to stretch out in the last week or so in terms of innings. I think he threw well. … I think it got a little irritating (for him).”

Perry, Pugh and Brandon Kerrigan will have to fill in for arguably the most consistent starting pitcher in the entire state. The shock of losing the ace of the staff, who helped BB&N go 20-0 last season, is still tough to shake off for Foresteire and the rest of the club.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “He’s a great kid and that’s why it’s been so tough on all of us. Not only is he talented, but what he’s meant to the program. You know he wants to be out there competing, and to not get to see him pitch is sad.”