Lucky No. 2 has been the key for James DiBiasio ’12 this summer. As a two-year veteran of the Lorain County Ironmen, he was selected as second baseman for the Prospect League’s Eastern Division All-Star Team and earned the most votes as well.
“I was not selected to the All-Star Team last year,” DiBiasio says. “So it was really exciting for me to be the leading vote-getter this year at second base.”
Tyler Mott, Ohio Wesleyan’s head baseball coach, says he is not surprised that DiBiasio is performing well this summer.
“James is a guy you don’t need to say much to,” Mott says. “He’s got the experience. … I think you can tell, now in his second year, he’s having more success, feeling more comfortable, and just going out there and doing what he needs to do.”
As the Eastern Division All-Star second baseman, DiBiasio traveled to Beckley, West Virginia, where he had the opportunity to play in the All-Star game and participate in a workout watched by scouts from professional teams.
DiBiasio says the pro-scout day was similar to some of the showcases he attended while hoping to get noticed by college scouts.
“The workout in front of the scouts went well,” he says. “I was a little nervous just because this was my first time performing in front of numerous professional scouts. But after awhile, my focus was more about having fun and enjoying the experience.”
He says he is hoping some of the scouts noticed him. But it’s hard to stand out among so many good players, many of whom are playing for Division I or Division II schools.
Mott says he thinks DiBiasio could impress a few scouts with his speed.
“James is a driven, hard-working guy,” Mott says. “It’s been his dream that when he graduates from Ohio Wesleyan to play pro ball, and we all support him in that and think that’s great. He is a guy who shows well. That’s one of the things that stood out to us when we recruited him to play here at OWU.”
DiBiasio says the game was a lot of fun, even though his team lost.
“It’s always nice to play with guys from different teams,” he says. “You can learn a lot from just talking about baseball with other coaches and players.”
Despite the Western Division taking and keeping an early lead, he says, the game was his favorite part of the experience.
“I played five innings. … Defensively I turned a double play and had some other ground balls hit to me,” he says. “Turning the double play in the second inning was my favorite play—it’s always fun to make a good play in front of a crowd.”
Not only was the game a fun experience, but DiBiasio and Mott both pointed out how important the summer is to their spring season.
“Summer is a good opportunity for our guys to get better,” Mott says. “We encourage them to talk to their teammates, learn how they do things, and bring that back. We tell them the way you get better is to get out there and play the game.”
DiBiasio says playing in the Prospect League has definitely helped him going into his senior year. He is expecting nothing less than a conference championship from the Ohio Wesleyan team this year.
“We have a lot of starters coming back and strong senior leadership,” he says. “This summer is crucial for all returning players to get stronger and improve upon our weaknesses from last season.”
Mott says he thinks DiBiasio’s experience this summer will help him to come back with more confidence.
“James has been playing against some DI players and swinging a wood bat,” Mott says. “If you can do that pretty much every day in the summer, you should be able to come in and take care of business in the spring.”