Auburn, Ala.—One of the many newcomers expected to play a big role for the Auburn Tigers on the baseball diamond this spring is junior college transfer Dan Glevenyak. A 6-1, 190 infielder capable of playing multiple positions, he is currently locked in a battle with sophomore Zach Alvord for the starting shortstop position and said he’s had to step up his game now that he’s in the SEC.
“Actually I have worked a lot harder here than I did in junior college,” Glevenyak said. “I’m working mostly at shortstop at the moment and last year I played a little bit of short and a little third base. I ended the year at shortstop so now I’m working there mostly with Zach. It’s a good competition between us.”
Playing one season at Palm Beach Community College after starring at Royal Palm Beach High, Glevenyak had a big season both offensively and defensively. Hitting .322 with 10 doubles, 31 RBI, and stealing 14 bases, he was a weapon at the plate. He was also his team’s Defensive Player of the Year, something he believes is the strength of his game.
A contact hitter that hasn’t shown a lot of power growing up and into junior college, Glevenyak should fit in perfectly this season as the Auburn offense is expected to rely on speed as it employs the small ball philosophy.
“Personally that is how I’ve played my whole life,” Glevenyak said. “I haven’t been much of a power guy. I think it’s going to help us out with the bats, playing small ball and moving guys over and hitting ground balls. It’s going to be fun.
“Our outfielders right now run 6.5 (60-yard dash) and under,” he added. “I’ve never seen that before. It’s going to be awesome. We have a very fast team. We’re going to steal some bases and put pressure on the defense.”
Getting ready for his first taste of Plainsman Park for a real game, Glevenyak is among a large group of newcomers that will have to hit the ground running for the 2012 Tigers. Facing an up-and-coming Missouri team in a three-game series beginning Friday, Glevenyak said he’s ready to get the season going and see how the team is going to respond.
“I’m so excited,” Glevenyak said. “I can’t wait until this opening weekend, it’s going to be great. Coming from a junior college up to this level is unbelievable. I can’t wait to see the fans out here supporting us. It’s going to be a good time.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to face a future SEC team on opening day,” he added. “It’s going to be great. I think we’re going to do pretty good.”
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