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It’s All About the Preparation

If game preparation equates with success on the field, you will find no better a practitioner of the art than Tom Tesauro of Lawrenceville Prep. Playing for “one of the best coaches,” at a high school program with a “strong tradition for baseball,” as Tom explains, he learned the fundamentals of succeeding both in the game of baseball as well as in the game of life.

“Everything hinges on personal preparation and time management,” says Tom. Doing his homework academically enabled him to succeed in a rigorous school curriculum. Villanova did not select Tom for a baseball scholarship just because he can throw strikes with consistency. Being able to handle the challenge in the classroom amounted to a key ingredient as well.

Preparation Pays Off

Pictured Left to Right:
Lawrenceville Prep Associate A.D.
Michael Goldenberg, Tom Tesauro
(seated), Champynes “Champ” Atlee, Lawrenceville Prep Head Baseball Coach

With academic preparation and success as his foundation, Tom learned to adhere to a challenging regimen as a developing, young pitcher. And his accomplishments speak for themselves: twice an Under Armour All American in 2007 and again in 2008; among the Top 10 Players in New Jersey, according to Baseball America and the Perfect Game; acclaimed as the 5th best prospect at the Perfect Game Sunshine Northeast Showcase in the Summer of 2007, a 1st Team Rawlings selection on its All Northeast squad, and ‘Nova’s top overall player selected in its 2008 recruiting class, to name only a few.

Oh yes, all that and a member of the National Honor Society, carrying a 3.2 grade point average in a high school widely considered as a breeding ground for thriving, young entrepreneurs, to go with it, of course.

Toiling on a “young (Lawrenceville Prep) team with lots of raw talent,” Tom’s 2-5 record in his senior season might seem at first glance lackluster. Combined with an impressive 2.61 ERA, with 68 strikeouts in just 40 innings of work, though, a vastly different picture emerges. Starring on the mound for a team that struggled primarily because of its youth and inexperience, Tom joins the ranks of many accomplished pitchers in the major leagues who played for teams that could not get out of their own way. Robin Roberts, Tommy John, Ferguson Jenkins, and Steve Carlton are just some of the hard luck pitchers who come to mind.

Robin Roberts
Philadelphia Phillies

Tommy John
Chicago White Sox

One difference between young Tom and all those major leaguers is that Tom has lease to a new future, playing in the Big East. Those other guys had no choice but to stick it out with the big league teams where they already inhabited a roster spot.

Ferguson Jenkins
Chicago Cubs

Steve Carlton
Philadelphia Phillies

Hard Work and Preparation
Equal Success

Tom’s preparation included time spent in some quality instructional programs, including the Jack Cust Baseball Academy’s Diamond Jacks and Super-17 programs. In 2008 he decided to play American Legion baseball, which always displays high caliber competition and, as such, forms a proving ground of its own. Many American Legion players have plans to move into college programs, so rigorous competition exists at the American Legion level, providing all with an opportunity to practice the skills they developed at lower levels of training.

For his part, Tom is “looking forward to playing at the college level.” He anticipates continuing to improve under the able tutelage of Joe Godri, Villanova’s Head Baseball Coach, and highly touted pitching coach Matt Kirby, both of whom will employ a practice regimen that Tom will certainly find familiar.

In this distinguished coaching staff and given Villanova’s reputation for academic excellence, Tom has found the perfect mix of preparation and, well, preparation. A better match of the quintessential student-athlete with a quality education and baseball program you simply will not easily find.

New Jersey Baseball Magazine wishes Tom the best of luck as he plays out the 2008 summer season in preparation for what we are sure will prove to be an academic and baseball college career that is no less than stellar.



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