Big Green pitcher Josh Faiola sets sights on MLB
He has already pitched at Shea Stadium, Coors Field and Fenway Park, but Josh Faiola '06 still has another five months before he knows whether he'll sign with a professional baseball team or finish up his degree at Dartmouth. The junior from Pueblo, Colo., has received a slew of awards and accolades since coming to Hanover and looks to continue that streak, having been one of three Ivy League pitchers designated as "Players to Watch" in Baseball America's 2005 college preview. Baseball America also listed Faiola as the top Ivy prospect for the 2005 and 2006 drafts.
Yet, despite the success Faiola has had pitching for the Big Green, four years ago he had never heard of Dartmouth College. While attending a pitching showcase in Arizona as a senior in high school, Faiola caught the attention of Dartmouth coach Bob Whalen. Faiola told his high school coach about Dartmouth's interest and asked what kind of school it was.
"'What is it, a Division II school?' I asked him," Faiola recalled. "[The coach] was like, 'I thought you were smart.' "
He visited Dartmouth on a recruiting visit in the middle of the winter, and he said he fell in love with the campus and the people.
During Faiola's freshman season, he started seven games and went 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA. His breakout sophomore season landed him a place on the All-Ivy first team. He won all four of his Ivy decisions and went 5-1 in nine starts.
After a stellar 2004 season, Faiola missed the sophomore summer experience to pitch for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League. His team won the championship and he was named co-MVP of the playoffs. He even participated in a workout at Fenway Park when he was playing for the Cape League Red Sox. His success in the Cape League also landed him a part in an ESPN documentary in which he portrayed Sidd Finch, a fictitious pitcher who was the subject of an April Fool's Day hoax.
Faiola's plans for the future remain up in the air until the 2005 draft. Because he is a junior, the Cape League has not offered him a contract for the summer yet, in case he chooses to sign with a Major League Baseball franchise. And even though he wants to follow in the footsteps of Dartmouth grads and recent major leaguers Mike Remlinger '88, Mark Johnson '90 and Brad Ausmus '91. Faiola will have a difficult decision to face if he is drafted in June.
"The main factors that would determine my decision are if the situation/team is the right fit for me, if the money is worth forgoing my senior year, and if they are willing to pay for my last year of schooling, Faiola said. "No matter how good the deal that the team offers me is, it will be very difficult to miss my senior year here with all of my friends and teammates."
While he said he would love to be able to help turn the Colorado Rockies around if given the opportunity, Faiola does not have specific teams he hopes to be drafted by.
"It would be an incredible opportunity to play professional baseball and fulfill one of my childhood dreams and goals, but it's going to be a very tough decision," Faiola said.
But for now, Faiola is looking toward the 2005 season and the Big Green's bid to win the Ivy League. With two senior starters graduated in 2004, Faiola is primed to step into the first starter spot and said he enjoys the expectation that the new season will bring.
"My main focus is to do everything I can to help this team accomplish our goal of winning an Ivy League championship," Faiola said.
And given his performance up to this point, Faiola appears ready and able to do so.