The Albany Dutchmen have always brought in talent from across the country, and this year's roster is no exception. The Dutchmen are excited to welcome four hitters from Division I programs across the nation in Dylan Brooks (UAlbany), Nick Gallo (Oklahoma State), Chris Villa (Seton Hall), and Bobby Romano (Farleigh Dickinson).
Dylan Brooks will get a head start on his playing career in Albany, suiting up for the Dutchmen in the summer before heading to UAlbany in the fall. Brooks is currently a sophomore at Community College of Rhode Island, where he has been an offensive leader for the 24-7 Knights. The incoming Great Dane is hitting .464 at CCRI, and leads the team in hits, doubles, and RBIs. A season ago, Brooks was named a NJCAA Third Team All-American, as well as an All-Region selection. He was an all-state selection as a high school senior at Lookeba-Sickles High School in Oklahoma, and will have the opportunity to contribute near the top of the Dutchmen lineup.
Nick Gallo plays his college baseball at Oklahoma State, one of the most prestigious programs in the nation, where he is a redshirt junior infielder. The Cowboys have played in the College World Series 20 times, and have been in 41 NCAA Tournaments. Gallo was signed by the Cowboys from Palm Beach State College in Florida, where he was a first team all-conference selection. During his time at Palm Beach Gardens High School in Florida, he was ranked by Perfect Game as one of the top 40 shortstops in the baseball-crazed state. Gallo is familiar with high-level baseball from his time in Stillwater, and will be asked to contribute in the Dutchmen order.
Chris Villa is joining the Dutchmen following his sophomore season as a catcher at Seton Hall. Thus far in the 2017 season, Villa has made 16 starts for the Pirates, posting 16 hits in his 22 appearances. The catcher has recorded a .324 on base percentage, and has been perfect in 126 fielding chances. Villa was a Big East Academic All-Star during his freshman campaign, where he made seven starts. Out of high school, Villa played in the Staten Island Senior Game, and led St. Joseph by the Sea to back-to-back Staten Island Championships. In the day-to-day grind of the PGCBL, Villa will see plenty of time behind the plate during his time in Albany.
Bobby Romano comes to the Dutchmen as a three-year starter for the Knights of Farleigh Dickinson. The Philadelphia native is in the midst of his junior season, and has hit a team-high nine home runs and has posted a .553 slugging percentage. He is also in the top three on the roster in doubles (9), runs batted in (39), and total bases (78). Currently, Romano has scored and hit safely in five consecutive contests. The junior arrived at Farleigh Dickinson as a highly regarded recruit, and was ranked among the top five shortstops in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game USA. Romano's signing gives the Dutchmen a proven power hitter that can provide major production in the middle of the order.
The addition of these four players, that can play a variety of positions on the diamond, can only enhance the prospects of the 2017 Dutchmen. Dutchmen fans should be looking forward to seeing Brooks, Gallo, Villa, and Romano at Siena Field this summer.