Oregon State's program is built on defense and pitching, and John Tommasini is a prime example of a player who is highly valued by the coaches because of his great defensive skill.
A native of Tenmile, Ore., Tommasini, is one of seven children and comes from a very athletic family. His brother, Kevin, played baseball for Arizona State and is in the San Francisco Giants organization. His sister, Rachel, played softball for Oregon and another sister, Sarah, plays softball for Oregon State. His brother Caleb played football and baseball for Oregon.
Positives: The major upside of Tommasini is his defense. That's the reason why he started 52 out of 54 games at second base. And if memory serves correctly, the reason he didn't start in two games was because of injury. Obviously, Coach Casey and Coach Lees value John's defense enough to pencil him in at second base 52 times when John carried one of the lowest batting average among the starters. Tommasini made just four errors in 266 chances this season for a .984 fielding percentage.
I don't have the bating averages to prove this, but it seems like Tommasini got his season off to a much better start offensively, as did other players on the team outside of Ryan Ortiz, who started the season in a slump. He went 2-for-4 in the season opener against Tennessee, and had four hits against Missouri State on March 13. He went 3-for-3 against Saint Mary's on February 22, and had sis fourth multi-hit game of the season when he went 3-4 with 2 RBI's against Hawai'i on March 23.
Although he struggled throughout much of Pac-10 play (he hit .107 in conference games), he provided some offensive sparks in the Fort Worth Regional. He went 4-for-14 overall in the tournament, with 4 RBI's, a double, and a triple. The triple came in OSU's first game of the regional against Texas A&M on May 29, and the triple came against the Aggies two days later on the 31st. His efforts in Forth Worth earned him Fort Worth Regional All-Tournament team honors.
Negatives: The major area in which John needs to improve is his offense. Tommasini hit .262 in his freshman year, but his average dropped to .220 this season. His 23 walks this season helped but his on base percentage at .338, which is good compared to his batting average.
Like I mentioned above, he seemed to start out the season much better than he did in the middle and at the very end. It seemed like his offensive performance ebbed and flowed with the performance of the team-- when the team was playing well, as they were at the start and end, John was hitting the ball well. But as the team's offense seemed to get flat throughout much of Pac-10 play, John struggled as well.
John is definitely a role player that is invaluable to the team-- his solid defense was at times under-appreciated throughout the season.