Monday, April 7, 2014

Philly College Baseball: Amaro's bat deserving of recognition

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK | Staff Writer
April 6, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
@avdbkr20samuel

Robert Amaro knows his last name is recognizable in Philadelphia, but that's to be expected when you are the nephew of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. 

Luckily for the Temple Owls, it's Robert's offensive output this season that deserves recognition. 

Drafted by the Phillies in the 40th round of the 2009 amateur draft, the Bensalem native opted instead to attend the University of Virginia on a baseball scholarship. Unfortunately, despite his strong high school career and pedigree, the infielder dealt with injuries and failed to secure an everyday spot in the Cavaliers starting lineup.  

"Virginia is usually ranked in the top ten every year," Amaro said.  "They got a lot of good players, a lot of good talent.  I didn't get an opportunity that I would have wanted or could have thrived in, but I'm just glad to be here now."

Virginia's loss has become Temple's gain as the red-shirt senior leads the Owls with 24 RBIs, a pair of home runs, and an average of .291.

"That's how it is sometimes," Amaro said. "You could choose to go to a lower-talent school, and thrive there playing everyday, or you could try to maybe make a name for yourself after a year or two, and start your sophomore or junior year, and go from there.  That was kind of my plan."

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in sports management, Amaro looked at Temple University as a place where he could enroll in a Master's program and play one more year of baseball. 

"I had a great experience [at Virginia]," Amaro said.  "Temple has a great, different atmosphere: country vs. city life.  I'm just glad to be home.  I actually commute from home.  Just being home pretty much, it feels great to have support from my family, and for them to come out to every game."

The infielder attended William Penn Charter High School and excelled, twice winning All-City accolades. He also was a three-time All-InterAC League honoree. 

Looking back, Amaro recognizes his decision to not sign with the Phillies out of high school may have cost him a shot at a professional baseball career, but he's not one to dwell on what if's. 

"I thought [being drafted] was awesome," Amaro said.  "I think guys who get drafted really high out of high school should probably go, but if you get drafted low, you should take the experience of college.  Hopefully, later in life you get a chance to play professionally as well.  I wanted to go to school and get an education, and hopefully try to play professional baseball at some point."

Amaro added to his team leading RBI total on Sunday, finishing 1-for-4 with run scoring single to help Temple defeat the University of Cincinnati, 7-3. 

"It's much easier knowing that you're going to play every single day, and that people got your back when you're in the lineup.  It just makes it a lot easier to go and compete."

Amaro and the Owls will look to keep their winning ways going when they travel on Tuesday to West Long Branch, NJ to play Monmouth University at 3 p.m.

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia-region.

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