Player: Joe Iacobucci
Honors: 2008 Second-team All-Horizon League
Buckeye State Baseball is in its top 10 of the top DI players in Ohio for the 2011 season. Every player from here forward is a talented student-athlete with, typical, honors left and right highlighting their career.
While Youngstown State outfielder Joe Iacobucci does have an all-league honor to his name, a second-team selection back in 2008, pardon us for feeling he is one of the more underrated player around.
Iacobucci’s extremely solid career kicked off in that 2008 season under he guidance of Youngstown State Head Coach Rich Pasquale who brought in the outfielder from nearby Boardman, Ohio. Little time was wasted in Iacbobucci rewarding the coach as he would lead the Penguins in hitting as a redshirt-freshman.
His .369 average, which came from collecting 65 hits in 176 at-bats, would finish seventh in the Horizon League and lead to strong offensive numbers. 12 doubles, a triple, and three home runs provided Iacobucci with enough pop to drive in a team-high 33 runs while slugging an even .500. Outstanding plate discipline, 18 base-on-balls against 15 strikeouts, gave way to an .440 on-base percentage, which like his slugging total, too led the team.
Youngstown State went 23-33 in the first season Iacobucci saw game action, and like their decline in win total in 2009, down to 16 with 35 losses, did Iacobucci’s production.
In his second season of roaming the outfield for the Red and White, Iacobucci bated .287 with nine doubles and two home runs. Only 20 RBI would be tallied a figured nearly matched by the 20 runs he scoured. With more strikeouts, 16, than walks, 12 as a sophomore, Iacobucci would be unable to reach the gaudy totals of a season prior as he slugged just .392 alongside an on-base percentage of .358. The numbers were not bad, just not at the level that Iacobucci played at a season prior when he received All-Horizon League honors.
Iacobucci would return to an all-conference level in 2010, but any and all recognition would escape him though he put together a very fine season.
The Boardman High School alum matched his 2008 clip by batting .369 as a junior picking up 79 hits over 214 at-bats. As his ability to hit consistently returned, with it would be an ability to consistently hit for power as well. Iacobucci would lead the Penguins with 29 extra-base hits a season ago, when broken down would be; 18 doubles, a triple, and 10 home runs. Iacobucci returned to being one of YSU’s top run producers as his finished second on the team in both RBI, 52, and runs scored, 46.
Not only would Iacobucci be near the top of every Penguin offensive category, he would be among the leaders in the seven-team Horizon League. Iacobucci’s 36 walks, against just 14 strikeouts, would lead the league. As a result he finished with an on-base percentage of .469 a figure that would rank third among Horizon League hitters. His .603 slugging percentage would land sixth, a slot his average also finished at, while finishing fifth with his home run tally.
Yet once the postseason honors were announced, Iacobucci’s name was left off both first and second team All-Horizon League rundowns. Make no mistake, though his shelves may not be full of the hardware that those before and upcoming on the list display, Iacobucci is a top player in Ohio. Two strong seasons, with a not too bad one in the middle suggest that he is. A big season to cap a pretty good year should bring the attention to his talents that Iacobucci deserves.
Filed under: Division I