Fresno State is saluting its baseball past this weekend amid some positive predictions for the team's short- and long-term future.
The Bulldogs host their annual alumni game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Beiden Field, weather permitting, as they count down to next week's regular-season-opening series at UC Irvine.
But on Friday the program learned that its current crop of players is drawing raves as being among the best in the Mountain West Conference.
Baseball America, widely considered the most authoritative voice on the amateur game, named infielder Jesse Medrano as its Mountain West Preseason Freshman of the Year and ranked six Bulldogs among the conference's top 10 pro prospects for the 2014 and 2015 major league drafts.
Right-hander Jordan Brink, third; outfielder Jordan Luplow, eighth; right-hander Garrett Mundell, ninth; and infielder Chris Mariscal, 10th, are among the top-rated juniors.
Catcher Taylor Ward (second) and outfielder Brody Russell (fourth) are among the top sophomores.
Medrano starred at Clayton Valley High-Concord, where he hit .392 with 27 RBIs, 25 runs, nine doubles and two home runs in 97 at-bats as a senior.
College Sports Madness also announced its Mountain West Preseason All-Mountain West team, with right-hander Jimmy Lambert (San Dimas) named Freshman of the Year.
Brink, sophomore right-hander Blake Quinn -- last year's postseason co-Freshman of the Year as selected by conference coaches -- and Mariscal were named to the preseason second team.
Quinn was also named a Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger in 2013 after going 3-3 with a 3.02 ERA in his first season out of Bullard.
Saturday's exhibition with the alumni team as well as a Friday golf tournament and Double Play Dinner are also also a salute to the 2008 College World Series championship team.
The team is being inducted this year onto the Fresno State baseball Wall of Fame.
Ex-players expected to form the alumni team (with last-minute additions or subtractions possible) are Gene Escat, Tom Harlan, Pat Hutcheson, Taylor Garrison, Trent Garrison, Aaron Judge, Cody Kendall, Tom Mendonca, Jordan Ribera, Dusty Robinson, Tyler Stirewalt, Steve Susdorf, Garrett Webber and Austin Wynns.
Judge was a first-round selection as an outfielder and signed with the New York Yankees after his junior season a year ago.