Jimmy Bosco looking for stellar summer with Angelenos

From the bustling shore of the San Francisco Bay to the tranquil surroundings of the Ozark Mountains, Jimmy Bosco found himself a member of two high-profile Division I collegiate baseball programs.

Moving practically across the country twice wasn't something Bosco had planned for while looking to map out a collegiate baseball career. Different circumstances led to him making difficult choices before blazing a trail back to his Northern California roots to thrive at Menlo College.

Bosco's traveling excursions will bring him this summer to Glendale, where he will serve as an outfielder for the Glendale Angelenos.

"I eventually want to become a professional baseball player and I need to play every single day," said Bosco, a Mt. Shasta native who previously played at the University of California at Berkeley and University of Arkansas. "I get to come to Glendale and get some more playing experience and try to make the Angelenos an even stronger program.

"The goal is to put in some good at-bats and continue to play good defense."

Bosco comes to Glendale with quality credentials following a break-through season at Menlo, a National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics program. Bosco was named 2013 NAIA West Group Player of the Year after batting .426 with 15 home runs and 56 runs batted in. He scored 51 runs and posted an .805 slugging percentage and didn't commit an error in 104 fielding chances.

In the postseason, Bosco batted a sturdy .533 and led Menlo to a runner-up appearance in the NAIA West Group Tournament. He collected eight hits and drove in four runs in the tournament before the Oaks were eliminated by Concordia University of Portland.

"I came into the season prepared to do some real good things," Bosco said. "I was on a mission right from the beginning.

"I learned that you have to be solid in every aspect of the game through and through. To succeed, you have to be able to do a lot of things well offensively and mix it in with playing stellar defense. These are things I want to continue doing with the Angelenos."

Former Glendale Community College standout Ellis Whitman, who played at Vanguard University this past season, witnessed first-hand what Bosco could do on a diamond when Menlo and Vanguard met in several nonconference contests this season.

Whitman, an infielder for the Angelenos, said Vanguard couldn't solve Bosco.

"You couldn't get much past him," said Whitman, who helped GCC advance to the state tournament in 2011. "He just killed us at the plate and in the field.

"We tried to find ways to get him out and it just didn't seem all that possible. He's got all the skills to be a terrific player. He knows so much about hitting and how to make the necessary adjustments at the plate. He's like a player-coach. He can teach you about the game all day long and I'm just glad we are now going to be teammates."

Bosco's collegiate career began at California in 2010. The Bears appeared to be a good fit for Bosco, but the program found itself on the chopping block for several months after the 2010 season because of economic uncertainty. The university eventually received donations from alumni to keep the program afloat.

Yet, Bosco found himself in a quandary.

"I didn't know what was going to happen, for the program and for myself," said Bosco, who batted .321 with five home runs and 20 runs batted in for the Bears. "I liked Cal because it's a great place and I enjoyed playing there.

"The alumni had to raise money real quick to help save the program."

Bosco contemplated remaining at Cal. However, he chose to transfer to Arkansas.

He redshirted in 2011 before helping the Razorbacks reach the College World Series in 2012 in Omaha. Arkansas advanced to the semifinals before falling to South Carolina.

Bosco batted .262 with four home runs, seven doubles and 28 runs batted with Arkansas. He started 29 of 44 games and scored 17 runs.

Bosco sought more playing time, something that couldn't be assured by Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn.

"I have a great relationship with coach Van Horn," Bosco said. "I loved Arkansas and we put a lot into it to have a great season.

"They treat you like kings there and it was great playing in front of a ton of people there and at the World Series. I just wanted to play every day and show them a full sample size. Coach Van Horn gave me an excellent recommendation to go to Menlo. I'm lucky to have played in two major conferences and now I have a great fit at Menlo."

Glendale Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera said he's looking for Bosco to contribute for the Angelenos.

"We think he can be a table-setter and a game-changer for us," said Riviera, who guided the Angelenos to a 40-10 record last season. "He's a very smart guy.

"You look at his tools and he's got an above-average arm to go along with an A-plus glove, bat and speed. And he can hit for high average. He can put pressure on the other teams, too."

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