Top pitcher R. J. Alvarez plays for FAU

BOCA RATON, Fla. - R. J. Alvarez can really bring it.

"I know I've gotten up to, like, 97 (mph)," he said of his pitching.

He throws more than just an above-average heater though. "I've got a curve ball and a change-up."

The combination has helped make the FAU junior one of Baseball America's top 100 college prospects for the 2012 draft.  "It's real exciting. I mean, all that stuff's great. I try to look into it too much. I'm just trying to see what the season has, go out there and do what I know how to do and whatever happens happens after the season,"  he said.

"I think it's a great honor for him and for us. He's worked at it. He's put up numbers. He deserves it. He's a very, very -- his upside is huge and he's a very, very good person," said FAU Head Coach John McCormack.

Pitcher Ryan Garton added, "He's a force. He's got a really good attitude, you know, really good competitor, throws the ball very hard so, and he's got a filthy curve ball."

Away from the field, Alvarez is known as a bit of jokester. But once he steps on the mound, he is all business.

"It's like night and day. He's fun and joking, as soon as he steps on that mound, it's like a switch -- instant game-mode, beast-mode. He's coming right at you. It's awesome to watch," Garton said.

"He's totally different. You know, he's one guy that, once the game starts and, particularly, he's in the game, he becomes a fierce competitor," McCormack said.

According to his head coach the former Cardinal Newman star is also a tremendous fielder and has a good feel for the game.

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