A ballplayer’s dreams often take root where most other things refuse to grow, on sunbaked sandlots and weedy back fields, far from the razored basepaths and cross-cut outfields that await if they find success in a game built on failure. For Jayden Stroman and Logan Charboneau, on the heels of outstanding freshman seasons for the New York State runner-up Bears, hazy visions of the impossibly green grass of bigger fields became clearer after they each made verbal commitments this summer to two of the nation’s premier programs.
For each of them, their baseball journeys began when their memories were still wet cement. Neither remembered the name of his first team nor even the exact age he first picked up a glove, but they remembered that first field. For Jayden it was a tee ball field in Patchogue, NY and for Logan a Little League field in East Haven, CT. On those first rough-cut diamonds, the first seeds of later dreams found fertile ground.
Jayden first picked up a ball at “three or four years old,” and it was roughly four years later when he first remembers the goal of playing Division I baseball coming into focus. Travel baseball and major tournaments followed for 10-year-old Jayden, but he remembers one particular season of 12-and-under baseball as the turning point and credits his father with the beginning of his baseball maturation: “My dad made everything possible.” Jayden recalled his father applauding his lofty baseball goal, but also grounding him with the reality of meeting it: “you will have to work harder than you could ever imagine.”
Lifting and speed training four-to-five times a week and thousands upon thousands of hitting and fielding reps followed, putting Jayden in a position this summer to realize a boyhood dream. Stanford, Princeton, LSU, and Tennessee pursued him, but it was Duke University who landed the nation’s #3-ranked shortstop in the class of 2025.
Outsiders might assume that Jayden simply decided to follow in the footsteps of his brother Marcus, who was an All-American with the Blue Devils before being selected 22nd overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Those who know Jayden, however, understand that taking the easy way is not in his DNA. While Jayden shared a clear appreciation for the doors his brother’s success helped open, he made it equally clear that his choice to attend Duke was his own, emphasizing his trust in the coaching staff and the first-class education the school offers as the major factors in his decision.
In three short years, he’ll seek to forge his own path to Blue Devil lore, but before that bigger field awaits, he’ll continue to don a darker shade of blue for three more seasons with the Bears. He credits the coaching staff of Jon Brewer, Dustin Mones, and Noah Bakker in helping him change his mindset over his two years at The Brook, allowing him to continue blossoming as a player. He mentioned the education, dorm life, and cross-cultural relationships as helping spur his growth off the field as well. His list of goals for the team in 2023 include going back and getting a State Championship, that Poly Prep is currently keeping warm, and focusing on getting some of his older teammates college exposure as the priorities.
The slick-fielding switch-hitter enters his sophomore season ready to break out after injury rehab limited his off-season training last year. His 20 games this summer, coupled with a select showcase in Fort Myers, FL and the Area Code games in San Diego, CA, will allow him to come into the year sharp and ready to continue his growth. Our Facilities Dept. should be ready with some new panes of glass after Jayden shattered a window in Alexander Dorm last year.
Logan Charboneau left behind that East Haven Little League field long ago, and remembers starting to train and lift as early as eight years old. It was around that time that he became more focused on basketball, and contemplated quitting baseball altogether, but stuck with it long enough to hit a six-inch growth spurt that unlocked a powerful swing seldom seen in an 11-year-old. His dreams of continuing to play baseball at the highest level began to crystallize, fueling a drive that saw him in the gym twice a day throughout his teenage years. Travel ball trips to Georgia and Florida allowed him to test his burgeoning baseball prowess against some of the best young players in the nation. Now he’s ranked the #7 first baseman in the class of 2025 and the best in Connecticut.
Plenty of the nation’s elite programs took notice of the youngster who was testing the limits of outfield fences everywhere. Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Georgia all came calling, but it was UConn, the northeast’s best program and the #16 ranked team in the country in the final 2022 poll, who landed the 6′ 6″, 215 lbs prize. Logan emphasized the academic support and community atmosphere “that reminded me a lot of Stony Brook” as the primary reasons that drew him to Storrs, CT. Playing ball only an hour away away from his hometown made the opportunity all the sweeter.
Before he takes his offensive arsenal to the Huskies, he has plenty to chase in his remaining time at The Brook. His goal for the team mirrored Jayden’s: win the State Title. Outside of the diamond, Logan identified Stony Brook’s close community “where everyone knows each other” as the primary reason behind his flourishment. He highlighted family dinners, dorm life, and the ability to meet people from so many different backgrounds as specific things that have been helpful in his overall development.
He comes into his sophomore season after spending five weeks of his summer playing ball in Georgia before returning for tournaments on Long Island and Staten Island and in New Jersey. Of his 7 home runs this summer, the one that stood out was a game-tying long ball in the final inning that helped propel his squad to a comeback win.
Jayden and Logan are far from the only bright spots on a team swollen with talent. Jojo Franco, Sebastian Perez, Aaron Babaev, Seth Laureano, Jacob Lippe, Alex Baaden, and Devon McMorris all return for a team that dispatched Andover, Deerfield, Ward Melville, Fieldston, and Collegiate during last year’s memorable campaign. Jeff Adams Field is sure to be a can’t-miss arena come springtime.
Bears in the College Baseball Ranks
Jack Carr ’20 Adelphi University
Tucker Genovesi ’22 High Point University
Justin Porrino ’21 Lebanon Valley College
Lee-Anthony Santiago ’21 Barry University
Tyler Smith ’21 Saint Peter’s University
T.J. Wachter ’21 Fordham University
Joe Wozny ’20 University of Connecticut
Tim Wozny ’21 RIT