2018 Team Previews
|Chattanooga State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Conner Perry - RHP - Freshman
2 Noah Fitzgerald - SS/RHP - Freshman
3 Trae Hall - C - Freshman
4 Hayden Lock - 2B - Freshman
5 Kyle Nunn - LHP - Freshman
6 Sean Cheely - CF - Freshman
7 Bryce Woody - RHP - Freshman
Offense: We will have a virtually all freshmen team so the offense may struggle initially. We are much more athletic than the past couple of years and have some talent too. They are going to have to limit the poor at bats and frustration that is going to come from immaturity. This level will challenge them offensively, but we feel like we have the tools in ability and desire to have a very solid offensive season by the end of it.
Defense: We hope to be a very aggressive defense that puts the tools that we have in play on an "every-play" basis. Again, with the youth that we have, these guys are going to have to learn the speed of play at this level and get comfortable competing at it. Our infielders have the ability to be plus-skill guys and our outfield should be very fast. We are deep behind the plate and have guys that should help in maintaining some control over the running game.
Pitching: This is where our youth is going to show the most as we are very young here also. These guys showed flashes of ability during the fall but have yet to truly settle in to the demands of pitching at this level. We have some really quality arms and some guys that project to be salty eventually, but much of our success' are going to be determined by how soon they figure some of this out.
Overall outlook: We are going to go through the long and painful process of learning to compete at this level and while that is a formidable challenge, we as a staff, are working to catch them up and prepare them as much as possible. Hopefully, we can have some success' early and gain the necessary confidence to gather some momentum for the meat of the season. Our goal is certainly to be "lean and mean" by the middle to end of April and readying for the TCCAA tournament that we will get to host here at Chatt State.
|Cleveland State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Hooper Mills LHP/1B ETSU Commit
2 Hunter Oliver C NW FL State Transfer/Georgia Gwinnett College Commit
3 Cameron Payne LF/1B
4 Noah Hill 2B ETSU Commit
5 Ryan Lloyd LHP UT Martin Commit
6 Greg Tye RHP Closer
7 Cameron Hankins OF Ga Southern Transfer
8 Brandon Mason OF
9 Noah Peterson SS/RHP FR
10 Collin Grove RHP Farragut
2018 TEAM OUTLOOK: This years club will definitely be a sophomore driven group. Will start a sophomore at every position in the field with returners and experienced transfers. In the Infield, Joey Roberson, Hooper Mills, and Cameron Payne will see time at 1B. Noah Hill and Trey Vanderpool will see the majority of the time at 2B and SS. 3B will be manned by 2 Left Handed Hitting players in Sophomore Trey Martin and Freshman Rhett Baldwin from Ringgold who had an impressive fall. In the Outfield Cameron Payne, Cameron Hankins, and Brandon Mason will see most of the innings with Sophomore Caleb Collins and Freshman Tucker Mendenhall also seeing time. Behind the plate will be lead by Sophomore transfer Hunter Oliver, Sophomore Tyler Qualls and Redshirt Sophomore Logan Peterson will also compete for time. Overall we have a lot of balance but don't have a lot of depth so these guys will need to pull their weight for us to be successful.
Offense: The last couple of seasons our offense has really turned around. We should continue this in 2018 with hopefully a little more balance in all areas as we have a lot more team speed. Should be able to have power in the middle and guys that can handle the bat around them.
Defense: This was definitely our weak link last season with arguably the worst fielding percentage we've ever had. This will have to be better as it would be hard to be worse.
Pitching: We are losing a two year all conference pitcher that really lead our staff the last two years so we have some big shoes to fill. Feel like we have a really good balance between sophomores with experience and freshman that are ready to break out. Full rotation is still to be determined but starters should be from: Hooper Mills LHP SO, Ryan Lloyd LHP SO, Corey Linz LHP SO, Collin Grove RHP FR, Ryan Inches LHP FR, and St. Pete transfer Jackson Etter. Closer for the second year will be Greg Tye who is looking to improve on a great FR season. Transfer Tyler Zak, Redshirt Gunnar Norwood RHP FR, Redshirt Justin Coleman, Jared McDonald RHP SO, Ethan Walls RHP SO, Brock Browning RHP FR, Daniel Willie RHP FR, and Lucas Sykes LHP FR
Overall outlook: We are really excited about this years club and possible success. Always looking to improve on what you did the year before. Feel like we had a very competitive and productive fall. Offensively we feel like we have a very solid, balanced lineup. Defensively has to be better. Also we took a big hit on the mound but should be as good if not better as a whole staff this year. Our league doesn't allow for you not to play at your highest level week in and week out but we look forward to the challenge.
|Columbia State CC|
PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
SS Haddon Adams – Gritty and dependable. Lipscomb commit who can also play the outfield.
2B/3B Elliott Curtis – Middle of the order bat that has the ability to leave the yard.
C Alex Vazquez – Professional catch and throw skill.
UTL Bryce Giles – Switch hitting sub 6.4 runner who can play in the grass or dirt.
UTL Ethan Cady – Left-handed bat and arm. Middle of the order power.
1B/P Bradley Wilson – Starting DH and 1B as a freshman.
C Brady Johnson –Quality leader and defender.
2B Blake Dutton – Steady player and situational hitter.
OF Dacoda Stone – Above average defender who and run and throw.
OF Bryce Symlar – Leadoff guy as freshman. Anchors the OF.
OF John O’Dwyer – Making transition from catching to OF. Strong.
LHP Dusty Baker – Weekend starter as a freshman. Pitched big down the stretch.
LHP Trevor Sanders – Mid to upper lefty that should be a factor every weekend.
LHP Gideon McKee – Bullpen lefty with experience under fire.
RHP Cam Williams – Mulit-use mid/upper guy with solid breaking ball.
RHP Nate Richardson – Bullpen guy as freshman. Had a great fall.
RHP Keegan Foge – Mid/upper arm that can start and relieve.
2018 Team Outlook:
Offense: One of the more dynamic offenses we have had. Should have the ability to run and hit with some authority. A versatile line-up that can and will have moving parts. If we can consistently put together extended at-bats and win a few freebies, we feel that we can score some runs. A good mix of left and right handed hitters with a few trusted guys coming off the bench has us excited.
Defense This should be a strong point of our club in 2018. We have experience and defensive ability at every position. With so many utility guys who can play several positions at a college level, we should be able to make moves to match the park, the conditions and game situations. The outfield unit is the most accurate throwing bunch we have ever coached. The infield group has many interchangeable parts and work well together. Behind the dish we have three guys who can lead and throw.
Pitching: We have six sophomores who contributed as freshman on our East-Central District team in 2017. We look for these young men to be improved in all facets and be prepared for the rigors of the TCCAA. Our freshman group will have the ability to really throw strikes which fits what we what to do. With five lefties in the mix, we hope to be able to utilize match-ups and situationally pitch.
Overall outlook: Seventeen sophomores anchor this experienced group. They are coming off a great year that gave them a taste of championship caliber baseball. We look for them to feed off their experiences in 2017 and play more consistent baseball week in and week out. Each program in our great conference has a style of play they want to put on display each weekend that is dependent on getting players that fit their culture. We may or may not win a game this spring but our core does so many of the things that we feel make us a competitive team. This group is a pleasure to coach and we look forward to the grind in 2018.
|Dyersburg State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Cary Campbell - OF - NW Florida Transfer
2 Daino Deas - 2B - Auburn Transfer
3 Chandler Adkins - OF, .332 BA, 62 RBI, 11 HR
4 Andrew Swanson - OF, .362 BA, 57 RBI, 16 HR
5 LaDarius Williams - 1B, .344 BA, 75 RBI, 14 HR
6 Hagan Severance - OF, .325 BA, 50 RBI, 9 HR
7 Reeder Smith - 3B - Mississippi State Transfer
8 JP Bitzenhofer - C - UK Transfer
9 Brian Perez - 3B - Barry University Transfer
10 Blake McCutchen - SS
11 Spencer Yankle - C - Winthrop Signee
2018 TEAM OUTLOOK: I feel like we have some talent at each position. However our lack of experience playing together is a big concern heading into the season. We will have to stay healthy for us to have a chance to compete towards the top of the conference.
Offense: We lost basically our entire offense from last year, so it's really hard to predict how these guys will perform.
Defense: This is the area that I feel like we will once again be strong in....so far, it's been our strongest asset as a team.
Pitching: I feel like we have a pretty solid staff and should give us an opportunity to win more times than not.
Overall outlook: We are excited to get things cranked up and looking forward to opening day! The guys have worked extremely hard and I feel like we will be fairly competitive in the TCCAA. All of the teams in our conference have improved, so it's going to be another exciting year!
|Jackson State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Ian Bibiloni (OF)- Power hitting leadoff guy with speed
2 Josh Frantz (C) - Power hitting lefty. Good catch and throw guy.
3 Donnel Bailey (OF)- Power and good size. Moves athletic
4 Mike Conn (OF)- Pure hitter with pop.
5 Alex DeRiggi (INF)- Chance to be electric at plate.
6 Brayden Barnes (INF) - Chance to be electric at plate.
7 DJ Wright (INF/P) - Could be a weekend guy and a plus hitter.
Offense: Have power all through the lineup. Do have some swings and misses in there that will lead to some long days, but don't think we will be out of a game.
Defense: Struggled in fall but with the right guys out there, could be fine.
Pitching: Lost some key guys and need to have some guys step up and be effective. Think we have guys who can do that, but we will see.
Overall outlook: A lot of questions still to be answered, but talent is there. Just have to get them up to expectations. If we can do that, we can be good. If not, we will more bad days than we want. Should find out pretty quickly in non-conference how we match up and what we will need to do to get ready for the tournament. Hopefully playing well by May.
|Motlow State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Paul McIntosh - C (Freshman) Big time bat behind the plate and very good defensively. Getting a good bit of pro interest. Verbal commitment to West Virginia for 2019
2 Michael Bruhin - LHP (Sophomore) Great numbers in his last season of competition at Spartanburg Methodist. Receiving a lot of attention already and hasn't been to school yet.
3 Logan Walters - RHP (Freshman) Very talented transfer. Great arm and great competitiveness on the mound with a plus BB.
4 Jase Carvell - LHP (Sophomore) In second year following elbow surgery. Had a good fall. Showing increased velocity and good movement.
5 Dallas Bryan - RHP (Freshman) Another good arm that has shown the potential to be a really good pitcher.
6 Troy Weatherly - IF/OF (Sophomore) Big time pop at the plate. Very good athleticism, especially for a big guy. Has the potential to have big numbers this year.
7 Johnny Mangini - OF (Freshman) True Switch hitter with power from both sides of the plate.
2018 TEAM OUTLOOK:
Offense: Offensively, we have the potential to be dangerous throughout the lineup. We have a lot of maturing to do if we are going to be able to meet that potential. Although we are pretty freshman heavy, we will have some valuable experience with some of our key guys offensively. This is going to be a key for us as we learn how to adjust throughout the season. I thought we had a very productive fall towards learning how to be a talented college hitter with all of our guys. As long as we continue to improve this way, we could be a very good offensive team.
Defense: We lost some key guys in our infield that we will have to replace. We have several guys still competing for playing time in our infield which can be a very good thing. I expect to see several different looks as far as positioning goes early on. In the outfield, we have a good mix of power and athleticism. We have some very talented outfielders defensively that can really go and get it. Behind the plate, we will be young but talented. In this key position, I have been pleased with the maturity of our young guys and the work ethic displayed by this group. This could be a real bright spot for us.
Pitching: The key for us on the mound this year is to stay healthy. We have several guys that pitched well this fall and some key transfers as well. If we continue to improve with this group and stay healthy, we could see several guys have a good year on the mound for us. We have some guys that have the potential to really control the game but we also have several pitchers that have shown the ability to come in and throw strikes and compete. We only have a few sophomores so learning how to handle adversity and how to pitch to a college lineup are things we must continue to learn and improve upon to be successful.
Overall outlook: We have some talented players but we are very young as a team. How we are able to make adjustments and handle adversity will be the difference in being a team that can compete very well in this talented league or being a team that just shows flashes of brightness. With inexperience sometimes comes a confidence that could propel us forward. However, inexperience also makes it more difficult to learn how to make those key adjustments at the plate and how to really pitch instead of just throwing. I look forward to the challenges ahead and getting this season started and I know our players are chomping at the bit as well. We play in a very tough conference so we have scheduled some tough competition early to help us prepare. The work we do in February can have a huge impact on how we play throughout conference competition.
|Roane State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 Ronnie Engelman RHP
2 Zach Heming C - Flagler
3 Luis LaMarche 3B
4 Hunter Long RHP
5 Josh Hayes SS
6 Tyson Orr OF
7 Chris De Los Santos 1B
Offense: We will be a scrappy club with little pop throughout the line up. We have a lot of role hitters and they must be themselves while being consistent 1-9.
Defense: We have a sound defense that will be quick. We will have some depth defensively which we can do some different things with. should be a strong suit for us this year.
Pitching: Returning our #1 from last year and some back end guys who had some quality innings last year who will be more of a vital role on the mound for us this year. Looking for a couple freshman to step in and play big roles for us.
Overall outlook: Looking to put together a good February with some really good clubs coming to Harriman and our last weekend traveling to Gordon State. I believe this will get us prepared for this years tough conference schedule that we will, face. We will fight to be in the middle of the pack and hopefully put us in a position to stay out of the play in game, come conference. GO RAIDERS!!
|Southwest TN CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 So. Jacob Nobles SS
2 RS So. Tyrek White RHP
3 RS So. Christian Busby OF
4 RS Fr. Blake Daniels IF
5 So. Benton Garrison LHP
6 Fr. Barrone Porter OF
7 Fr. RJ Dell OF
Coming off a 15-42 (8-19 in conference) 2017 season, returning just 51% of the at bats and just 21% of innings pitched on the mound, and losing heavy hitting catchers - Tampa Bay Rays draft pick
Andrew Miller (.306, 18 HR, 51 RBI) and Faulkner University signee R usber Estrada (.347, 10 HR, 41 RBI), the Saluqis will look to rebuild in a big way headed into the future with new leadership.
Erik Schoenrockwas named as the head baseball coach of Southwest Tennessee in July 2017. He comes to the Saluqis from Nicholls State University, where he was an assistant coach for the
2016-2017 season. A former local pitcher at Collierville High School and the University of Memphis, Schoenrock was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.
Schoenrock’s coaching stops include: St. George’s Independent School (2015 spring), Licking County Settlers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (2015 summer), University of Memphis
(2016 spring), and previously mentioned Nicholls State University. He quickly assembled a premier coaching staff in the junior college ranks, with heavy local ties.Drew Martinez (Christian Brothers
High School, Univ. of Memphis, & Los Angeles Angels outfielder) will serve as the hitting coach, Taylor Morton (Bartlett High School & New York Yankees pitcher) will serve as the pitchng
coach, and Ryan Huber (Motlow State CC & Bethel University infielder, and MemphisTigers Organization Coach) will serve as the infield coach. The 2018 team will showcase a number of new
faces on the field, as well. The roster of 32 players includes 12 sophomores (11 returners), and 20 freshman, with a strong local makeup of 15 players from Memphis area. “On paper we look very
young and inexperienced, though I believe through my staff’s effort in recruiting and the development of our returners, we have a chance to be competitive immediately. We are very excited about the
current state of the program and the direction we are headed for the future,” said Southwest head coach Erik Schoenrock. The 2018 edition of Southwest Baseball includes players from Tennessee,
Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, and Ohio.
The Saluqis will look to a very athletic outfield to provide momentum shifting plays both offensively and defensively this spring. Sophomore Christian Busby (2017 - 43 ABs, .186, 6 RBI) looks
to be an offensive leader following a breakout 2017 fall, and projects to be in the middle of the order as the starting left fielder or designated hitter. 3 freshman look to be big factors in the outfield as
well. Switch-hitting freshman Barrone Porter (Houston High School) projects as the leadoff hitter and right fielder, possessing a special skill set of speed, power, and arm strength. Freshman RJ Dell
(Collierville High School) projects as the starting center fielder due to his high motor and will help as a relief pitcher on the mound. Freshman Blake Donels (Collierville High School) will add some
punch to the lineup and will compete to play in a corner outfield spot and as a designated hitter option. “We are looking to our outfield to be dynamic playmakers for us this spring with the variety in
skill sets we possess,” said Coach Schoenrock. Sophomore Christian Millwood (2017 - 6 AB, .167, 1 RBI) provides depth and a power bat off of the bench. Freshman Logan Roberts (Nashville,
TN - Overton High School) also provides depth in the outfield and behind the plate as a left handed hitter. Freshman Marcus Lanos (Cordova High School) has made great developmental strides
during his freshman year so far.
The infield looks to be a much improved unit in the 2018. 4 players with college experience look to lead the infield unit. Sophomore Jacob Nobles (2017 - .335, 4 HR, 17 2B, 27 RBI, 4 SB) is the
most experienced hitter returning and will provide a dynamic skill set and leadership as a left side defender. Sophomore Co-Captain Nate Sumner (2017 - .257, 1 HR, 7 2B, 15 RBI) provides
stability at second base, and a veteran approach as a left handed hitter. Redshirt Freshman Blake Daniels (Marked Tree, AR & Crowder CC transfer) will project as a power left handed bat in the
middle of the order, and will play a number of positions on defense. Sophomore Joaquin Estrada (2017 - 28 AB, .143, 1 RBI) will provide a power threat offensively, versatility, and depth with the
ability to play all positions on the infield. 2 freshman corner infielders look to make an impact on the team as well. Freshman left handed hitter Chris Swanberg (Harding Academy) is a plus defender
with a developing power stroke at the plate, and freshman Jamey Fabre (Patterson, LA - Patterson High School) will provide depth at 1st Base and on the mound. Coach Schoenrock on the infield
unit: “We will look to our infield to be a consistent unit. They are the most experienced group of players we are returning from last years team.” Attempting to replace the two most productive hitters
from last year’s team (Miller and R. Estrada) behind the plate will be a key for the Saluqis in 2018. Two freshman will look to step right inand contribute immediately. Freshman Cameron Pleasant
/Christian Brothers High School) looks to be the starting catcher, utilizing a pure left handed swing and a high level of receiving behind the plate. Freshman Hudson Perritt (Bartlett High School)
projects as a solid number 2 option, providing arm strength and high level baseball IQ. Coach Schoenrock on these two catchers: “We are expecting a lot out of these 2 guys. They have to perf
orm at a high level for us to perform well on the mound. We need them to lead our young pitching staff.” The Saluqis will also feature three position players that you can expect to see play numerous
positions, as utility defenders. Freshman Tucker King (Bartlett High School) will be in the lineup with a power/speed combination at the plate, and can play anywhere on the field. Returning
sophomore Ethan Stallings (2017 - .274, 2 HR, 8 2B, 20 RBI) will be looked to for leadership and also to factor in as a catcher, 1st baseman, outfielder. He will also be looked to help on the
mound, as he has shown flashes of throwing an above average breaking ball. Freshman Dalton Cencebaugh (Canal Winchester, OH - Canal Winchester High School) has a chance to be an offensive
force during his time as a Saluqi, and will back up Nate Sumner at 2nd base, as well as an option in the outfield.
The Saluqi pitching staff showed flashes of excellence in the fall under the direction of Coach Taylor Morton. The starting rotation projects to be a combination of a group of guys with 3 pitch mixes.
Sophomore LHP Benton Garrison (Memphis, TN - Mississippi College transfer) projects as the Friday starter. Finishing the fall with 15 scoreless innings, Garrison showed he has the capability to
control all parts of the game from the mound. Freshman RHP Brayden Green (Collierville High School) and LHP Joel Singleton (Patterson, LA - Patterson High School) project as weekend
starters along with Garrison. Both stepped in to college baseball with authority this fall, competing at a high level due to competitiveness, strike throwing, and good tempo. Sophomore Co-Captain
RHP Grayson Hall (2017 - 1-2, 8.64 ERA, 16.2 IP, 14 K) will serve as a starting pitcher as well. He will have opportunities to pitch against many quality midweek opponents. Sophomore Tyrek
White (Nashville, TN - Dyersburg State CC transfer) will also have opportunities to start. White possesses the most electric stuff on the staff, with a fastball that can reach the low 90s. The relief
pitchers will be a key factor in the Saluqis season for 2018. Freshman Cannon Duke (Parsons, TN - Riverside HS) locked down the closing role in the fall. He is fun to watch and throws from
multiple arm slots and varies his tempo in his delivery. Freshmen RHP Chandler Gant (Nashville, TN - Lipscomb Academy) and RHP Trey Boren (Bolton High School) both project as set up men
for Duke. Sophomores RHP Adrian Comas (2017 - 0-2, 7.46 ERA, 25.1 IP, 23 K), RHP Allen Denhart (2017 - 0-2, 10.80 ERA, 13.1 IP, 5 K), RHP Ben Kirby (2017 - 0-0, 16.20 ERA, 3.1
IP, 3 K), and RHP Noah Graham (2017 - 0-0, 10.80 ERA, 10 IP, 6 K) will all have versatile roles. All 4 have the capability to be relievers of some sort or spot start. “We are looking to our
pitching staff to be high level competitors this year. We may not have the best stuff as other staffs we will face, but I believe in our guys because of their preparation and strike throwing ability. We
challenge them everyday to push the envelope and evolve. Our defense is very athletic and consistent, so we are looking for our pitchers to use them by challenging hitters and limiting freebies from the
mound. They hold our season in their hands. Pitching and defense wins championships.” - Coach Schoenrock on the pitching staff.
|Volunteer State CC|
|PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1 SS - Jake Lyle / Jake was one of our top guys last. Was 1st team all conference at 3B. Will move back SS this season. Jake has signed with ETSU
2 RHP - Chase Douglas / Chase led the conference in saves last season. He will move over to the starter role this season. Chase should be a big factor for us this year.
3 RHP - Jacob Cole / Jacob will be counted on to be one of our main guys on the mound again this year. Hopefully he will be able to build off the experocenhe got last year.
4 C - Collin Hopkins / In my opinion Collin is one of the best defensive catchers in the conference. He’s a great leader on the field
5 LHP - James Hatcher / James was on his way to what I believe would have been a big year for him before having season ending Tommy John. When he gets healthy should be a big boost to our starting rotation.
2018 TEAM OUTLOOK:
Offense: offensively we have pretty good speed and hopefully we can use that to our advantage. Middle of the line up has some pop so hopefully we can find consistent contact and be able to find those key rbi guys. We are not going to over power people so we need to just execute the game and hopefully get the big hits when we need them.
Defense: I like our defense. Infield should be consistent at making the routine plays which will be huge for us. Outfield we have some that should be solid out there. The key will be playing fundamental defense and not giving the opposing team and extra outs and extra bases.
Pitching: Our guys aren’t going to light up any radar guns but what I do like is that will compete for you. If they can get their pitches working and locate they should be able to keep us in games and give us a chance to win.
Overall outlook: Hopefully we can carry over the desire, work ethic and competitiveness that we played with last year. We are going to have to be a team that plays hard nosed baseball at all times. We have to be a bunch of dirtbags that will leave it all on the field everyday. If we can be that kind of team then I feel like we can have a successful season.
|Walters State CC|
PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2018
1. SS Hunter Wolfe (12th Rnd Draft, Pittsburgh, 2017)
2. CF Dylan Harris (North Carolina Signee)
3. 2B Austin Henry (TCU Signee)
4. RHP Hayden Lehman (South Carolina Signee)
5. OF Logan Carey (Memphis Signee)
6. RHP Reece Brewer (Western Kentucky Signee)
7. 3B Duncan Pence - Tennessee Transfer and 4-year starter at Farragut
8. C Hunter Gilliland - Returning All-Conference performer, hit .393 with 9 HR as FR.
9. C Luke Berryhill (South Carolina Signee)
10. LHP Peyton Alford - Led team in K's as FR with 79, 6-2 on year.
11. OF Tyler Gentry - Former Arlington standout and Alabama signee.
12. RHP/1B Landon Knack - Former Upper East TN Player of the Year.
13. 1B/OF Alex Bibb - Transfer from University of Kentucky.
14. RHP Gage Gillian - Former Spring Hill standout and 2016 Tennessee AA Mr Baseball.
15. RHP Justin Reed - Transfer from Indiana University.
16. OF Brock Anderson - Former University of Washington Signee.
17. RHP Brett Jones - Coming back from injury, went 6-0 in 55 IP as FR in 2015.
18. RHP Alex Haynes - 29th Rnd Draft, NYM, 2016) returning from injury.
Offense: We should be solid offensively as we return 6 starters from last years team. Our depth is our strong point, as we feel we are at least two deep at each position with quality players. We feel we are a little more athletic than normal, having decent team speed to go along with some power. So hopefully we are pretty well-rounded offensively this year.
Defense: I would say we have a chance to be stronger defensively than in the past. Having starters back at C, SS, 2B, 3B, and CF should help with this as that is a ton of experience.
Pitching: We have to replace a ton of production on the mound, losing 4 arms to either the MLB draft or to the SEC. But returners Hayden Lehman, Peyton Alford, and Reece Brewer combined for 132 innings last year to give us some experienced arms. The additions Gage Gillian, Brett Jones, and Landon Knack should really bolster the staff as well. As always, you are only as good as your pitching staff, and we will need some young guys to step up in this department if we are to have a successful campaign in 2018.
We are very excited about our squad this year. On paper, it looks to be a very talented group. But as always, they have to learn how to do it on the field when the "lights are on", so to speak. After last season, motivation should not be an issue. Hopefully they can continue to improve throughout the season and put themselves in position to perform well in the post-season.