12.Feb.2015 Baseball 2015 Season Preview
Best time of the year (sans we’re another year older and balder) is baseball season.
Unfortunately I don’t have time to write a detailed piece on each player, but you can find their brief bios here.
What can we gather from all this? Another team built around pitching, slashers, defense..this year’s team looks to have more speed. I read up on these guys months ago. What I gathered about Gillette: he’s a bit lean, so I don’t expect much power from him right away. Maybe next year. He’s more of a slasher type right now. KJ Harrison has pop. I project him middle of the lineup. Cary hit .520, but is also lean, so we have to assume he projects as another high average hitter/slasher type. Gretler looks to be a high ball, line drive hitter with good pop. Balls lower in the zone and he has a slight loop in his swing, seen here. This could result in warning track power rather than finding gaps or hitting HRs. He should be a great gap hitter, in theory. We’ll see if that’s been corrected. Hendrix needs to hit in the 2 hole, so people need to step up around him. Maybe bat Gabe Clark or Logan Ice leadoff (~.400 OBP) and pray he/they hit a little more this year. Hendrix is ideal as a 2 but could drop to 3. I don’t like him leadoff.
Drew Rasmussen has a bit of Sonny Gray to him. Similar build, and fastball, changeup, curveball pitcher. From what I watched of him, looked to struggle controlling the changeup at times. Luke Heimlich is the guy I expect to move into the #2 slot, or higher, at some point this year. I think he’s better than Rasmussen and maybe better than Andrew Moore.
It’s hard to research baseball recruits thoroughly because there’s just not much out there. We see numbers, project things based on the talent level they played, where they were drafted, etc. We’re almost better off waiting until next weekend to do a season preview, after we see them all in action for a few days.
The big question is how quickly these guys gel and their mettle. We will find out tomorrow. Early in the year, I expect nerves, jitters, struggles on offense. I wouldn’t judge the team until the 3rd or 4th weekend. At that point we’ll know. Next weekend I can speak more to specifics about each guy after seeing them in action, too.
In terms of whether this will be a good year for the Beavers, I think so. They have a lot of talent and a great coach, so what is not to like? Experience is overrated. We see 10 year old prodigies playing Beethoven behind their backs, and of course there are the Doogie Howser MDs who are graduating college with Doctorates at 12. Point being, if a guy can play he will be fine no matter his experience or age. I’m not worried about that at all. I’m worried about them gelling quickly/finding good chemistry, finding defined roles, and getting over the inevitable jitters sooner rather than later. Once all that happens, I expect to see good baseball. Hopefully it happens quickly. I don’t see a championship, but I can see a good season where they finish 3rd in the Pac.