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Author Topic: 2018 Starting Lineup  (Read 7770 times)

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dotnet

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #100 on: July 06, 2017, 09:31:56 am »

So to continue the discussion that ricepig sort of started, and since its a long off season, we should discuss what could go wrong with the projected 2018 lineup.  The easiest way to do this will be to rank the projected starters in order of the amount of risk that the person will not produce up to the expected level (from least risky to most risky).

Also, I only used SEC stats below, because I think all of these guys will tear up non conference pitching regardless (well, except for Cole). 

1. Grant Koch - if you're watching the team USA performance, its pretty impressive.  I have questions about the competition, but if you compare his production to other top players on the team... I may be missing someone, but I am not sure how Koch isn't a pre-season all american

2. Carson Shaddy - this list isn't about who I think will have the best year, but who is least likely to produce different than expected.  Last year seems to be a floor for how Shaddy will produce.  288/331/459 in conference from your second baseman as a floor is pretty good.  The prior year he was 286/356/412.  I think he cares too much to become checked out mentally as a fifth year senior

3. Jax Biggers - so he slashed 340/405/474 in SEC play.  That should have been first team all SEC.  It feels like his swing and miss rate is extremely low, and his line drive rate is extremely high.  He has only done it in one SEC season, but short of an injury, its hard to see him not replicate the prior year.  In SEC play he has the same number of XBH as Cole, Bonfield, more than fletcher, and one less than Shaddy and koch. 

4. Luke Bonfield - I thought he would be an all SEC player last year, and he wasn't.  He was an above average SEC player though and had a steady improvement from the year before.  It seems like last year should be his floor - 304/367/470 after slashing 262/367/408 the previous year.  The risk comes from the swing and miss that he has against top notch pitching.

5. Dominic Fletcher - While I expect him to be the 3rd best hitter on the team next year, you never know until someone proves it.  He has a lot of swing and miss in his swing too, and the last dominic who had a similar freshman season with big expectations let that over play the rest of his ability his entire time at Arkansas. 

6. Eric Cole - SEC play last year (315/382/435) seemed like the Eric Cole normal instead of the fluke.  Sort of what we have all been waiting for, and a year earlier than Spanberger.  But he has only done it for 30ish games.  If he gets in his head and like has appears to have done the last two years, then who knows.  After last year, DVH will probably stick with him for a very long time... so he probably has the highest risk of message board uproar causation as well

7. Evan Lee - so he slashed 222/500/222 (2 of 9, 5BBs) last year.  I probably saw at least 10 of those PAs and DVH rarely did him any favors.  he faced tough relievers in critical situations (except for a few blow outs). So having good at bats and at least 3 line outs that I remember right at someone is pretty solid.  regardless, its 15 PAs which is hard to go on.  But hitting 426 in the Cal League with more walks than Ks is pretty good (as is the 15 IPs with zero runs allowed).  Without any real production in the SEC though, he is still unproven and that always has risks. 

8. Jordan McFarland - see above for Lee, but without the summer league performance. 

9. Jared Gates - The regional performance aside, he struggled during SEC play last year and even got benched.  He definitely hasn't proven anything.  However he apparently tore it up in fall ball last year and he was very good at juco.  he is definitely most unproven though with less projection and more of a history of failure (which can be an asset) than the guys above him on this list.  Normally, Arkansas has about four guys like Jared gates (not necessarily juco) who we think will improve the next year and be key contributors.  Usually a couple do and a couple done.  This year, Arkansas only has one. 



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dotnet

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #101 on: July 06, 2017, 09:36:11 am »

Evan Lee (Sophomore) - Another LHP who can light up radar guns as he can hit 95 and has a big curve ball.  He might be best suited to start to keep his bat in the lineup, but DVH needs to do a better job of utilizing him and I feel like he will next year.



I've been beating the drum on Evan Lee starting, at least during the mid week, as much as anyone.  But I am starting to come off of that.  With Martin, Turney, Burch, there will be enough quality hitters that if you lose the DH in the seventh inning because you bring Lee in to pitch, then there are enough PHs that it shouldn't be a problem for the two additional at bats that you need the DH anyways. 

Especially if he is the closer..
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hound

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #102 on: July 06, 2017, 07:29:27 pm »

Hunter Wilson, didn`t see his name.
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Scott7703

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #103 on: July 07, 2017, 06:26:31 pm »

Hunter Wilson, didn`t see his name.


Gonna be hard for Hunter to find much playing time I'm guessing. Also haven't heard DVH mention him any
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ucahogfan

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #104 on: July 15, 2017, 09:21:56 pm »

dotnet,

Really like how you broke it down based on that and level of confidence in a hitter to produce.  I think we would both agree that it is probably the best lineup on paper we have had in a long time and I think everyone has a .300+ ceiling which can't be said most years.

Koch is having a great summer for Team USA and showing how important it is for him to get rest behind the plate.  He is good defensively, but he could be a .330+ hitter with 15-20+ HRs with rest during the midweek games while he DHs which gets Opitz experience and ABs.

I feel confident about both Bonfield and Shaddy.  While they might not have 15-20 HR ceilings, the floor is probably what we have seen from them during the last two years which are .300 hitters with around 10 HRs.  Not shabby to have in the lineup.

As far as Fletcher, he does have some swing and miss, but it might be more of how hard he swings.  Since he doesn't have the raw power of Spanberger or Koch, he generates a lot of power from his swing, but he also does a good job of making contact.  He did chase some pitches, but most freshmen do.  He is having a great summer in Cali which is promising for a great sophomore season.  And to be fair, the last Dominic from So Cal who struggled after a great freshman year struggled with health as well.

I really like the trio of Biggers, Cole, and Lee and I think all are similar style hitters.  Cole might have the most pop, Lee has the best discipline, while Biggers does a good job of spraying line drives.  They all have big time potential in terms of BA and OBP which is the important thing for them.

McFarland and Gates are the two biggest question marks for next year.  Gates has shown he is an excellent hitter at the JUCO level and showed good pop during his limited action last year.  Hopefully he shows the potential that he showed before his injury.  McFarland has a rare blend of speed and power and I just want to see him in the lineup on a daily basis.
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ucahogfan

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #105 on: July 15, 2017, 09:23:57 pm »

I've been beating the drum on Evan Lee starting, at least during the mid week, as much as anyone.  But I am starting to come off of that.  With Martin, Turney, Burch, there will be enough quality hitters that if you lose the DH in the seventh inning because you bring Lee in to pitch, then there are enough PHs that it shouldn't be a problem for the two additional at bats that you need the DH anyways. 

Especially if he is the closer..
Yeah, it definitely looks like we will have some excellent options to turn too off the bench should we decide to bring in Lee or even Bonnin in to pitch depending on who is playing in the field.  I think I'm leaning more towards Bonnin needing to be in the everyday lineup especially with the summer he is having.

I really like the incoming freshmen and the depth that they will add to our team.  Turney has Spanberger level raw power while Martin is one of the best in state hitters in a while.
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dotnet

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #106 on: July 17, 2017, 09:06:41 pm »

I'm not sure where Bonnin is more likely to play than anyone else?  I mean, what has Bonnin done that makes you think he is more proven or likely to play than any other person you already had penciled in?

Its a nice problem to have. 

The other issue, I feel like Arkansas has done what it could to scratch together 9-10 players and thats about it for the a good while now.  This isn't that absurd with scholarship restrictions but LSU and a few other programs have had years where their depth has been impressive.

I feel like this year will have some depth and it could help out over a long season.  I think it did wonders for Fletcher when he was able to take a few games off this past season, and to be able to give him and some other guys that option when they get in a rough patch will be pretty nice. 
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ucahogfan

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #107 on: July 17, 2017, 09:44:55 pm »

I'm not sure where Bonnin is more likely to play than anyone else?  I mean, what has Bonnin done that makes you think he is more proven or likely to play than any other person you already had penciled in?

Its a nice problem to have. 

The other issue, I feel like Arkansas has done what it could to scratch together 9-10 players and thats about it for the a good while now.  This isn't that absurd with scholarship restrictions but LSU and a few other programs have had years where their depth has been impressive.

I feel like this year will have some depth and it could help out over a long season.  I think it did wonders for Fletcher when he was able to take a few games off this past season, and to be able to give him and some other guys that option when they get in a rough patch will be pretty nice.
Maybe 3B since Gates is probably our least proven starter we have penciled in, but I have a feeling that DVH expects him to be a major player in our lineup next year.  Just saying hitting as well as he is out in Cali is impressive and typically means someone who will be a solid contributor next year.

Yeah, having quality depth has been a problem which is to be expected given scholarship restrictions and draft causalities, but I'm excited for the depth we will have next year.  Having Opitz and Plunkett on the team is huge to give Koch regular rest.  We see how much he is dominating for Team USA given regular rest.
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PorkRyan

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #108 on: July 17, 2017, 09:48:40 pm »


Gonna be hard for Hunter to find much playing time I'm guessing. Also haven't heard DVH mention him any

He just got cleared.  He gives us a versatile infielder who can play 3 spots so he will provide valuable depth.  He probably has the best glove on the team, he just needs to get stronger and hit. 
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Pig Papi

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #109 on: July 18, 2017, 09:34:13 am »

This will be a very deep team and one that has a chance to accomplish some things.  Assuming the guys we have produce some in the range of what we expect, here are the big unknown keys I see.....

1.  Backup catcher.  I mentioned this early last year and it did come into  play as the year moved on.  Can one of the new guys take that role?

2.  Matt Cronin.  Can he take what he showed at the end of the season and play a much bigger role this year.

3.  Isaiah Campbell.  Can he combine with Knight for a tough Friday/Saturday starter punch?

4.  Jordan McFarland.  Can he become a legit power threat as a sophomore?  Love the talent.

5.  Dave Van Horn.  He has to be giddy about the options he has however, all of these options do create some potential issues.  Getting a couple older guys back as seniors plus getting a couple of recruits to campus make playing time for some younger guys tough to find.  Some of those guys were likely penciled in to get significant playing time next season and maybe came here expecting as much.  Sometimes having too many options is where the difficulty lies.  I would not want anyone one else in the making these decisions other than DVH.  It is going to be fun to watch.

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dotnet

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #110 on: July 18, 2017, 03:41:20 pm »

This will be a very deep team and one that has a chance to accomplish some things.  Assuming the guys we have produce some in the range of what we expect, here are the big unknown keys I see.....

1.  Backup catcher.  I mentioned this early last year and it did come into  play as the year moved on.  Can one of the new guys take that role?

With this lineup, and by all accounts, this won't be an issue.  The issue this past year is we didn't have anyone who could physically catch (or catch AND throw).  This year, we have multiple guys who can catch and throw.  Even if they hit 180, it won't really matter for the 15 games we're talking about to give him a break.

Pitching is really the unknown.  Unlike the offense, everyone is projecting the usual sophmore bump on most of these guys we're getting excited about.  I don't think its weird to expect Lee, Campbell, Cronin, etc. to make a jump and be big time pitchers... but they are definitely unproven.   

Knight is really the only known commodity.  And Reindel too I guess.  With everyone else, I think we're all expecting a bump in performance... even if it is just consistency.
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Scott7703

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #111 on: July 18, 2017, 10:15:51 pm »

He just got cleared.  He gives us a versatile infielder who can play 3 spots so he will provide valuable depth.  He probably has the best glove on the team, he just needs to get stronger and hit. 


Best glove goes to Biggers without question. Still believe it will be very hard for Hunter to see the field with what is back and what is coming in. Wish him the best though.
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hogwild04

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #112 on: August 09, 2017, 01:28:56 am »

Hope everyone is healthy coming into the fall.  Has anyone heard anyone out for the fall?    I Heard a rumor about a incoming freshman missing the fall, but not posting name since may be just be a rumor.,. Was wondering if anyone else knew of any players that will not be ready to go this fall?
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TebowHater

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Re: 2018 Starting Lineup
« Reply #113 on: August 11, 2017, 09:08:39 pm »


7. Evan Lee - so he slashed 222/500/222 (2 of 9, 5BBs) last year.  I probably saw at least 10 of those PAs and DVH rarely did him any favors.  he faced tough relievers in critical situations (except for a few blow outs). So having good at bats and at least 3 line outs that I remember right at someone is pretty solid.  regardless, its 15 PAs which is hard to go on.  But hitting 426 in the Cal League with more walks than Ks is pretty good (as is the 15 IPs with zero runs allowed).  Without any real production in the SEC though, he is still unproven and that always has risks. 


Also worth noting his OBP was 0.500...the dude straight up got on base. He also is our best base runner, and would move around the bases as well as anyone. In fact, his at-bat to run ratio was the lowest of anyone on the team by far at 3.0. Scored a run for every 3 ABs. Next best was Biggers at 4.61. Had highest OBP on team both for season and in conference only play.


Even if he slumps at plate, base running is a skill that is pretty hard to lose. As is having a good eye (5 BBs, 1K). I would guess he had the highest number of pitches seen per at bat of anyone on our team as well, though I don't know where to get that info. He was the most under utilized player on our team last year at the plate, primarily (per DVH) because of his own strength in pitching.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 09:25:30 pm by TebowHater »
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