The start of the 2019 Arkansas baseball season is just days away. The official starting lineup has yet to be released so the Pig Trail Nation has worked together to come up with predictions for each position on the field.
At catcher, we predict Casey Opitz will be the starter.
Opitz returns this season with the most experience after being the backup for former Razorback, Grant Koch, last year.
“I think me and Grant have a lot of similarities,” says Opitz. “We’re pitcher first catchers. We really worry about what those guys do best and how we can make them go out there and have their best outings.”
Opitz is currently competing with Zack Plunkett for the starting job. Arkansas head coach, Dave Van Horn, says both guys will see time behind the plate this season. However, their offense may decide who gets more starts. Opitz is a switch hitter and picked up 6 runs on 6 hits in 27 at bats last year. He’s also shown his ability to steal bases during recent scrimmages. Being that there’s not as much power on the team this season, his speed could be very helpful for the Hogs.
His focus right now, is working with all the new pitchers and learning their tendencies.
“It’s kind of how they take criticism,” says Opitz. “If they want you to build them up before. If they really need you to get on to them. It just really starts day one. knowing a guy and what he needs to be his best on the mound.”
The sophomore has also seen some work at first base recently. But for now it looks like he’ll be the main catcher for Arkansas in 2019.