Well it's almost here. Baseball season is just a few days away. A few days away from thrilling victories at Dan Law Field. A few days away from stunning performances from our Red Raiders. A few days away before we fight for the Big XII crown. And a few days away from defending our spot in the College World Series. Are you excited? Because I am.
Anyway, this post here will give you an inside look of my view of Texas Tech (and Big XII), baseball this season, along with some info and articles about the season. So let's get this preview started.
I did a bunch of positional reviews over the past month. If you didn't check them out before hand, you can do so here:
- The Infielders (Catcher, 1st, 2nd, SS, 3rd)
- The Outfielders (LF, CF, RF, DH)
- The Pitchers (Starters, Relievers and Closers)
After many thoughts and opinions, here's my estimation of the starting line-up and batting order (along with rotation).
|1. Stephen Smith (SO)||Center Field (.417 OBP, 20 RBI's, .969 Fielding %)|
|2. Bryant Burleson (SR)||Catcher (.272 AVG, 21 2Bs, 37 RBI's)|
|3. Tyler Neslony (JR)||Left Field (.375 AVG, 34 RBI's, .454 OBP %)|
|4. Eric Gutierrez (JR)||1st Base (.302 AVG, 58 RBI's, 12 HRs)|
|5. Quinn Carpenter (JR)||Designated Hitter (TR from Iowa Western CC)|
|6. Tanner Gardner (FR)||3rd Base (Freshman from Frisco Centennial)|
|7. Anthony Lyons (SO)||Right Field (.286 AVG, 8 RBI's, .342 OBP %)|
|8. Tim Proudfoot (SR)||Shortstop (.309 AVG, 19 RBI's, .990 Fielding %)|
|9. Ryan Long (SO)||2nd Base (.212 AVG, 22 RBI's, .939 Fielding %)|
|Cameron Smith (SR)||LHP (2.79 ERA, 44 K's, .211 AVG)|
|Dylan Dusek (SO)||LHP (1.94 ERA, 38 K's, 8-0 record)|
|Jacob Patterson (FR)||LHP (Freshman from Berkner)|
|Ryan Mosley (JR)||RHP (2.84 ERA, 41 K's, .201 AVG)|
I'll explain the Burleson change later. You can also check out Kendall Rodger's preview of Texas Tech baseball here. He's been covering baseball way longer than I have and probably knows somethings than I do. Always good to have more than one opinion here.
In case you missed my review of the schedule, you can check it out here. Below are some key dates for the 2015 season
- Friday, February 13th, 2015 - Texas Tech kicks off the season at 2:00 pm against San Francisco at Dan Law Field.
- Friday, March 6th, 2015 - Texas Tech faces it's first road challenge against #17 Cal State Fullerton.
- Friday, March 20th, 2015 - Texas Tech starts off Big XII play in Norman, Oklahoma against the Sooners.
- Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - Texas Tech plays the #2 team in the country (and fellow CWS attendee) in TCU at Dan Law Field for a 3-day series on Easter Weekend. The Horn Frogs won the season series 3-2.
- Friday, April 28th, 2015 - Texas Tech faces the 2014 Big XII Champs in Oklahoma State at Dan Law Field. Could be potential match for title.
- Friday, May 1st, 2015 - Texas Tech plays the #7 team in the country (and fellow CWS attendee) in Texas. However, it's an away series in Austin.
- Wednesday, May 20th - May 24th, 2015 - Big XII tournament held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hopefully Tech does better than last year.
- Friday, May 29th, 2015 - Start of Regional Play in the NCAA tournament (if Tech is successful and makes it this far).
- Friday, June 5th, 2015 - Start of Super Regionals
- Saturday, June 13th, 2015 - The College World Series in Omaha starts.
Class of 2015:
Here is my review of the Class of 2015 from roughly a month ago. Tech had the 14th ranked class and the Top Class in the Big XII.
Here are my predictions for the 2015 Season, starting with the Final Standings in the Big XII:
|Team||Rankings (Last Year)||Big XII Record|
|Texas Tech||2 (4)||16-8|
|Oklahoma State||4 (1)||15-9|
|West Virginia||6 (6)||11-13|
|Baylor||7 (7)||8 - 16|
|Kansas||8 (3)||7 - 17|
|Kansas State||9 (9)||5 -19|
Big XII Winner: TCU Horn Frogs
TCU, much like Tech, is getting a lot of good players back, including a few that could be drafted in the early round of the MLB Draft in the Summer. They had success getting to the College World Series and are hungry for more. It's hard to predict a winner out of this group, but I'm going with TCU on this one.
Sleeper Team: Oklahoma
The reason why I think Oklahoma will be the sleeper is because of the youth they had. Oklahoma has the returning freshmen on the year and a young roster that will mostly be back next season. They struggled at time last year, but with returning players and good coaching, I think Oklahoma starts to climb the rankings again.
Disappointing Team: Kansas:
After a strong 2014 campaign, I think the Jayhawks start to fall in the standing this year. I haven't been following this team a whole lot so far, but they are losing a lot of guys on the roster. I think Kansas will be a team that starts to fall this season.
Big XII MVP: Eric Gutierrez
Dispite Gutierrez leading the Big XII in almost every offensive category last season, he didn't win Big XII player of the year, which confused me. Instead it went to Zach Fish of the Big XII winning Cowboys. No disrespect to Fish, he had a hell of a season, but the only category he really beat Gutierrez in was Average. I'm not sure how his glove is, but I don't think it was good enough to take it away from Gutierrez. Gute will come out this yera though and play well enough to be named the Big XII's best player
Big XII Pitcher of Year: Preston Morrison
Preston Morrison is projected to be a 1st round pick next MLB Draft, and should be a big reason why TCU will be successful this season. I think he'll strikeout a lot of batters and have an outstanding ERA. He's my pick to be the best pitcher in the conference this season.
- Bryant Burleson...The Catcher? - As Seth C mentioned in yesterday's story, Burleson apparently has been practicing at Catcher. Tech lost Hunter Redman to the MLB Draft last year and needs someone to fill the position. There are several reasons why this happened. One reason may be because they don't believe Floyd will fill the void. He may have also switched positions so someone like Gardner could see the field. Those are a couple reason why Burleson might've moved to behind the plate.
- Season Tickets Reaches New High - We got news today that for the first time in program history, Texas Tech has sold out in baseball season tickets. Hopefully that means there will be a more football type atmosphere this season. Congrats to the team on this accomplishment.
- Preseason Poll - Seth had this in his story yesterday as well, but here's another Preseason Poll. There's an overall consensus that TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma state are the Top 4, with Oklahoma being the sleeper.
- Pre-Season NCAA Tournament Prediction - D1Baseball.com guessed who would make the tournament and what seed they would be. They have the Red Raiders as a #2 seed in Louisville's Regional bracket.
Most of these tweets are from Scott Lacefield. He's the best Texas Tech Baseball guy to follow on twitter for up-to-date news, score updates and stats.
Texas Tech Preseason Rankings:
#TexasTech Preseason Rankings: 5th- Baseball America 9th- Collegiate Baseball 12th- NCBWA 12th- Perfect Game 13th- Coaches 16th- D1Baseball— Scott Lacefield (@ScottLacefield) February 9, 2015
Eric Gutierrez is Better Than You:
New Baseball For This Season:
A foul ball almost hit TMacRaider, then it bounced up to me and I caught I one handed. Never got a Foul Ball before pic.twitter.com/BcWhgSkVhg— Michael LaBarre (@Michael_LaB) October 30, 2014
Ain't No Body Messin' With My Clique:
Top Class in the Big XII:
You probably have seen a majority of these videos before, but are them again so you can watch them all in one place:
Tech Makes it to the College World Series:
Texas Tech at the College World Series:
Gutierrez Home Run Performance:
Highlights from the 2014 season:
Tadlock Discusses 2015 Schedule:
Texas Tech Starts Spring Practice:
Tim Tadlock Discusses Upcoming Season: