February is right around the corner. As we get closer and closer to Texas Tech baseball the anticipation continues to build. Let’s stifle that restless heart and take a closer look at the roster with a simple question: who’s going to be the guy we all can’t stop talking about? Here are a list of five I believe to be first in line for that privilege in 2020.
5. Easton Murrell, Junior, Infielder
Last Season: .262 AVG, 3 RBI, 1 HR
The transfer from Arkansas showed a lot of promise last season, posting a .164 batting average his first month stepping up to the plate. While that isn’t anything to drop your jaw at, Murrell would build on this in the later part of the season by cracking his lone home run on the season against his former school in the College World Series. Murrell also drove in a RBI against Michigan in the CWS semifinal to put the Red Raiders back in the game. In 2020, Murrell could see himself in the top part of the starting lineup at third base come Opening Day, as shown in my 2020 season preview and starting lineup predictions. It would not surprise me if he builds on the successes of last season and became an integral piece of this lineup.
4. Kurt Wilson, Junior, INF/RHP
Last Season (Pitching): 6.14 ERA, 12 SO, 0-1 W/L
Last Season (Hitting): .227 AVG, 17 RBI, 4 HR
As a two-way player, Wilson showed a lot of his talent at the plate, posting a consistent .227 average last season. Wilson’s versatility was definitely an advantage the Red Raiders had in 2019, and could further build on it in 2020. He could see himself being used more in the infield more as the Tech bullpen gains more depth going into 2020. Along with the fact that Wilson has shown his hitting has improved over the course of last season.
3. Connor Queen, Senior, RHP
Last Season: 1.06 ERA, 13 SO, 4-0 W/L
We didn’t see much of Connor Queen in 2019, but he did deliver, posting a 1.06 ERA and a 4-0 record on the mound. The relief pitching of Queen during the NCAA Tournament made him the only Red Raider to post a perfect 0.00 ERA. We could see him build more in 2020 and become one of the best relievers in the country.
2. Cody Masters, Junior, Outfield
Last Season: .290 AVG, 28 RBI, 5 HR
Now, you could make the argument that Cody Masters had his break out year in 2019, but I think he could build more. Masters could become one of the best hitters on the roster, and I’m talking about a plus .300 average at the end of 2020. Masters delivered clutch performances against Baylor and Arkansas, driving in RBI’s that would help thrust the Red Raiders into the win column. Masters also recorded an .875 fielding percentage, making him one of the best fielders on the roster going into 2020.
1. Max Marusak, Sophomore, Outfield
Last Season: .235 AVG, 12 RBI, 1 HR
In 2019, Marusak quickly made a name for being one of the quickest players in the country with ten stolen bases (third on the team), ranking second on the team in triples and posting an on-base percentage of .301. Marusak would also score three runs on top of four stolen bases as a pinch runner. Coming into 2020, we could see Marusak take more opportunities to steal to build on his reputation along with making more starts in the outfield as he would have a .979 fielding percentage last season. As a sophomore coming into the season, Marusak could be just getting started.