With chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping on your nose, the thought of warm weather seems like a relief. Well, allow me to bring some warmth into your heart with some holiday hot takes for the upcoming baseball season.
1. Freshmen take over the starting lineup
Earlier this fall, Tech took on the Texas Rangers Futures Camp at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas, and freshman pitcher/outfielder Dillon Carter, along with fellow freshman catcher Nate Rombach made their presence known by bringing in an RBI each to help lift the Red Raiders 6-3 in the first exhibition bout. Carter and Rombach both could see valuable time in the starting lineup in the beginning of the season and if they continue on the track they left off after exhibition, they could see themselves cemented in the lineup for a lot of the season.
Let’s also not forget about Jace Jung. Jung comes into 2020 with already the highest of expectations in regards to his older brother, Josh, who was selected in the first round of the 2019 MLB draft to the Texas Rangers. I believe that Jace could fill the giant shoes his brother left behind in the shortstop position and break into the starting lineup just like I predict Rombach and Carter will.
2. The outfield will be the strongest unit on the team
Yes, of course with the baker’s dozens worth of pitchers the Red Raiders have at their disposal this coming season, the Tech bullpen could see a lot of depth and a lot of success. However, with the performance the outfield had in 2019, it wouldn’t surprise me if they outdid themselves in 2020.
Dylan Neuse, Cody Masters, and Max Marusak. All who started in the outfield for the majority of the season had a combined .823 batting average and a combined 2.838 fielding percentage. Now, if you were kind enough to look at my five candidates for a breakout season in 2020, you saw Masters and Marusak on that list, and I think that if both see improvements in 2020, the outfield will be the strongest unit for the Red Raiders this season.
3. Tech will reach the College World Series Final
With the strength in the bullpen, a strong class of commits with the leadership of experienced upper classmen, and, of course, the leadership of Tim Tadlock, we could see Tech make a deeper run into the CWS in 2020. I’m talking about the final, where all the marbles are in play and the team who shows more grit, strength and passion, will win the National Championship and will have bragging rights until next season.
I stated in my 2020 season preview that I don’t think that the Tech will make a deeper run in 2020 than they did in 2019, but after all, this is hot takes. Might as well warm you up with the hottest take of all.