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2020 Texas Tech Baseball season preview & starting lineup prediction

A strong 2019 campaign by the Red Raiders brings a lot of optimism into the 2020 season.

Photo by Brad Tollefson/AP

Texas Tech baseball returns in two months and optimism runs high after a strong 2019 campaign that brought the Red Raiders their third Big 12 title in four years and their second run into the College World Series in three years. However, with the departures of Josh Jung, Cam Warren, Gabe Holt and Taylor Floyd, just to name a few; We could see changes in the starting lineup, along with a plethora of youth in this coming season’s squad.

Tech opens their schedule on February 14, 2020 against Houston Baptist in a short two-game series, then another two-game series against Northern Colorado. The Red Raiders get their first taste of stronger competition in Tennessee, Stanford, and Houston in the Round Rock Classic the last weekend of February. Tech will also see two teams from the 2019 CWS in Florida State and Mississippi State. Big 12 play for Tech begins on March 13th when they’ll be hosting West Virginia in a three-game series.

The Red Raiders will see a total of 21 teams who all competed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament and will also be playing 11 games against teams from the other four Power Five conferences.

So, where does this put Tech at the end of the season?

The absolute ceiling for the Red Raiders is making another run at the College World Series. However, the youth in Tech could play a factor in how the season shakes out. 2019 commits such as right-hander Andrew Devine, Josh Jung’s brother Jace, a shortstop, and Nate Rombach, a catcher, all show promise coming into 2020 and could perhaps see valuable time in the starting lineup as the season progresses, if not on Opening Day. The leadership of second baseman Brian Klein, right handed pitcher Micah Dallas, and outfielder Dylan Neuse looks strong as all were named to an All-Big 12 team last season. Neuse and Klein both had strong showing in the batter’s box last season with Klein batting .315 and Neuse batting .298. While Dallas posted a 7-2 record, with a 4.03 ERA and 84 strikeouts on the mound in 2019. Proving themselves as intricate pieces in the Red Raiders’ run into the CWS and could be strong spots in the starting lineup coming into 2020.

Realistically, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Red Raiders capture another Big 12 title, but a deep run into the College World Series like the one in 2019 doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

Let’s face it, we could see a bit of representation of youth in the 2020 starting lineup, mainly sophomores and juniors, along with a couple freshmen. That being said, it’s never too early for predictions so here’s my Opening Day lineup:

  1. Easton Murrell, Junior, 3B, Last Season: .262 AVG, 3 RBI, 1 HR
  2. Dru Baker, Sophomore, DH, Last Season: .321 AVG, 25 RBI, 3 HR
  3. Nate Rombach, Freshman, C, HS Career: .427 AVG, 62 RBI, 10 HR
  4. Cody Masters, Junior, OF, Last Season: .290 AVG, 28 RBI, 5 HR
  5. Brian Klein, Senior, 2B, Last Season: .315 AVG, 57 RBI, 3 HR
  6. Jace Jung, Freshman, SS, HS Career: .316 AVG, 20 RBI, 4 HR
  7. Dylan Neuse, Junior, OF, Last Season: .298 AVG, 51 RBI, 8 HR
  8. Max Marusak, Sophomore, OF, Last Season: .235, 12 RBI, 1, HR
  9. Doug Facendo, Sophomore, 1B, Last Season: .231 AVG, 8 RBI, 1 HR
  10. Starting Pitcher: Micah Dallas, Sophomore, RHP, Last Season: 4.03 ERA, 84 SO, 7-2 W/L

Hang on to your butts, Red Raider baseball fans, it’s looking to be another promising season come 2020.