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2023 Synopsis+Program Thoughts


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I will try to stay as organized with my thoughts, as possible... 


2022 #s                       2023 #s

ERA- 7.04                    ERA- 5.27

WHIP- 1.74                  WHIP- 1.49

OBA- .274                   OBA- .262 (against better competition based on SOS)

Wild pitches- 80         Wild pitches- 55

HBPs- 111 (59 games) HBP- 98 (63 games)

Substantial improvement. I still don't love the ERA/WHIP, but our season's numbers put us in the Top 30% of the country. WHIP was even a little better than that. More experienced pitching, among other things, and these #s should improve more. Also, we weren't going to go from a 7+ERA to one of the nation's leaders... this past season was a necessary step, but it should also instill some confidence that we are doing things the right way. There were multiple times Mercer threw off, somewhat early (7th inning) in games we simply were going to have to have a miracle to win. He threw off, the ERA suffered, but we were better the next game as a result, and usually could still win the series, and absorb those blows in the W/L column. 

Luke Sinnard- complete bulldog. 84IP 114Ks set the single-season HR record. Find a way to avoid the long ball some more next season and I could easily see him flirting with a 1st Team All B1G. His curveball is insane. 6'8 240lbs beast. I know it killed him to go down the tourney, kid cried in his glove as he came off the field. Had some bloated #s early because of some things out of his control. Throws 91-95

Ryan Kraft- same thing. Bull dog. Competitive more than he is talented. 88-91 from the left side. Sinker/slider. His #s were silly good this year and if it weren't for him getting dinged up against MSU, the last three weekends might have had a little different outcome. 

Risedorph/Foley- FR studs and moving forward, I assume their roles will grow and grow. Risedorph is 90-95, Foley 93-98. 

Those 4 have elite stuff. 

Whiteaker (FR) showed a lot of promise in 20IP this season, and I could see him being our Sunday guy next season. He was 90-93. Manase threw 33 innings but did not pitch the last 4 weeks of the season, he does have a year left. Phillips had a solid FR year and I think he can grow. Ayden-Decker Petty (FR) flashed in a few of his appearances and I hope he stays moving forward. Brooks Ey had one great outing in 6 innings against ILL... other than that he struggled. Luke Hayden is someone I am still intrigued by. He throws 93-97 and has a good slider...seems similar to Brown from a couple of years ago, I think he will be a good arm for us next season. 

I do think we will add an arm or two from the portal.. but, we do have young guys that we should work with and develop, as well. We will also get Holderfield back (I assume) and that's a good lefty to add back into the fold. 

Having said that--- outside of Sinnard (HUGE pickup) and Manase our portal additions weren't tremendous. I do think Levy+Seiler had some decent stuff, they just didn't execute at times. Some others have been underwhelming... Ey, Vega need to have solid years for us next year. Apparently, Vega is transferring, completely fine. 

Bothwell struggled the first 75% of the season, and that was a big reason we had to adjust how we went about things on the weekends. He would have started Game 3 against UK if Sinnard hadn't gotten hurt against WVU. 

Also, Craig Yoho was a stud and we sorely missed having him last season. 90-94mph and a disgusting sweeper. 36IP 63Ks this season. He is a SR. 

Brooks Ey- I went back and did some research, in 32 innings of summer league ball, he's thrown 51Ks 3ER. He just needs to figure it out next season and he'll be a big part of what we do. 




Position Players

Catcher- Serruto was awesome. Pete hit .265 this season and filled in for Ellis the last 75% of the season and essentially caught every inning. He threw out 30% of base stealers, as well. His production is replaceable, he's leadership and defensive ability will be harder to replicate. As I mentioned Ellis (2022 18HR 60+RBIS) was lost for the majority of the year and we were able to weather that storm. Moving forward AJ Shepard FR, I assume has the inside track at catcher (hurt this season)... we also have RS SO Austin Bode on the roster, he was highly ranked out of HS, we are bringing in a catcher TJ Shuyler that is ranked well. We could add someone in the portal, imo, if we do it will be a VET that we liked defensively. 

INF- Brock Tibbitts emergence, outside of the better pitching, was a massive development this season. He was also 2nd Team All B1G this season. 6'4 210. Brock is also a ++ defender. Legit range at 1B to do a lot of things. IMO--- Brock Tibbitts will be drafted next summer.  Big time prospect

Tibbitts FR- .266/.382/.490 9HR 43RBIs

Tibbitts SO- .355/.447/.585 10HRs 68RBIs

Phillip Glasser had an incredible two year stretch at SS, where do we go from here? We brought in De Goti last off season.. is he the guy? SS is a big question mark going into next season. We are bringing in a Top 200 SS from IL, but we could go portaling here too. I guess De Goti is transferring? 

Cerny- stud. FR All B1G Ten. Hit .280 with 10HRs this season. Damn good defensively, too. It's possible he could play SS. 

Pyne- stud. Hitting struggled early, not elite power numbers, his defense really came on late. I think Josh is going to have a big JR year. He is draft eligible this year... 


Bobby Whalen- Hit .280/.390- but elite speed, power surge late in the year. Knack for big moments, and elite defensively. He does have a year of eligibility remaining and I hope he's back as our everyday CF next season. If so, man.. that's something. All Conference possibilities. 

Devin Taylor- Monster. 16HR 60+RBIs.. .300+ avg. He did have some "low-lows" but multiple 2HR games on the road. B1G FR of year, FR AA. He did struggle in RF for a good portion of the year, but he improved for sure, and in the last weekend of the year had his best weekend defensively and had an OF assist. This kid is stud. 

Jessee-  good college baseball player. He'd be a Trey Galloway-type guy. He is out of eligibility. 

Mathison- IMO-- he had a better year this season, .300+avg with 10HRs compared to last year .270 with 19HRs. We had A LOT of nasty weather games that made for some funky avgs/ERAs... both good and bad. Carter was a recipient of a lot of tough breaks early in the year even though he was killing the ball. He's a damn good hitter. He struggled in the field. 

Colopy- can't hit a slider. Elite defender with above avg speed. Veteran that I hope sticks around. Had a massive hit against Iowa. 

Andrew Wiggins- 6'4 210lbs LH OF from Heritage Christian Top 100 player in the country is signed, It seems like he is coming to campus. Via his own Twitter and MANY of his dad's tweets. He seems like an elite talent and you throw him in here with these other guys down in the 7/8 hole and let him see a lot of fastballs, along with how our park plays... goodness. Look what we've seen from our last two FR power left-handed bats- Taylor 16HR Mathison 19HR 

2023 FR (outside of Wiggins)

Jasen Oliver- plays at an elite program out of MI-- RHP/SS- Former UM commit

Ryan Rushing- highly ranked LHP out of FL

Cal Sefcik- Top 200 ranked SS IL

Seth Benes- Top 300 ranked RHP MO

Brayden Bakes- OF IL

Blaine Albright- LHP OH

Couple others... it's a solid class, now it's simply did we scout correctly (Mathison, Tibbitts, Pyne, Foley, Whiteaker Day 1 studs for example that weren't highly ranked).. and can we get Wiggins to campus. I'm very confident we have some solid contributors here, as we've had every year under Mercer, I simply don't know which ones exactly will be the guys. Oliver, Rushing, Sefcik, Benes, Bakes are all very highly rated on Perfect Game. 

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