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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
Here's how we look for next season, prior to acquiring more JUCO options:


Catcher

Zach Bridges (Jr.)
Matthew Suggs (Fr.)

Bridges came from the JUCO route (Brunswick CC) but only got 14 AB's this year working behind Jeffers and Sheaffer. I expect he'll get the first crack at starting, especially since LP Oxendine (listed as a catcher on the roster) didn't catch at all this season.

Suggs is an intriguing incoming freshman who might end up our full-time catcher. A local product (Hoggard), where he hit .343, Suggs was ranked the # 103 prospect in the state by Perfect Game, and # 71 by the Prep Baseball Report.

First Base

NONE

This is the biggest hole in the Seahawk lineup with the departure of Mason Berne, and the most obvious position at which to look into the JUCO route.

My # 1 target? Spartanburg Methodist's Houston Wright. We've been quite active and successful in bringing kids from the South Carolina JUCO program here, creating a bit of a pipeline. Last year for SMU, Wright played 1B and was 2nd on the team in average (.367) and slugging (.661) and first in HR (12) and RBI (45). He seems like an obvious candidate to fill this massive hole and slot into the middle of our lineup.

Second Base

Doug Angeli (So.)
Jackson Meadows (Jr.)
Brooks Baldwin (Fr.)

Angeli had the inside track at the starting 2B position this past season, but primarily because Meadows was able to be used in the OF. With the OF more loaded next season, this could be a true competition. This is a good problem to have.

Meadows was the better offensive player, hitting .252 compared to Angeli's .208. But Angeli was the better fielder, sporting a .952 fielding percentage compared to Meadows' .932.

Baldwin, ranked the # 26 prospect in the state at his position by Prep Baseball Report, will play a factor as well in 2019. Consider 2B arguably our deepest position as a result.

Third Base

Cole Weiss (Jr.)
LP Oxendine (So.)

Cole Weiss finished the season on a torrid hitting run that will likely end up putting him on one of the the All-CAA Preseason teams in 2019. Starting with the UNC game on May 15 and through the Regionals, Weiss hit a sizzling .396 (19-48) with a HR and 9 RBI. And this was all against high level competition. Weiss' job is as safe as the come, and he is a cornerstone for the 2019 squad.

Shortstop

Greg Jones (So.)
Adam Smith (Fr.)

Another job that is 100 % secure belongs of course to Greg Jones. After turning down a $1.1 million signing bonus from the Orioles to come play ball for Coach Scalf, last season, Jones didn't disappoint in flashing the elite skills that made him Baseball America's # 75 prospect entering the 2018 MLB Draft.

In his 60 starts as a freshman, Jones hit .278 last season, stole 16 bases, scored 45 runs, and even flashed some power (4 HR). His defense can use some work (.902 fielding %), but that will come in time. He showed off a cannon for an arm and made several highlight reel plays for the Hawks over the course of the season. Jones' development into his sophomore campaign will be fun to watch, as he will expect to return to the leadoff role.

Smith enters the program ranked the # 40 prospect in the state, and according to Scalf, is already a solid defensive SS. His path is of course blocked by Jones at the moment, but he can also play in the OF.

Outfield

Kep Brown (r-Jr.)
Noah Bridges (So.)
Riley Zayicek (r-So. or Jr.)
Noah Liles (So.)
Brycen Braswell (So.)
Christopher Thorburn (Fr.)
Broadus Roberson (Fr.)

Outfield will be very deep in 2019 with the return of Riley Zayicek from injury. Zayicek was hitting well (11-36, HR, 5 RBI) before going down, and joins a solid core that will also include Jackson Meadows in the rotation.

Not only can we expect a monster year out of Kep Brown, and for young guys like Bridges and Liles to take steps in their progress, the incoming freshmen are exciting as well. Christopher Thorburn is the younger brother of Robbie, and is ranked the #45 prospect in the state by PG. Roberson is already being hailed by Scalf as a player who can potentially become an "elite player in our program", with "plus-power" and the ability to play all 3 positions.

Starting Pitching

RHP Gage Herring (So.)
LHP Zarion Sharpe (r-So. or Jr.)
RHP Landen Roupp (So.)
LHP Blake Morgan (r-Sr.)
RHP Nick Bruno (r-So.)
RHP Breydan Gorham (r-Jr.)
RHP Jake Smith (Fr.)
RHP Michael Picollo (Fr.)

With Alex Royalty likely gone, the Seahawk starting staff is on pretty shaky ground heading into 2019. Herring shows promise as the potential Friday starter, especially after pitching a 6.2 inning gem against Delaware in the CAA Tournament (1 ER, 5 H, 6 K's, 1 BB). But nothing is set in stone about the weekend rotation. And as we know, Coach Scalf has re-shaped the pitching staff, building "back to front" with the bullpen.

Zarion Sharpe's return from injury could prove crucial. After reaching the 2017 CAA All-Rookie team, Sharpe picked up where he left off in 2018, posting a 3.74 ERA through his first 5 starts. Expect him to be in the mix for sure.

An intriguing crop of freshmen pitchers were signed in 2019 that included Justin Jarvis, Jake Smith, and Michael Picollo. All 3 of the aforementioned pitchers were drafted, with Jarvis going in the 5th round. Thus, its hard to project which will make it to campus, though it seems safe to say that Jarvis is a goner.

Bullpen

RHP Henry Ryan (Jr.)
LHP Justin Walke (Sr.)
RHP Blake Deatherage (Sr.)
LHP Levi Gesell (r-Sr.)
RHP Luke Gesell (Jr.)
LHP Chris Joyner (Jr.)
RHP Andrew Tilghman (r-Sr.)

Despite the likely loss of closer Clark Cota and Logan Beehler, and definite losses of Austin Warren, Austin Easter, the Seahawk bullpen remains deep and talented. And its numbers will grow as newcomers are slotted into their various roles.

Other than his hiccup at the regionals against ECU, where he allowed 2 runs in an inning of work, Henry Ryan was nearly perfect for the Hawks as a sophomore. The big 6-5, 230 lbs. righty, whose fastball tops out in the mid to upper 90s, posted a 1.11 ERA over 17 appearances, striking out 23 and walking 11 over 24.1 innings. Opposing batters hit just .145 against him. With Cota and Warren gone, and with them 15 combined saves in '18, Ryan slots in as the closer and most important reliever for the Hawks in 2019. Those are big shoes to fill, but Ryan has the arm talent and productivity to prove he can handle the role.

Behind Ryan are a bevy of options for Scalf and pitching coach Matt Williams. Walke, just as he was in 2018, will be UNCW's most important lefty reliever, coming off a heavy workload this past campaign. Only Warren (28), Cota (27) and Easter (26) had more appearances last season than Walke (21). And of course, the former 3 are all gone.

Throw in the other options and this unit will be very deep and strong once again in '19. Even if the starting pitching is a question mark, 2019 will be a success primarily because of this group. As long as the Hawks can get a lead by the 6th inning in games, they can be confident they'll get a W.

Projected Lineup:

1. Greg Jones SS
2. Cole Weiss 3B
3. Kep Brown RF
4. Houston Wright 1B
5. Riley Zayicek DH
6. Matthew Suggs C
7. Jackson Meadows LF
8. Doug Angeli 2B
9. Noah Bridges CF

Projected Rotation:

Friday: Gage Herring
Saturday: Zarion Sharpe
Sunday: Landen Roupp
Midweek: Blake Morgan, Nick Bruno

Bullpen:

Closer: Henry Ryan
Setup: Justin Walke
Middle Relief: Blake Deatherage, Levi Gesell, Luke Gesell, Chris Joyner
(This post was last modified: 06-08-2018 10:43 AM by Seahawk Nation 08.)
06-06-2018 10:12 PM
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Seahawkhoops Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
Good write up as always 08. Question, as deep as our OF projects to be, could any of them be our potential 1B, if we were not to land another via Juco or other?
06-06-2018 10:28 PM
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tke75hawk Offline
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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
I heard Beehler did not want to come back to play next year

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06-07-2018 03:23 AM
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bricksnivy Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-06-2018 10:28 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Good write up as always 08. Question, as deep as our OF projects to be, could any of them be our potential 1B, if we were not to land another via Juco or other?

It looks like we're deep on the IF too, with the exception of 1B and C. The two freshman, Smith and Baldwin, should give us a lot of flexibility (and several options at 2B...creating a strong competition). I assume one of those two freshman will be given a shot behind Weiss at 3B too (and can step in as his replacement their sophomore season).

The first three batters of Jones, Weiss and Brown is really strong. Plus, the development of someone like Weiss along lends to optimism for a jump by this years freshman class. As always, we're in pretty good shape with Schalf and Hood leading the charge.
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2018 06:25 AM by bricksnivy.)
06-07-2018 06:22 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 03:23 AM)tke75hawk Wrote:  I heard Beehler did not want to come back to play next year

Dang, that's a tough loss. I suppose he's graduating?
06-07-2018 07:12 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-06-2018 10:28 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Good write up as always 08. Question, as deep as our OF projects to be, could any of them be our potential 1B, if we were not to land another via Juco or other?

I don't think any of them could move to 1B, but its possible. I sincerely doubt we fail to fill the hole via JUCO's. There's always plenty of them available.
06-07-2018 07:16 AM
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ml1323 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 07:16 AM)Seahawk Nation 08 Wrote:  
(06-06-2018 10:28 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Good write up as always 08. Question, as deep as our OF projects to be, could any of them be our potential 1B, if we were not to land another via Juco or other?

I don't think any of them could move to 1B, but its possible. I sincerely doubt we fail to fill the hole via JUCO's. There's always plenty of them available.

If smith is a #40 prospect in NC, maybe he moves over to first to have his bat in the lineup?
06-07-2018 07:35 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 07:35 AM)ml1323 Wrote:  If smith is a #40 prospect in NC, maybe he moves over to first to have his bat in the lineup?

He's only listed as having played SS and OF in High School. Plus Scalf seems to like his glove at short.

By the time he's a Junior and Greg Jones leaves early, the job could be his.
06-07-2018 07:39 AM
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tke75hawk Offline
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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
Greg Jones can leave after next season

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06-07-2018 07:46 AM
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bricksnivy Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 07:46 AM)tke75hawk Wrote:  Greg Jones can leave after next season

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How?
06-07-2018 07:55 AM
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tke75hawk Offline
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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
He will be 21 and can be drafted

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06-07-2018 08:00 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 08:00 AM)tke75hawk Wrote:  He will be 21 and can be drafted

I don't think age is the defining rule. If you choose not to go pro out of HS, You have to wait 3 years to be drafted again. Thus I do not think he'll be eligible after his sophomore season.
06-07-2018 08:15 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
Hmm, just checked and tke appears to be correct!

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/rules.jsp

Certain groups of players are ineligible for selection, generally because they are still in school. The basic categories of players eligible to be drafted are:

- High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;

- College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and

- Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed
06-07-2018 08:19 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
Jones must have been held back a grade at some point. Possibly for competitive purposes.
06-07-2018 08:20 AM
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tke75hawk Offline
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Seahawk Baseball in 2019
I talked to his dad after someone told me one could be drafted next year.they are looking at him to play outfield.he was held out in 1st grade

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06-07-2018 08:27 AM
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Seahawkhoops Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 07:16 AM)Seahawk Nation 08 Wrote:  
(06-06-2018 10:28 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Good write up as always 08. Question, as deep as our OF projects to be, could any of them be our potential 1B, if we were not to land another via Juco or other?

I don't think any of them could move to 1B, but its possible. I sincerely doubt we fail to fill the hole via JUCO's. There's always plenty of them available.

Just listening to BnB and Alex said he thinks Kep will be the first baseman as he's worked out there a lot.
06-07-2018 10:48 AM
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Seahawk Nation 08 Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 10:48 AM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Just listening to BnB and Alex said he thinks Kep will be the first baseman as he's worked out there a lot.

Nice. That would open up a spot for Noah Liles or Riley Zayicek.
06-07-2018 10:49 AM
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bricksnivy Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
(06-07-2018 10:49 AM)Seahawk Nation 08 Wrote:  
(06-07-2018 10:48 AM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  Just listening to BnB and Alex said he thinks Kep will be the first baseman as he's worked out there a lot.

Nice. That would open up a spot for Noah Liles or Riley Zayicek.

I suppose if Jones moves to the OF it will be CF.
06-07-2018 11:03 AM
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jumpinmullet Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
I have seen Baldwin play and he is very good but not sure he is a D1 SS or even a D1 player as a freshman. Duggs is a much better looking player,hits for average and power,very fast and a big arm. The stats listed above for him are not his senior season stats-he was much better than those numbers. UNCW should continue to look at local area kids because there are a ton of them around.
06-07-2018 02:40 PM
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billthebighawksfan Offline
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RE: Seahawk Baseball in 2019
I like our infield right now but if Jones wants to play OF, it may help him out later and he would be very good. That would only work with a good SS though. Meadows and Angeli came on late with their bats as both are good fielders too. Weiss is a good hitter and very clutch...I'm hoping that he can carry this forward. Zayicek would be a nice powerful addition to Kep Brown to give the Hawks some power production. I like the team speed that they have. Getting Bridges going would be big as he's fast too.

Starting pitching getting more solid would help in the post season. Nation has:

Projected Rotation:

Friday: Gage Herring
Saturday: Zarion Sharpe
Sunday: Landen Roupp
Midweek: Blake Morgan, Nick Bruno

Bullpen:

Closer: Henry Ryan
Setup: Logan Beehler, Justin Walke
Middle Relief: Blake Deatherage, Levi Gesell, Luke Gesell, Chris Joyner.

That's not a bad situation, but can you get into and out of a Regional? It would seem to me that 2 of those 3 starters would have to take a nice step up and they can with work. Herring seems most ready to give 6 plus against quality at this time. Luke Gesell impressed me this year with his makeup and could potentially be a starter or a closer. Ryan looked very good too. Both guys have good stuff. Blake Morgan is nasty against lefties and showed some "it factor". I like that because he gives the staff a very different look with his deceptive southpaw delivery. Will Sharpe be ready to go next year after the injury? A freshman arm or 2 could really be the difference here-it was big this year. Heck, any one of those guys could be the next guy. The depth of the staff has really improved and needed to because it's about arms at the end of the day. Still, you do need to have at least 2 starters be able to log big innings with quality to be very good.

Scalf and staff have stepped up their recruiting lately late in the game so another few pieces may just come our way. Players GET drafted here at a high rate and that GETS noticed. They know what to do and the players/parents of players have to know that. That's why the talent level has been going up lately.
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2018 10:29 PM by billthebighawksfan.)
06-07-2018 10:18 PM
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