February 12, 2013
2013 Wahooze Baseball Preview
Posted by Mike
Greetings baseball fans. It's that time of year again. Snow is pummeling the northeast, Virginia basketball is marching toward the Tournament, signing day has football optimism at new heights. What better time to start BASEBALL SEASON!!! Believe it or not, we open at ECU on Friday. The Hoos return a significant portion of their roster this season, and excitement is starting to build at Davenport Field. This season the we will boast a mix of fresh faces and returning vets from a season that left all Hoofans wanting more. Expectations are high this season, as the Hoos have proven over the Brian O'Connor (BOC) years to be a consistent threat in the ACC. UVA starts the season ranked 25th, but that could change as questions get answered.
To say the least: That lineup oozes potential. It also doesn't include contributors in Mike Papi and Kenny Towns, in addition to talented newcomers Joe McCarthy and George Ragsdale. The Hoos are going to mash. It won't really even be funny at some point. Screw gap to gap, some of these guys can hit lightpole to lightpole. If competition breeds success, we should be in for an offensive treat.
Weekday- Brett Lisle
Artie Lewicki is the huge wildcard here. BOC has stated that he expects Lewicki, who emerged last season as a force on the bump, to return to the mound this season. If he can return to form, it really changes the landscape of this team. A fully healthy Artie Lewicki would bump everyone back a spot as he would become our Friday night starter. The other player that could open some eyes is Nate Kirby. This kid is a stud, and has the stuff to start on Fridays, and he has that stuff right now. I think if he has a good start, he will be the Friday night guy by the end of the season. Brett Lisle is another player I am excited to see. I am very bullish on the 6-9 lefty and think, if anything, he will intimidate our midweek opponents, which I think is a real advantage you can exploit. I think Lisle has a huge ceiling though and would not be surprised to see him challenge for the weekend. Other young arms to challenge include Josh Sborz and Brandon Waddell, who put in very solid fall seasons.
Nate Irving is the key to this season. Last season we discussed the need for a veteran presence at catcher, and the trust that pitchers and catchers must have to succeed. Irving is ready to be that guy this season. With such potential fluidity on the mound, it will be important to have an experienced catcher behind the plate to keep everyone on the same page.
We all know Derek Fisher is good. But this is the season where Derek Fisher will be GREAT. If King can protect him in the lineup, Fisher will emerge as potentially one of the best players in the entire country. Kid can HIT HIT HIT, and it should get everyone at Davenport very excited.
What in the world is going on with Mike Papi? He went from freshman sensation to doghouse and out of the lineup last season. The kid has a world of talent, and if he can work his way back onto the field, he could be a great addition.
If we follow the recent patterns, the Hoos should be bound for Omaha this season. That being said, that is a long way away. This team has amazing potential, but until the pitching is worked out, it will not be able to reach it. Once we figure it out though, the sky is the limit. If not being able to pick from all your talent is your problem, you have a great problem. This will get sorted out, and the Hoos will come together and make a late charge to Omaha. That is my expectation, and it should be yours as well.