June 26, 2016

My Opinion

 I've been thinking a lot about what this year could shape up to be and here is just a few things I've come up with.

      Looking at our schedule, if we play up to the standards we could have a 8 and 4 season.  We could finally shut them damn emasculate turkeys up for a season. we would also keep Bronco's bowl streak running.  Playing in Eugene will be a big game to determine how this team will pan out.  Do I think we can win that game?  Surprisingly yes but it will have to be a knock down drag out fight to the end but then again i see it looking bad for the Hoos.  I'm going to give you a little idea as to why we could have a winning season (Finally).

1)  Speed.  The guys have been forced to go faster not just body wise but also no huddle wise.

2)  Kurt Benkert.  This guy comes in and gives Johns a run for the starting job and gets it.  If he doesn't get hurt he could go 2500 to even 3000 yards.  (He would be the first QB in school history to get 3000 in a season.)

3)  Smoke.  This will be his break out year.  He will be a huge factor in the passing game and the o line will be able to allow him to get possibly over 1000 yards rushing.   Expect to see him in the back field and also in the slot.

4) Olamide Zaccheaus.  This kid has me excited what the future will hold.  Expect him to be a major contributor.  Heck i think we will even see him line up in the back field along side of smoke.

5) Quin Blanding.  Quin has been real fun to watch.  Expect him to have yet another 100 tackles and with his ball hawk ability, I see a few good interceptions.  Kelvin Rainey and Darious Latimore will help make the Cavaliers secondary a dangerous unit.

6)  Micah Kiser.  This kid should have an excellent year.  Like Blanding i see him having another year of having over 100 tackles.  I expect him to be in the back field making big plays with sacks and or tackles for losses.  The first thing that comes to mind about Micah is Micnasty.

7) Andrew Brown.  He will live up to his 5 star rating.  He will also be in the backfield on a regular bases.  He is finally healthy and this will show on the field.  Donte Wilkins will also be a big stop guy.  Look for these two guys to have an excellent year and finally help bring our defense to a great position.  

  I know i have left some great players off but these few guys i believe will have an excellent season.  I am excited to see the start of a new season with an all new coaching staff.  It will not look like the normal UVA football that we have all cussed and thrown shit and just hatted our lives.   The canes can have Richt and the chokies can have Fuente because the Hoos got a grand slam with Bronco.  Is it kickoff time yet?

June 9, 2016

MLB Draft -- Tonight!

Tonight at 7:00 pm on the MLB Network, Big League teams will draft 77 players: the 1st round (23 picks), comp picks (24-34), Lottery Round A (35-41), 2nd round (42-70) and Lottery Round B (71-77). The 3rd thru 10th round is Friday. Rounds 11 thru 40 are Saturday.

For Virginia Baseball purposes, we're really monitoring seven players, as follows...

C Matt Thaiss
Seems to be a lock for Thursday, with a signing bonus way too handsome to turn down.  Consider our junior catcher and resident big stick to be as good as gone. (It's around a $1.2 million signing bonus for 1st/2nd round juniors and HS seniors, far better than the $5,000 bonus that leverage-void college seniors get to enjoy.)

RHP Connor Jones
Two months ago, he was a top-15 pick.  His stock has slid since then, but I still think he's a Thursday lock, and gone.

SS/3B Nolan Jones
Jones is a HS senior committed to the Hoos, but he's risen up draft boards to around the late 1st / comp / lottery A realm.  I personally think it'd be a miracle if he ever makes it to UVA.

LHP Joey Wentz
Another HS senior, this flamethrower peaked as a top-15 kind of guy, but has slid down the board due to a springtime decline in velocity and some reported "signability" issues (as in, he wants a bigger signing bonus that the potential draft slot suggests).  I'd say there's about a 20% chance he ends up in Charlottesville... but I'll take that chance!  Wentz has the potential to be the best pitcher in the history of the program.  Yeah, I'm putting Seth Greisinger and Danny Hultzen on notice!

Wentz was 9-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 104 strikeouts with 12 walks and seven hits allowed this spring. He did not allow a hit in his first four starts. He hit .392 with 22 RBI and 25 runs in 75 at-bats. A Virginia commit, the 6-5 Wentz routinely has hit 90-95 this spring – an increase of about 5 mph from last spring – and become more consistent and crisper with his pitches.

Fastball: Wentz’ fastball sat 91-92 mph (touching 93) when I saw him and has reportedly been up to 96 this spring. Coming from a downhill plane with arm side run, this has the makings of an above average pitch, and should be a solid foundation from which to build the remainder of his repertoire.

Curveball: At 75-76 mph with good depth, Wentz can spin a curveball. Featuring a 1-7 break, this is Wentz’ most advanced secondary offering.

Changeup: At 79-82 mph, the changeup is more of a work in progress. Wentz will need to refine the consistency of his of this pitch to neutralize right-handed hitters. When right, it shows fade, and I can see this developing into a potentially average pitch.

DELIVERY: A good athlete, Wentz displays balance and control in his delivery that is unmatched from even the college pitchers I’ve seen this spring who are 6’5″ and taller. Leveraging his height with a high 3/4 release point, Wentz has clean arm action and repeatability in the delivery.

FUTURE: Wentz has been climbing up draft lists this spring, and having gotten one of the first looks at him of the year, I’m not surprised. There’s some projection left in his frame and MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis recently stated on a podcast that Wentz has a chance to go in top 10-15 overall picks. I view his ceiling every bit as high as Florida’s A.J. Puk, though he’s a higher risk to reach that potential. That’s no knock on Wentz but rather a testament to what three years of elite college experience can do for your development.

SS Daniel Pinero
Danny went in the 25th round as a draft-eligible sophomore, and decided to return to Virginia.  This draft will be his last chance to cash in on the underclassmen leverage... but he won't be drafted tonight and he's no lock to be drafted tomorrow.  If he slips past the 10th round, might he be tempted to return to the Hoos for one last chance to improve his draft stock and base salary slotting?  I'm guessing no... but stranger things have happened.

RHP Noah Murdock
This 6'7 beanpole has a world of talent, and has stated his strong desire to pitch in college.  Still, he's rated as a borderline top-150 prospect, and will be drafted tomorrow.  As a Hoofan, pull for him to go closer to the 10th round than the 3rd.  We need this kid in orange and blue for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons.

Colonial Heights pitcher Noah Murdock keeps getting better

At 6-foot-7, Colonial Heights pitcher Noah Murdock makes the most of his abilities

Colonial Heights' Noah Murdock Shines On The Diamond

RHP Alec Bettinger
Betty had an up-and-down season and has had an up-and-down career as a Hoo, but he's draft eligible and has been seen by scouts.  He might (probably?) hear his name called at some point on Saturday.  I think there's about a 90-95% chance he's back with the Hoos in 2017, but you never know.

I'll have a 2017 roster projection soon... maybe...  probably?

June 1, 2016

2016 Charlottesville Regional

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia baseball team opens the 2016 NCAA Baseball Championship at 1 p.m. Friday when it plays William & Mary in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field. Virginia (37-20) serves as the top seed in the regional and is hosting a regional for the ninth time in the last 13 seasons.
Following the UVA-William & Mary game Friday, Bryant and East Carolina play at 6 p.m. 
The losing teams from Friday will play in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Saturday, while the winners will battle at 6 p.m. Saturday. The second elimination game will be contested at 1 p.m. Sunday, with the championship game slated for 6 p.m. Sunday. If necessary, a second championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Monday.
All games in the regional will be broadcast online on ESPN3. 
The winner of the Charlottesville Regional will advance to play the champion of the Lubbock Regional in an NCAA Super Regional June 10-13. The Lubbock Regional consists of host Texas Tech, Dallas Baptist, New Mexico and Fairfield. 
2016 NCAA Charlottesville Regional Schedule (all games broadcast on ESPN3)
Friday, June 3 
Game 1 – No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 William & Mary, 1 p.m. 
Game 2 – No. 2 Bryant vs. No. 3 East Carolina, 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 4
Game 3 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 5
Game 5 – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 6 – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4, 6 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Game 7 – Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 6 p.m.
Team Information
Virginia will serve as a regional host site for the ninth time in program history – all within the last 13 years (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010-2014, 2016). UVA is making its 13th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament under head coach Brian O’Connor and its 16th all-time. The 2015 National Champions, Virginia is one of five schools to compete in each of the last 13 tournaments. After starting 20-14 this season, the Cavaliers went 17-6 down the stretch and won each of their final five ACC series.
No. 2 seed Bryant (47-10, 26-4 NEC) rolled to the Northeast Conference championship to earn an automatic berth in the tournament as the Bulldogs became the first NEC team to claim a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Ranked 20th nationally by Baseball America, Bryant will be making its third NCAA appearance in the last four years after serving as a No. 3 seed in 2013 (Manhattan, Kan.) and 2014 (Baton Rouge, La.). Bryant enters the NCAA Tournament with the most wins in Division I and the best run differential in the country (+4.7). The Bulldogs feature one of the nation’s potent offenses with a .324 team batting average as five starters are batting over .300 and eight regulars are hitting at least .284. UVA and Bryant have not previously met.
No. 3 seed East Carolina (34-21-1, 15-8-1 AAC) is an at-large entry in the tournament after a second-place regular-season finish in the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates and Cavaliers are familiar with one another, as ECU won two of three games in a regular-season series at Davenport Field in February. ECU is making its 28th appearance in the NCAA tournament and also appeared in the 2011 Charlottesville Regional. The Pirates’ pitching staff has been solid with a 3.99 team ERA as all three of its weekend starters own an ERA under 3.00. Freshman Dwanya Williams-Sutton leads the team in batting at .368 while ECU is hitting .287 as a team. UVA holds a 32-20 edge in the all-time series.
No. 4 seed William & Mary (29-29, 14-9 CAA) earned an automatic berth into the tournament after rallying to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship. It marks the Tribe’s fourth trip to the NCAA tournament. After losing its first game in the CAA tournament, W&M bounced back to win four straight games, including rallying from an 8-1 ninth-inning deficit against top-seeded UNC Wilmington to win in 12 innings and force a second championship game against UNCW, which the Tribe won, 14-9. UVA and W&M played on March 1 in Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers prevailing, 16-8. Charley Gould leads the team in batting at .335, while Cullen Large is hitting .328. UVA leads the all-time series with W&M, 74-29-2.