Too Early for Baseball? Never! Pre-Season Picks for Champions

UNLV and SDSU May be the best in the MWC - Peter Lockley/NCAA Photos

Is it to early to pick winners? The World Series is underway. They may see Snow. Fall ball is well underway and only the coaches know who will be in the starting lineup; but I can guess. I've done that already. So I go out even farther on this very thin limb (I hear it cracking) and give it a guess on which of the teams might take the title in 2014. Now that I've got you all hotter than hell with my picks, it's your turn. Read on, McDuff.

Bozar's Picks for the 2014 MWC Baseball Season

This should be a hitters' league this year as it seems to have been in the past. No real strong pitching staffs that I can see but plenty of hitting. Vegas has a pretty good staff returning and along with their hitting should prove to be the class of the MWC. Hey, now, don't get mad at me just because I picked your team low down. I'm a San Jose State fan and I have to talk to dads and coaches and look where I have them.

UNLV
The lineup is loaded with experience that can hit from top to bottom. They return three .300 hitters and two that hit .299. That's firepower. Pitching is a little better than ok and promises to be even better this year. The two Armstrong boys and T.J. White are the best of the hitters and Erik Fedde could be the best of the arms on the mound. This team will come in confident.

San Diego State
The Aztecs return a fairly potent lineup with three .300 hitters and two just a shade below. They should score some runs. Pitching is a little suspect as I have two freshmen in the rotation. That's ok if they turn out to be Tim Lincecum but not so much if they turn out to be me with my 69 year old arm. Tim Zier, Tyler France, and Ryan Muno lead the position players and Phillip Walby will be the top pitcher.

University of New Mexico
The Lobos were one of the strongest teams in the west last year but they lost most of the All-Americans and the firepower. They have some good sticks coming back but I don't know if they can duplicate last year's exploits. I kinda doubt it. Pitching also needs a bit of an overhaul as I have two transfers coming in to take their place in the rotation. That's a big question mark. Alex Real, Chase Harris, and John Pustay are the best of the hitters and Drew Bridges looks to be the ace of the rotation.

University of Nevada
Nevada has the problem of a new coach hired only a month or so before fall ball. That's a tough position to be in but he took it. He also brought in a lot of recruits a few of which look to be pretty good. They may need these newbies as only two .300 hitters return. I have three freshmen contributing to the starting lineup. The below average pitching needs work and only two returners look to be in the rotation. The pitching situation is murky at best. The Pack will be led by Austin Byler and Kewby Meyer. Tyler Wells is the best of the lot on the mound.

Fresno State
The Bulldogs suffer from an anemic attack; it's that simple. Shortstop Chris Mariscal is the lone .300 hitter and he's a good one. But he's it. Pitching is ok and could, I repeat could, be enough to make them competitive. Jordan Brink, Derick Velazquez, and Blake Quinn are solid as the starters but they will have to be stellar every time if the hitting was like last year.

Air Force
Air Force seems to always struggle. This year could be different as they have a pretty good recruiting class. They better be good as I have four of them starting in the field and two in the rotation. That's a lot of peach fuzz. You all know Lieutenant Fuzz, don't you? Oh, never mind. Seth Kline leads the hitters and is All-MWC material. Pitching will hold their collective breaths to see who performs.

San Jose State
This really hurts me to say this. Last? Why so low, Bozar? Well, they suffered through a pretty poor year last season in a conference that was just a bit below the Mountain West. Returning players are ok offensively but the pitching needs a lot of help. Matt Carroll, Andre Mercurio, and Jacob Valdez are the best of the returning players and Johnny Melero will be the experience on the mound but he needs to lop off two runs from his ERA. They are still in transition with a lot to prove.

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