MWC Freshmen That are Worth the Scholarship

Andre Vigil is one of the best freshman hitters in the MWC - New Mexico Athletics

I know, that's a bit harsh but coaches are always hoping that the recruits all deliver as they did in high school. That seldom happens even with draft choices and/or All-Americans. It's just too big of a jump from high school to D1. Think of it this way, everyone on your team was at least all league if not better in high school. That kind of competition is sometimes too much to overcome. Here's a list of those in the Mountain West who did.

Mountain West Freshman That Shine

It's getting to be late in the season so it's time for me to finger the likely suspects. In this case I'm talking the babies, the newbies, the freshman of note. I don't even know if the MWC names a freshman team as there are sometimes not enough to field a team. A freshman hitting .235 making the the team just because he's a freshman doesn't cut it in my book. Then again, I have them on my list if the coach uses them a lot even if the numbers aren't scintillating. I was a bit surprised as I perused the stats (as of 5/5) and rosters while sifting around for some kids to put on this list. Why? Well some of the names are players for teams that are doing very well such as New Mexico. I expected to see significant freshman impacts for teams from the middle of the standings down as I figure experience equals winning. Not necessarily so I guess. Another thing I noticed is that studly pitchers were lacking. The eye-popping stats belonged to hitters. Unfortunately, ace freshmen are in other conferences. For those of you who have arguments with my choices, ok. I tried to be fair.

New Mexico
Andre Vigil INF
Andre has been hitting a ton this year for the Lobos. His .322 in 149 AB is among the MWC leaders and he is fourth on the team with 8 doubles. He also has 29 RBIs.
Jack Zoellner INF
He's another good freshman hitter on a team that hits. He's at .317 in 104 AB and a home run.
Carson Schneider LHP
A good pitcher on a hitting team is always valuable and coach uses him mostly in relief. He's 2-0 and 3.33 in 24 IP. He has 20 appearances and his ERA is up a bit since I first checked.
Lane Milligan C/DH
A decent catcher to spell the excellent Alex Real is a gem indeed. He's hitting .348 in 66 AB. He may start next year as Real may get drafted as a junior.
Danny Collier OF
His .365 in 126 AB is second on team which has gone up recently. Freshmen sometimes tire late in the season and he's an exception.

UNLV
none with significant playing time

SJS
Logan Handzlik RHP
I know his numbers aren't the best but he's emerged as one of the weekend starters on a poor staff and his future looks pretty bright to me. He's 2-3 and 5.29 in 51 IP.
Brett Bautista DH
His .307 leads team by 20 points in 166 AB. He has hit from the start but has spent little time on the field. I expect he will find a spot on the field next season.

Air Force
Nathan Stanford RHP
Nathan is 2-0 and 3.19 in 36 IP and 25 app which leads team. His 28 K and 5 BB are excellent but he is a bit high on hits at 42. Because of the hits the opposition hits .292. Good thing he walks so few.
Griffin Jax RHP/INF
He's hitting .250 but that's only half the story as he is one of the weekend starters.He's 3-8 and 6.06 and 78 IP (second on the team). His 38/18 K/BB and 108 hits a bit high like Stanford.
Travis Neubeck C/RHP
He's hitting .291 and 2 in 86 AB. Also pitches a bit 0-0 and 4.76 in 11 IP.
Tyler Jones INF
Tyler is hitting .323 and 3 and leads team in BA and hits. He has 164 AB and leads team in TB by far with 84 as well as 2B with 18 and hits with 53. A stud on a team that seriously lacks hitters.

Nevada
Justin Bridgman INF
His .266 in 124 AB has fallen off a bit lately. He's pretty much a full time player on a team that is starting to bloom.
Trenton Brooks OF
Trenton is .324 and 2 HR in 136 AB. In terms of stats he comes out of the same mold as Bridgman but his numbers have gone up a bit. He also pitches and is a lefty. He's 1-1 and 4.08 in 17 IP. Not bad but walks a few too many for my eye (14).

San Diego State
Cody Thompson RHP
He's 5-3 and 3.32 in 38 IP. He has started 4 games and appeared in 15. He walks too many compared to strikeouts (24/16) but the opposition BA is only .224 which is pretty good.

Fresno State
Jimmy Lambert RHP
He has undistinguished numbers at 1-6 and 6.27. Ordinarily I wouldn't post a player with these kinds of numbers but he has 9 starts among 17 appearances which tells me coach trusts this kid. You have to realize that this pitching staff is pretty decent and Batesole puts him on the mound. That tells me a lot.
Dillon Houser LHP
He's 3-0 and 1.45 in 18 IP. He has 12 appearances and has an excellent BA against at .175.

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