Fresno State Loses a First Round Pick so a Rebound Year Will be Tough
Fresno State has always left me shaking my head at the end of the season. They always seem to have what I think is drop dead gorgeous recruits coming in and many do well in their college years. But, I always feel this team has underperformed. They started last season as if this might be the year where they live up to high expectations as they swept UC Irvine. Well, it was not to be. They were ok but certainly not great. This season might be a good one as they lose seven players and they are good ones. Gone are seniors Taylor Tempel, Manny Argomaniz, Casey Rodriguez, William Munro, and Garrett Mundell. Two juniors were lost in the draft in catcher Taylor Ward and pitcher Jake Shull. Tempel was the team's leading hitter and really had a break out year in 2015. Argomaniz was an average hitter but was good enough to start and have over 200 AB's. Ward was a pre-season pick for AA status and had a pretty good, but not great, year. Catchers are always hard to replace. Those three were regulars that will be missed. Pitching was hit pretty hard also as Mundell and Shull shared closing duties and started also. Collectively they had 17 starts. Munro was used almost exclusively out of the pen and had 28 IP. Rodriguez had 28 appearances and did well at 2.42.
Who will be coming back? Austin Guibor and Kevin Viers will be the leading hitters returning. Viers didn't hit a ton but had seven home runs so he's a threat to have a great year. Jimmy Lambert should be the ace of the rotation next season and Anthony Arias should have an increased role as a regular in the rotation. Who will close is a big question.
So, returnees include two starting pitchers, which ain't bad and the position players return all but a third baseman, an outfielder, and a catcher. So they didn't get depleted but certainly lost some of the conference's best players in Ward and Tempel.
The Bulldogs always have good recruits. You can tell by how many get drafted. Many sign but some always ending up going to play ball with Coach Batesole.
Jake Ackerman, C - undrafted
Zach Ashford, OF - undrafted
RJ Cordeiro, INF - undrafted
Ross Dodds, INF - undrafted
Alec Gamboa, LHP - undrafted
Ryan Sullivan, RHP - undrafted
James Dawson Terrell III, OF - drafted and signed
Kenny Varnell, LHP - undrafted
Of the announced recruits, one was drafted and he signed. The rest look pretty good and should help.