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Air Force Returns Strong Lineup and a Good Freshman for 2016

The Falcons return most of the position players and their top hitters and the rotation comes back in full. They still need to improve the pitching and a new freshman could impress at 3B.

Monaghan is one of the MWC's premier pitchers
Monaghan is one of the MWC's premier pitchers
Mike Kaplan

Air Force Lineup for 2016

Air Force could surprise in 2016. The potent offense comes back nearly intact with the top four hitters still raising heck with opposing pitchers. They will need to replace the corner infielders but a big recruiting class and not much lost from the veterans means they probably will find someone; probably a freshman as coach has shown little fear in starting youngsters.

Pitching is actually in pretty good shape. They return ace Trent Monaghan and two other vets in Jax and DeVries. Monaghan should be one of the top pitchers in the MWC this season and he has good stuff. The Falcons are extremely tough at home as it's a tough park for opposing pitchers who aren't used to seeing a good offense take advantage of a home park. Think Colorado Rockies and their launching pad. Colorado Springs has wind going out to left and the altitude. Pitchers love both, just ask ‘em. They will have to find a new closer also.

My best guess:

C - Travis Wilkie (SO) - .224 and 1
1B - ?
2B - Tyler Zabojnik (SO) - .241
SS - Shaun Mize (JR) - .201 and 1
3B - Nic Ready (FR) - high school AA
OF - Adam Groesbeck (JR) - .338 and 5
OF - Spencer Draws (SR) - .314 and 1
OF - Tyler Jones (JR) - .301 and 6
DH - Bradley Haslam (JR) - .347

SP - Trent Monaghan (SR) - 5-6 and 2.75
SP - Griffin Jax (JR) - 3-10 and 5.17
SP - Jacob DeVries (JR) - 5-5 and 4.68
SP - Nick Biancalana (SO) - 0-1 and 6.75
RP - ?

Coach Kazlausky was gracious enough to come back and give his lineup to me. I am always thankful.

Coach Kaz's lineup:

C - Travis Wilkie
1B - Russ Willimas (JR) - .194 and 2
2B - Shaun Mize (SO) - 
SS - Tyler Zabojnik (JR) - 
3B - Nic Ready (FR)
OF - Adam Groesbeck (JR) - 
OF - Spencer Draws (SR) - 
OF - Tyler Jones (JR) - 
DH - Bradley Haslam (JR) - 

SP - Trent Monaghan (SR) - 
SP - Griffin Jax (JR) -
SP - Jacob DeVries (JR) -
SP - Nick Biancalana (SO) -
RP - Nathan Stanford (JR) - 1-1 and 6.48 and 1 save

So, overall the offense looks in good shape and the pitching should improve. The Falcons could move up a notch or two. Coach feels pitching will be the strength of the team but I have my doubts. Monaghan is a stud, no doubt, but the others have a lot to prove. If DeVries and Jax come through as he thinks they will, then the rest of the MWC is in trouble.