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UNLV Has Experienced Rotation to Start the Season

A sophomore and the rest upperclassmen make up the rotation and closer roles. That's a lot of experience which should pay dividends from the first game. Blaze Bohall could be a good one this year.

Kenny Oakley is one of the experienced arms returning to a deep rotation
Kenny Oakley is one of the experienced arms returning to a deep rotation
Eric Toliver

UNLV Outfield Needs Overhall but Rest of Lineup is Good

For the Rebels 2014 was excellent with great pitching but 2015 was a case of the wheels falling off. I had them picked to finish fairly high in the MWC but they just barely kept out of the cellar with SJS being a solid last place. They have other problems also. Coach Tim Chambers has had health issues among other troubles that I don't feel right getting into and he recently resigned So, who's in charge. That is the biggest question heading into 2016. Assistant Coach Stan Stolte had been named interim coach and he got the job permanently as of December 18th. I'm sure it was a bittersweet moment for him. This elevation of authority should calm the waters in an otherwise disruptive situation. Good luck, Coach.

The Rebels lost all of their starting outfield which has to be rebuilt. Catcher and first base also need new faces. Pitching will be the gold star this season as a three starters with at least 12 starts in 2015 return. That leaves a lot of room for experimentation for the rotation as some good recruits come in that will demand at least a mid-week start or two. The closer is another spot that will take some time to fill as no one returns with much experience.

My guess:

C - Andrew Yazdanbakhsh (SR) - .410 in 39 AB's
1B - Corey Pool (JR transfer)
2B - Justin Jones (JR) - .222
SS - Nick Rodriguez (SO) - .259
3B - Payton Squier (SO)/Austin Anderson (SO)- .287/.270
OF - A.J. VanMeetren (SR) - .276 and 1
OF - Max Smith (FR)
OF - Carlos Robles (JR transfer)
DH - Vince Taormina (FR)

SP - Blaze Bohall (SO) - 6-3 and 3.66
SP - Kenny Oakley (SR) - 4-5 and 3.18
SP - D.J. Myers (JR) - 2-4 and 4.50
SP - Ben Wright (SR) - 1-2 and 3.83
RP - Cody Roper (SR) - 0-2 and 4.91 and 1 save

Coach Stolte's lineup:

C - as above or Bryan Menendez - .059 in 17 ABs
1B - Nick Ames (FR) -
2B - Justin Jones -
SS - Nick Rodriguez -
3B - Kyle Isbel (FR) -
OF - Payton Squier -
OF - Corey Pool -
OF - Cody Howard (JR)/Keyon Allen (Transfer) - .200 in 10 ABs
DH - A.J. VanMeetren -

SP - Blaze Bohall -
SP - Ben Wright -
SP - D.J. Myers -
SP - Kenny Oakley -
RP - Cody Roper/Dean Kremer (transfer)

Coach Stolte is another one of those guys who was more than helpful with my questions. I send the coaches my best guess and ask for help; some help and some don't. Most are glad to get the free coverage. I wonder if an SEC coach would do the same? Anyway, coach has a lot of the same names as I have but he has shuffled them around a bit. I had two frosh starting and so did he but different ones both of which I covered in my recruits post a while back. He also said that Austin Anderson could start anywhere in the infield so he's got some flexibility to work with; always nice. He feels pitching is pretty much the same as I had it but a juco transfer (Kremer) is also in the mix and all could either start or close. I feel Bohall is a rising star in the MWC.

I said to coach that I feel this year the MWC could be very strong in pitching. Or, in other words, the MWC could be considered a pitching conference. The teams that I've written up so far seem to return just about everyone to the rotation. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.