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Air Force; Loaded with Hitters Not so Much with Pitchers

Tyler Jones could compete with New Mexico’s Stajduhar for POY in the MWC
Mike Kaplan

Air Force Baseball Lineup for 2017

The Falcons ended up a pretty good 30-27 in 2016. They could hit, brother, could they hit. Think .325 for the team BA and you see what I mean. I always doubted their pitching because of where they play. However, they did end up with the Co-POY in Griffin Jax which means he could pitch most anywhere and he did. But what about the coming season?

They had six .300 hitters last season and one (Tyler Jones) with serious pop. Even those that didn't see much action could hold their own in the batting box. The team ERA, on the other hand, was not that good at 5.37 but if they could hold the other team to five or six runs, they usually won.

So how do things look for this season? Take a peek.

Bozar's Best Guess:

C - Travis Wilkie (JR) - .276 and 0

1B - Russell Williams (SR) - .306 and 5

2B - Shaun Mize (SR) - .274 and 2

SS - Tyler Zabojnik (JR) - .290 and 2

3B - Nic Ready (SO) - .329 and 6 (Co-Freshman of the Year and second team All-MWC)

OF - Tyler Jones (SR) - .360 and 19 (first team All-MWC)

OF - Adam Groesbeck (SR) - .378 and 5

OF - Cory Campbell (FR) -

DH - Bradley Haslam (SR) - .408 and 3 (first team All-MWC as a DH)

SP - Jacob DeVries (SR) - 6-6 and 5.09

SP - Nick Biancalana (JR) - 3-5 and 5.79

SP - Ethan Nichols (SO) - 0-4 and 7.52

SP - Matt Hargreaves (SO) - 3-2 and 4.71

RP - ?

As you can see, there is a lot of pop and senior leadership on this team. Both of those count for a lot. This team figures to challenge for the title this year. If their pitching can settle in, they could be there at the end. There was only one hole in the lineup but the rotation needs at least one regular arm to step up or have a newbie show his stuff. The closer looks to be by committee so I'll leave that one alone. I did notice one red flag in the stats; far too many walks by the pitching. Speaking of which, coach has a lot of high profile young arms coming in so don't be too surprised to see one starting most anywhere, well, pitching anyway. You’ll notice I have freshman Cory Campbell in the outfield but the returning vets ARE pretty strong across the board. Here are a few of the other newbies that you may want to watch. Evan Floyd (RHP and a HS AA), Jeff Gerlica (RHP), and Shawn Kelley (C and honorable mention All-Texas at his school’s level). The arms will certainly get looks in fall ball. Position recruits? Look at that lineup above and you tell me who they’re going to bump.