On the heels of a 45 win “rebuilding year” for Louisville Baseball, the bar has been set back to what is normally expected of the program. The young guns on the roster such as Bobby Miller, Reid Detmers and Zach Britton all have a valuable year of experience, all the while being lead by experienced leaders like Nick Bennett, Logan Wyatt and Bryan Hoeing.
Coach Dan McDonnell has all the tools for success to have a phenomenal 2019 season. With fall workouts in the books, it’s time to take a peek into the future and project who Coach Mac will write on the starting lineup card come February.
Starting Lineup/Batting Order
- Tyler Fitzgerald (SS). In his third year with the program, shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald has done enough to prove his worth after spending the entirety of the 2018 season in the leadoff spot. While posting a decent batting average of .264, the junior from Rochester, Illinois made up for it with his ability to get on base and steal more bases. He ranked fourth on last year’s squad in total bases, and is second amongst still active players from 2018 in stolen bases and stolen base attempts.
- Jake Snider (CF). Also spending the entirety of 2018 in the two-hole, like Fitzgerald, junior Jake Snider’s on base percentage and base running ability was enough to justify him keeping his spot at second in the lineup. With Josh Stowers being drafted by the Mariners, Snider now retains the title as fastest player on the team, warranting the transition to center field from left field. He was second on the team in 2018 in both stolen bases and stolen base attempts behind only Stowers, with a .300 batting average to boot.
- Logan Wyatt (1B). It’s hard to argue against putting Logan Wyatt at 3rd in the batting order. The junior from The Ville, 2018 Third-Team All-American (Collegiate Baseball Newspaper) and First-Team All-ACC selection lead the team in batting average (.369), RBIs (69), walks (63) and on base percentage (.490). With the base stealing of prowess of Fitzgerald and Snider, Wyatt has a chance to really increase his RBI total from last year.
- Danny Oriente (DH). After only appearing in two games in 2017 due to an injury suffered on opening weekend, Danny Oriente came back and had a very solid 2018 campaign. Securing his role as the designated hitter after taking some reps in the outfield, the junior was third on the team in batting average (.331) and fourth in RBIs (41).
- Drew Campbell (RF). Spending his freshman year at Olny Central College in Illinois and transferring to UofL afterwards, his sophomore year with the Cards was a successful affair. The now junior found his niche in a crowded outfield and ended up ranking fifth on the team in batting average (.313).
- Lucas Dunn (2B). Utilizing mainly a pinch hitting role in 2018, the sophomore from Panama City Beach gets his fair shake at a starting chance with Devin Mann being drafted by the Dodgers. In just 66 at-bats, he was able to post a respectable .303 batting average and .439 slugging percentage. Had Dunn been a regular starter, he would have posted 7 home runs and 40 RBIs.
- Ethan Stringer (LF). Also mainly taking on a pinch hitting role because of a crowded outfield, the junior from Covington finds himself a permanent home by moving from right field to left field. He registered a respectable .276 average, with flashes of power over the course of the season (3 home runs and a .429 slugging percentage).
- Zach Britton (C). While not posting very impressive season stats, sophomore catcher Zach Britton was money when it mattered most. In the ACC Tournament, he was 2 for 6 with 5 RBIs including a 3 run home run in the ACC Championship Game against Florida State.
- Justin Lavey (3B). A mainstay at third baseman over the last couple years because of his strong arm, junior Justin Lavey still has a bit of work to do at the plate. He posted a batting average of .248 and an OPS of .667 (Both lowest among players with 60 appearances), but has the potential for power with 3 home runs in 2018.
Starting Pitching Rotation
- Nick Bennett (LHP). Playing behind ace pitchers such as Brendan McKay, Kade McClure and Adam Wolf, the 2017 Freshman All-American Nick Bennett finally gets his shot to be the Friday starter. With a record of 8-2 in 2018, he also boasted a 2.84 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, with a strikeout to walk ratio of 72-27.
- Bobby Miller (RHP). Another Freshman All-American, this time in 2018, Bobby Miller moves up a spot in the weekend rotation after a stellar season. He not only has an ERA of 2.97, but allowed an opponent batting average of .198. His 6-1 record in 2018 was also good for fourth on the team in wins.
- Reid Detmers (LHP). Not to be outdone by his fellow freshman Bobby Miller, southpaw Reid Detmers also had himself a solid freshman year. While having a slightly high ERA at 4.85, he was a very solid strike thrower, logging 69 strikeouts on the season (3rd on the team).
- Brian Hoeing (RHP). The lone upperclassman in the starting rotation, Bryan Hoeing decided to return to Louisville after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the 1,066th pick in the 36th round. Used mainly as a long reliever with a few starts, he posted an ERA of 2.88 over 68.2 innings pitched.
- Jack Perkins (RHP). Coach Mac tends to give at least one incoming freshman a shot in the starting rotation, and Jack Perkins could be the guy to pick. He finished his career at Kokomo High School with a 1.91 ERA over 143 inning pitched, and knotched 207 total strikeouts.