#31 St. John's Baseball 2015 Preview

St. John’s Red Storm

Overall Rank: #31
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
#31 St. John's Baseball 2015 Preview
St. John's Team Page


St. John’s brings back a very experienced team in 2015 with a nice mix of talent and depth that will be primed to get back to the NCAA Tournament after missing it in 2014, following an upset in the Big East Tournament. The Red Storm are usually a very fundamentally sound club under veteran head coach Ed Blankmeyer and are always difficult to deal with in the postseason.

2014: 35-20, 13-5
2014 Postseason: None
Coach: Ed Blankmeyer

Field Players:
This lineup is going to be very deep in 2015 as virtually everyone returns this season and that is a great foundation for St. John’s in their quest to win the Big East Championship. Outfielder Michael Donadio is arguably the best all-around player in the Red Storm lineup. Donadio hit .328, had an on-base percentage of .434, hit five home runs and drove in 45 runs last season. Robbie Knightes also returns and he was one of the top contact hitters in the nation as a freshman with .399 average, which was good enough for 8th in all of college baseball. The primary power source should be infielder Matt Harris, who hit six homeruns and drove in 47 runs during the 2014 season for the Red Storm.

Joe McCormick will most likely be the Friday night starter in weekend series for Coach Blankmeyer this season. McCormick was 7-2 with a 4.28 earned run average last season while having pretty good control, allowing just 25 walks in 69.1 innings. The key for McCormick this season is going to be lowering the amount of hits in relation to innings pitched. He allowed 76 hits in 69.1 innings of work in 2014. The closer position is going to be another huge strength for St. John’s thanks to the return of Joe Kuzia. Kuzia was virtually lights out in 2014. Despite being 0-2, he had an earned run average of just 0.97 and his control was excellent as he only walked nine batters in 37 innings of work.

Who to Watch:
The battle to replace James Lomangino in the starting rotation will be a very interesting one to watch heading into the start of the season for the Red Storm. Lomangino was 6-5 with a 3.65 earned run average and was the workhorse of the rotation, pitching 91.1 innings. Junior left-hander Alex Katz could be the frontrunner to take Lomangino’s spot in the rotation. Katz was 1-2 with a 3.86 earned run average, while making nine starts in 16 appearances last season. From the position player perspective, keep an eye on Alex Caruso, who is a preseason All-Big East selection in the Outfield. Caruso does a nice job of working the count to get on base, drawing a league-high 35 walks, while hitting .326.

Final Projection:
The schedule has a nice balance for St. John’s that will help them set a strong tone right off the bat. The season opens against Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State, who were NCAA Tournament teams in 2014. A mid-major showdown with Liberty looms the following weekend on February 21st and then three days later the Red Storm will battle a tough North Carolina squad. The toughest non-conference series will be March 6-8 at Oregon because of the combination of travel and quality of opponent. In Big East play, a road trip to TD Ameritrade Park to play Creighton for a critical series will go a long way in determining the conference champion in 2015. In short, there is too much experience returning this season for St. John’s to not win the Big East and secure the automatic bid to get back to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Robert Wayman, IF, 210
Hits: Michael Donadio, OF, 62
Home Runs: Matt Harris, IF, 6
RBIs: Matt Harris, IF, 47
Runs: Michael Donadio, OF, 50
Stolen Bases: Robert Wayman, IF, 10

Wins: Joe McCormick, P, 7
Innings Pitched: Joe McCormick, P, 69.1
Strikeouts: Joe McCormick, P, 59
Saves: Joe Kuzia, P, 13


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