#10 Mississippi Baseball 2015 Preview

Mississippi Rebels

Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #5 SEC  
#10 Mississippi Baseball 2015 Preview
Mississippi Team Page


The 2014 season was a breakthrough one for Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco and their baseball program. They finally got to the College World Series under Bianco’s watch. The Rebels always have very talented teams, but just could never get over the hump in several Super Regional appearances. Ole Miss did lose a lot from last year’s team, but this is a program that reloads and does not rebuild and will be a tough out once again in 2015.

2014: 48-21, 19-11
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Bianco

Field Players:
When reloading an offensive attack it always helps to bring back your top overall homerun producer. And for Ole Miss, infielder Sikes Orvis is back to anchor things this season. Orvis always has a knack to come up big with a clutch hit and he hit 14 homeruns and drove in 53 runs last season. J. B. Woodman will be the anchor of the outfield for the Rebels and Woodman has a ton of potential for a breakout season as he can hit for a high average and has very good speed, stealing ten bases last season. Also it will be interesting to see who steps up to protect Orvis in the lineup. Infielder Colby Bortles has the ability to do it if he can cut down on the amount of strikeouts after striking out 21 times in 68 at bats.

Christian Trent is a lock for the Friday night starter spot for Ole Miss and will be looking to follow up a 9-0 season from a year ago where he had a 2.05 earned run average. Trent has great control, walking just 20 batters in 110 innings pitched, so opponents will have to earn everything against Trent if they are to beat him. Sam Smith will be back in the Sunday starting slot once again and will have to get his hits allowed total under the amount of innings pitched in order to take a step forward this season. The Saturday spot in the rotation should go to Sean Johnson, a juco signee who can throw in the low 90s, but this could be a fluid situation all year long.

Who to Watch:
The ability to get Tate Woodman through the MLB Draft and on campus in Oxford was a big time get for Ole Miss. Woodman will start right away at second base. The catcher position will be fun to watch as well as the Rebels will need to replace Will Allen. Austin Knight has the most returning experience and should be the projected starter after hitting .303 in 21 games played last season.

Final Projection:
One thing is guaranteed in Oxford every spring and that is Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field will be very electric and jam packed as Ole Miss is always among the tops in the nation in regard to attendance. The Rebels should get off to a fast start as they have plenty of winnable home games during the month of February. The schedule really begins to ramp up the week of March 10th as Ole Miss will go to 2014 College World Series participant Louisville and then on to rival Baton Rouge to play LSU. This gauntlet will truly let the Rebels know how much work they will have to do in order to make a return trip to Omaha. Another key road trip will be in early April when Ole Miss has to go to Nashville to take on defending national champion Vanderbilt in a crucial road series in SEC play. Overall, it is going to take some time for the Rebels to get rolling offensively, but they have enough pitching to buy them the time they need to be peaking by May and June. Look for Ole Miss to be right on the doorstep of a trip to Omaha once again this season.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Sikes Orvis, IF, 235
Hits:  Sikes Orvis, IF, 69
Home Runs: Sikes Orvis, IF, 14
RBIs: Sikes Orvis, IF, 53
Runs: Sikes Orvis, IF, 40
Stolen Bases: J.B. Woodman, 10

Wins: Christian Trent, P, 9
Innings Pitched: Christian Trent, P, 110.0
Strikeouts: Christian Trent, P, 86
Saves: Wyatt Short, P, 3

Madness 2015 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#13 Tate Blackman


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