#6 UCLA Baseball 2015 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12  
#6 UCLA Baseball 2015 Preview
UCLA Team Page


UCLA will be looking to make a quick turnaround to get back into the conversation as a College World Series threat in 2015. The inability to generate enough consistency offensively was a huge reason for the Bruins missing the NCAA Tournament last season. The offense only generated 200 runs, which is nowhere close enough to where they need to be, but the pitching was not too bad as they only allowed 220 runs all season long.

2014: 25-30-1, 12-18
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Savage

Field Players:
The offensive production will be the lynchpin to UCLA’s success in 2015 as the Bruins are usually pretty strong on the mound and will keep games close. Outfielder Ty Moore is the most productive returning player this season for UCLA. Moore hit. 294 and hit two of the Bruins eight homeruns last season while driving in 24. It is going to be important for Moore to get his power numbers up closer to five homeruns and drive in about 40-45 runs to offset the loss of Shane Zeile, the only position player to hit over .300 last season for UCLA. Infielder Trent Chatterton is also going to have to step up and build off his .291 batting average and build off his 17 runs batted in total from last season.

James Kaprielian will be back to anchor the starting rotation this season for the Bruins. Kaprielian had a solid 2014 season, going 7-6 with a 2.29 earned run average and he probably deserved a better fate than what his win-loss record showed. Kaprielian was definitely a workhorse, throwing 106.0 innings and he did a nice job of limiting damaging innings. Opponents hit just .201 and were able to only get 76 hits off of him. David Berg is back to anchor the bullpen and will be one of the best closers in the nation. He had 11 saves out of the 25 wins that UCLA had in 2014.

Who to Watch:
The return of Kevin Kramer this season could be a significant difference maker for the Bruins offensive attack in 2015. Kramer is receiving some preseason all-American honors and missed the entire 2014 season due to injury. When healthy back in 2013, Kramer started all 66 games at third base during UCLA’s run to the 2013 National Championship and put up solid offensive numbers by hitting .278 and three homeruns, while driving in 42. He drew 30 walks as well. If Kramer can put up similar numbers, he will instantly upgrade the Bruins lineup and take the pressure off the pitching staff to be perfect.

Final Projection:
The non-conference schedule, while still tough, has a little bit more balance throughout the course of the season for UCLA. A trip to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina will be a huge early season test that will give Coach Savage a gauge of where his team is truly at nationally. On March 6th and 7th Vanderbilt and TCU will visit on consecutive days to Jackie Robinson Stadium. The ability to execute well offensively is going to be tested to the max in those two games as both the Commodores and Horned Frogs don’t give you many chances to score runs. The annual home and home battles with area rivals UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton are scattered as mid-week games in between the gauntlet that is the Pac-12 conference. A home series with Washington leads off the conference schedule along with a visit from Utah the following weekend. The two toughest conference road trips should be to Stanford and Oregon at the end of the regular season. The key is going to be hold serve at home win series and grind out a .500 record on the road in conference play. Bottom line, its all about the offense in 2015 for UCLA. If they get it fixed, they will be a serious threat to get to Omaha and the College World Series.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Ty Moore, OF, 211
Hits: Ty Moore, OF, 62
Home Runs: Ty Moore, OF, 2
RBIs: Ty Moore, OF, 24
Runs: Ty Moore, OF, 28
Stolen Bases: Christoph Bono, OF, 3

Wins: James Kaprielian, P, 7
Innings Pitched: James Kaprielian, P, 106.0
Strikeouts: James Kaprielian, P, 108
Saves: David Berg, P, 11

Madness 2015 MLB Draft Rankings:
#26 James Kaprielian
#69 Cody Poteet

Madness 2015 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#14 Sean Bouchard


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