#43 Minnesota Baseball 2017 Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
Minnesota reached the NCAA Tournament last season and will hope for similar success this time around. The Golden Gophers managed to reach the Regional Final where they fell to host Texas A&M. Coach John Anderson must replace pitchers Dalton Sawyer and Matt Fiedler on a team that often struggled on the mound. Look for Toby Anderson to be the most consistent and experienced pitcher on the team while younger players find their roles.
2016: 36-22, 16-7
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Anderson
Key Departed Players:
Dalton Sawyer, P, 3.33 ERA, 94.2 IP, 112 SO
Matt Fiedler, P, 4.32 ERA, 89.2 IP, 65 SO
Matt Fiedler, .366 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI
Austin Athmann, .374 BA, 11 HR, 42 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Toby Anderson, P, 3.32 ERA, 76.0 IP, 34 SO
Tyler Hanson, P, 4.82 ERA, 56.0 IP, 36 SO
Terrin Vavra, IF, .358 BA, 1 HR, 20 RBI
Micah Coffey, IF, .333 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI
Toby Hanson, 1B, .301 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI
Alex Boxwell, OF, .327 BA, 1 HR, 16 RBI
Meanwhile, the Golden Gophers return a large chunk of their very impressive offense. Last year ten regulars batted at least .296 and it is nearly impossible to keep this team off the bases. Top hitters Toby Anderson, who batted .374 with 11 homeruns and 42 RBIs, and Matt Fiedler, who hit .366 with eight homeruns and 39 RBIs, are gone. However, there should be plenty of players who are able to hit for average and power. Most notable are juniors Micah Coffey and Toby Hanson. Coffey tied for a team high with 42 RBIs and Hanson added 27 RBIs and five homeruns. Terrin Vavra and Alex Boxwell both hit well over .300 last season and should be the beneficiaries of Coffey and Hanson’s ability to drive in runs. As long as Minnesota can find some consistency on the mound, this is a group that has the talent to compete for a Big Ten title.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament