#37 Texas Baseball 2017 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
Texas Logo
Texas was a very young team last year and it showed. The Longhorns struggled to a 25-32 campaign and hope to turn things around in 2017 now that they have some valuable experience. That experience should be most noticeable on the mound where Connor Mayes, Kyle Johnston and Morgan Cooper are now all juniors and were regulars in the starting rotation. With talented freshmen like Blair Henley joining the mix, Texas should see a boost to their pitching numbers. New head coach David Pierce has the pieces at his disposal to turn Texas back into a winner very quickly.
2016: 25-32, 10-14
2016 Postseason: None
Coach: David Pierce
Key Departed Players:
Ty Culbreth, P, 3.74 ERA, 86.2 IP, 78 SO
Tres Barrera, .289 BA, 6 HR, 37 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Connor Mayes, P, 3.60 ERA, 60.0 IP, 53 SO
Kyle Johnston, P, 3.72 ERA, 67.2 IP, 64 SO
Morgan Cooper, P, 4.03 ERA, 67.0 IP, 70 SO
Kacy Clemens, IF, .303 BA, 5 HR, 31 RBI
Travis Jones, IF/OF, .300 BA, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Patrick Mathis, OF, .297 BA, 6 HR, 35 RBI
Zane Gurwitz, OF, .294 BA, 5 HR, 36 RBI
Kody Clemens, .242 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI
Freshmen should make a splash on offense as well, most notably David Hamilton and Austin Todd. But like the pitching staff, the lineup will rely on returning players who gained valuable experience in 2016. Kacy Clemens, Travis Jones, Patrick Mathis and Zane Gurwitz all hit .294 or better last season. Clemens was the team’s top hitter, batting .303 and adding five homeruns and 31 RBIs. Mathis is the team’s top returning home run hitter with six and Gurwitz drove in 36 runs. There is some power in this lineup, but consistency will be important if the Longhorns are going to compete for a Big 12 title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#85 Morgan Cooper