#19 Washington Baseball 2017 Preview

Washington Huskies
Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
 Washington Logo
The rise towards the top of the Pac-12 for Washington has been a gradual one as the Huskies are looking to make their third appearance in a regional within the last four seasons. Husky Ballpark has been a game changer for Washington and it allows head coach Lindsay Meggs and his staff to recruit at a higher level thanks to having a facility that can compete with anyone in the conference and nationally. On the field, just about the entire starting lineup returns in 2017 which will set the Huskies up well to compete for a Pac-12 title and threaten to kick the door down and maybe even host a regional in 2017.
2016: 33-23, 17-13
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lindsey Meggs
Key Departed Players:
Troy Rallings, P, 61.0 IP, 0.89 ERA, 12 BB, 60 SO
Will Ballowe, P, 26.0 IP, 3.46 ERA., 19 BB, 33 SO
Key Returning Players:
Joey Morgan, C, .257 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI
John Naff, IF, .301 BA, 5 HR, 25 RBI
K.J. Brady, OF, .274 BA, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 6 SB
Kyle London, OF, .307 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI
A.J. Graffanino, IF, .257 BA, 0 HR, 13 RBI
Jack Meggs, OF, .272 BA, 2 HR, 23 RBI
Levi Jordan, IF, .316 BA, 1 HR, 26 RBI, 3 SB
Willie MacIver, IF, .294 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI
Noah Bremer, P, 96 IP, 3.01 ERA, 30 BB, 66 SO
Joe DeMers, P, 71.2 IP, 6.91 ERA, 19 BB, 32 SO
If you are going to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament you have to have a great mix of experience and talent, especially up the middle. Jack Meggs out in centerfield only committed three errors last season for a .980 fielding percentage. The mix of leadership and timely hitting from Meggs will set the tone for the rest of the lineup. Joey Morgan and John Naff will provide plenty of power as they combined for ten homeruns and 51 runs batted in. Levi Jordan and A.J.Graffanino will continue to evolve both at the plate and in the field at second base and shortstop, respectively. That will take pressure off the pitching staff so that guys like Noah Bremer and Joe Demers won’t have to be perfect. And they can pitch to contact allowing their defense to go to work all season long. Bremer will be the Friday night starter on weekends and his ability to pitch deep in games will set the bullpen up very nicely for the Saturday and Sunday portion of the weekend series once conference play rolls around. The big question mark to get answered will be the closer position. Replacing Troy Rallings will not be an easy task to accomplish. Rallings was lights out last season, going 4-1 with an 0.89 earned run average and he had virtually flawless control. Incoming freshman Josh Burgmann should get the first chance to be the full time closer. If the returning everyday players continue to progress like they are capable of doing, look for the Huskies to be a strong candidate to win a regional and win around 40 games in 2017.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament