#8 Oregon State Baseball 2017 Preview

Oregon State Beavers
Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12 Conference
The 2016 season was a bump in the road for the Oregon State baseball as they just missed out on another trip to the NCAA Tournament. However, with a very strong returning nucleus of experience on the mound and at the plate, the Beavers are going to be primed to take over the top spot in Pac-12 conference in 2017. The only way this won’t take place is if they get beset by a higher expected amount of injuries to key players eating away at their depth advantage that they have on the rest of the conference. So look for an insanely motivated Oregon State team to take the field when they open the season on February 17th in Surprise, Arizona against Duke.
2016: 35-19, 16-14
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Pat Casey
Key Departed Players:
Logan Ice, C, .310 BA, 7 HR, 39 RBI
Trever Morrison, IF, .284 BA, 1 HR, 26 RBI
Travis Eckert, P, 93.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, 20 BB, 66 SO
Key Returning Players:
Christian Donahue, IF, .339 BA, 1 HR, 29 RBI, 9 SB
Cadyn Grenier, IF, 240 BA, 0 HR, 18 RBI
Nick Madrigal, IF, .333 BA, 1 HR, 29 RBI, 8 SB
Kyle Nobach, OF, .280 BA, 2 HR, 24 RBI
KJ Harrison, IF/C, .265 BA, 10 HR, 47 RBI
Bryce Fehmel, P, 70.0 IP, 2.31 ERA, 23 BB, 51 SO
Luke Heimlich, P, 86.2 IP, 3.53 ERA, 25 BB, 63 SO
Drew Rasmussen, P, 37.0 IP, 3.41 ERA, 10 BB, 42 SO
Jake Thompson, P, 61.0 IP, 4.28 ERA, 28 BB, 53 SO
Max Englebrekt, P, 37.0 IP, 2.92 ERA, 14 BB, 39 SO, 11 SV
The Beavers are going to have a strong starting rotation with the return of Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel to anchor the weekend rotation. If Drew Rasmussen can return from his Tommy John Surgery at some point this season, it will set Oregon State up nicely for a deep postseason run. If Rasmussen does not return during the 2017 season then look for Jake Thompson to take on an even greater responsibility for eating up innings in the rotation. Max Englebrekt will be the closer and will be looking to build on his outstanding 11 save season of a year ago. For the Beavers offensively, they are going to have to find a way to be a bit more explosive as they only hit 25 homeruns as a team. Logan Ice and K.J. Harrison hit 17 of those 25 homeruns last season so there will be work to do in order to replace the lost production from Ice on a daily basis. Adley Rutschman is a very highly touted incoming freshman who should be the everyday catcher and has the potential to put up some big time offensive numbers. Nick Madrigal should take a big step forward as a sophomore and end up as one of the top second basemen in all of the nation after hitting .333 last season. If Oregon State stays healthy, they should contend all season long for a top eight national seed in the NCAA Tournament and contend for a national championship as well.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#67 KJ Harrison