#5 Texas Tech Baseball 2018 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Overall Rank: #5
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Texas Tech saw its 2017 season ended abruptly during the Lubbock Regional as the Red Raiders lost two straight games to Sam Houston State to end their run to Omaha. Texas Tech, despite the early postseason exit in 2017, has evolved into one of the top programs in the country under the direction of head coach Tim Tadlock. You can expect the Red Raiders to once again contend for the Big 12 title and be in position for a top eight national seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
2017: 45-17, 16-8
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Tadlock
Key Departed Players:
Hunter Hargrove, IF/OF, .343 BA, 5 HR, 51 RBI
Ryan Long, IF, .322 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI
Michael Berglund, C, .307 BA, 2 HR, 27 RBI
Tanner Gardner, IF/OF, .305 BA, 5 HR, 33 RBI
Orlando Garcia, IF, .305 BA, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 9 SB
Parker Mushinski, P, 2.15 ERA, 37.2 IP, 25 BB, 47 SO
Key Returning Players:
Grant Little, IF, .335 BA, 2 HR, 34 RBI
Josh Jung, IF/P, .306 BA, 6 HR, 43 RBI
Michael Davis, IF, .269 BA, 6 HR, 29 RBI
Cody Farhat, OF, .343 BA, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Steven Gingery, P, 1.58 ERA, 91.1 IP, 29 BB, 107 SO
Ryan Shetter, P, 3.71 ERA, 70.1 IP, 27 BB, 74 SO
John McMillon, OF/P, 1.75 ERA, 25.2 IP, 20 BB, 29 SO, 5 SV
Davis Martin, P, 3.07 ERA, 44.0 IP, 10 BB, 37 SO
Erikson Lanning, P, 3.12 ERA, 40.1 IP, 17 BB, 18 SO
Jose Quezada, P, 3.55 ERA, 38.0 IP, 16 BB, 52 SO
Caleb Killian, P, 3.55 ERA, 38.0 IP, 23 BB, 35 SO
For Texas Tech to get back to Omaha in 2018, they are going to need a big-time performance from their pitching staff. Steven Gingery should be the Friday night starter as he was dominant in 2017. Gingery was 10-1 with a 1.58 earned run average and struck out 107 batters in 91.1 innings of work. Ryan Shetter should be in the weekend rotation again in 2018 and will be looking to build off a very solid 2017 season. Shetter struck out 74 batters in 70.1 innings and limited opposing hitters to a .248 batting average. John McMillion is in line to be to the closer to start off the 2018 season. McMillion had five saves last season and will need to cut down on the walks to become an elite closer nationally. Offensively, Grant Little, Josh Jung, and Michael Davis will anchor the everyday lineup this season. This trio combined for 14 homeruns and 106 runs batted in during the 2017 campaign. The non-conference schedule will have some stiff challenges as the Red Raiders will play at Kentucky, Louisville, and Arkansas. South Alabama will come to Lubbock and the Jaguars are one of those teams that could surprise nationally this season. San Diego will also visit Lubbock for a single game on May 1st and that could be a trap game as it comes after the TCU series. If the pitching staff can take care of business and stay healthy, then look for Texas Tech to end up as a top eight national seed with a chance to make a run to Omaha.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#47 Steven Gingery