#24 Duke Baseball 2020 Preview

Duke Blue Devils
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #7 ACC
 Duke Logo
There is a lot of optimism in Durham surrounding the Duke Blue Devils baseball program. Head Coach Chris Pollard and his staff have quickly turned this program into one that is on the rise and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down heading into the 2020. Duke is coming off of their second consecutive trip to the Super Regionals as they lost to Vanderbilt in the Nashville Super Regional in three games.
2019: 35-27, 15-15
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Chris Pollard
Key Departed Players:
Kennie Taylor, OF, .317 BA, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 10 SB
Kyle Gallagher, OF, .258 BA, 8 HR, 31 RBI
Ben Gross, P, 4.40 ERA, 8-4 W/L, 75.2 IP, 35 BB, 76 SO
Hunter Davis, P, 1.59 ERA, 1-2 W/L, 39.2 IP, 25 BB, 42 SO, 2 SV
Key Returning Players:
Ethan Murray, INF, .305 BA, 5 HR, 40, 6 SB
Chase Creek, OF, .293 BA, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 20 SB
Matt Mervis, P/INF, .274 BA, 6 HR, 31 RBI
Michael Rothenberg, C, .269 BA, 11 HR, 52 RBI
Chris Crabtree, INF, .263 BA, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 7 SB
Erikson Nichols, INF, .255 BA, 2 HR, 38 RBI
Thomas Girard, P, 2.33 ERA, 1-5 W/L, 46.1 IP, 18 BB, 61 SO, 9 SV
Bryce Jarvis, P, 3.81 ERA, 5-2 W/L, 75.2 IP, 37 BB, 94 SO
Matt Dockman, P, 3.80 ERA, 6-1 W/L, 42.2 IP, 9 BB, 39 SO
Bill Chillari, P, 5.35 ERA, 2-4 W/L, 67.1 IP, 30 BB, 48 SO
Ethan Murray will lead a very experienced everyday lineup that will take the field in 2020 for the Blue Devils. Murray hit .305 with five homeruns, 40 runs batted in, and five stolen bases. Chase Creek is the best returning speed threat for Duke as he stole 20 bases in 23 attempts and should see more opportunities after playing in just 48 games in 2019. Michael Rothenberg and Matt Mervis will provide plenty of power once again in 2020 as they combined for 17 homeruns and 83 runs batted in between them last season. The entire weekend rotation is back led by Bryce Jarvis, who struck out 94 batters in 75.2 innings of work in 2019. Matt Dockman is more of a pitch to contact type of pitcher as he walked just nine batters in 42.2 innings while posting a 6-1 record. Thomas Girard is back out of the bullpen as the closer and he will allow Coach Pollard to shorten the game a little bit as Girard had nine saves with a 2.33 earned run average last season. Trips to Georgia Tech and NC State are potential landmines for Duke along with visits by Florida State, North Carolina, Clemson, Miami, and Virginia for weekend series. The Blue Devils should end up finding their way back into the NCAA Tournament in 2020 with a potential opportunity to host a regional if things play out well for them.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament