#34 St. John's Baseball Preview

Saint John’s Red Storm

Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: # 2 Big East
St. John's College Baseball Top 44 Team Preview
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Coming off one of the better seasons in recent memory, the Red Storm returns six men from their starting lineup from a season ago, making them very dangerous in 2013. They have some star power in their lineup and have an ace to anchor the rotation.

2012: 40-23, 18-9
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ed Blankmeyer

Field Players:
The Red Storm is led by superstar Sean O’Hare. The slugging third baseman knocked in 43 runs, smacked three homeruns, hit .341 and started in all 63 games. He displayed some speed as well, swiping eight bases in nine attempts. He will be relied upon to be the most productive hitter in the lineup, particularly because the Red Storm lost two of its best hitters from a season ago.  The senior has proven to be very consistent and should relish in his role as the main man in the lineup for his final collegiate season. Junior catcher, who can also play first base, Frank Schwindel had a tremendous sophomore year and is looking to contribute even more this season. A season ago he hit .322, swatted four homeruns, and drove in 30 runs. This year he will be an improved defensive backstop and has gained more valuable experience guiding pitchers through games.  Because of his giant bat and leadership behind the plate, he will be a major contributor to this lineup.

This staff is led by senior ace lefty Sean Hagan. He posted a dominate 2.90 ERA while laboring through 108.2 innings of work, including two complete games. He led the team with an 8-3 record and is looking to repeat his dazzling performance and anchor the rotation once again. Every time that Hagan toes the rubber the Red Storm is confident in their chances. Next in line is a talented right handed senior, Kyle Hansen. Last year he led the Red Storm in strikeouts, ringing up 109 opposing hitters and earned a  solid 3.62 ERA, while posting a 5-5 record.   The key to the bullpen is redshirt junior James Lamangino.  He led the team in saves a season ago, slamming the door six times. However, he will need to improve upon his 4.34 ERA to really help bolster the bullpen. If he can be a consistent closer, Saint John’s bullpen will be in great shape.

Who to Watch:
Former freshman sensation Bret Dennis is a player to keep an eye on. The young infielder hit .298 in 33 games, all of which he started. He knocked in 14 runs and contributed with a stolen base. Now in his sophomore year, he will certainly see an expanded role. With a year of adjusting to college pitching he and his teammates are expecting much bigger things in the 2013 campaign. He could be a major factor in Saint John’s ability to make a run into the postseason.

Final Projection:
The Red Storm made a super regional for the first time in school history and they are poised to do damage again this season.  Their pitching staff is led by one of nation’s better pitchers and has lots of depth.  That alone gives them a chance to beat anyone on any given day. Their lineup, despite losing a few key players, still is very potent. They will be in the thick of things in the competitive Big East and will find themselves in the NCAA tournament again.  

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Sean O’Hare, IF, 220
Hits: Sean O’Hare, IF, 75
Home Runs: Frank Schwindel, C, 4
RBIs: Sean O’Hare, IF, 43
Runs: Sean O’Hare, IF, 42
Stolen Bases: Sean O’Hare, IF, 8

Wins: Sean Hagan, LHP, 8
Innings: Sean Hagan, LHP, 108.2
Strikeouts: Kyle Hansen, RHP, 109
Saves: James Lamangino, RHP, 8


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