#3 North Carolina Baseball Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels

Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
North Carolina College Baseball Top 44 Team Preview
North Carolina Team Page


North Carolina basketball may be the athletic program that garners all the attention in Chapel Hill, but this baseball squad deserves much attention as well. This season they are poised to become the best team in the nation, led by arguably the nation’s best pitching staff. The road will not be easy though, as the ACC boasts several of the top teams. This team will be battled tested by the time they reach the postseason, something that may come as a huge advantage for these Tar Heels down the stretch.  

2012: 46-16, 22-8
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Fox

Field Players:
The lineup will be paced by slugging third baseman Colin Moran.  As a sophomore he owned a staggering .365 batting average, which led the team. He collected 84 total bases, drove in 35 runs, and smacked three homeruns. He is a very tough out at the plate and never goes down easy, striking out just 24 times all last season. This year he is hoping to start in more than just 41 games and be the force that drives the Tar Heels on a daily basis. Helping to ease some of the pressure from his shoulders is the left handed hitting outfielder Chaz Frank. A season ago he owned a solid .293 batting average, cruised to a team high six triples, drove in 39 runs, and collected 97 bases. He also swiped a team high 16 bases, giving him impressive numbers across the board. This duo will need to be very productive again this season as they attempt to guide this team through the daunting ACC.

The rotation is the true strength of this squad. They almost have enough aces to make a full deck, returning their top three starters, all of whom are strong enough pitchers to be considered aces. However, it is the lefty Kent Emanuel who will be the anchor of the staff. A season ago he dominated opposing hitters to the tune of a 1.96 ERA, eight wins, and 100 strikeouts in 110 innings of work. Benton Moss, a righty, shined a season ago as well, winning seven games in 17 starts. He worked through 79 innings, fanning an impressive 83 opposing hitters, and posting an incredible 1.94 ERA. Hobbs Johnson rounds out the three headed monster of starting pitchers who posted sub 2.00 ERA’s. Last season, Johnson was an effective out making machine, owning a 1.40 ERA in his seven starts and 22 appearances.  Opponents tremble at the thought of facing this talented rotation in a series and will be the driving force behind any run that the Tar Heels make.

Who to Watch:
Right hander Michael Morin is the stud in the bullpen, which is also one of the best in the nation. He appeared in 36 games, whizzing through 58 innings of work and collecting 19 saves. He owned a 6-4 record, a dazzling 1.40 ERA, and tallied 55 strikeouts. He will once again anchor the bullpen, which could make or break the Tar Heels season. Another standout performance is expected out of Morin and his dominance, along with the efforts of the rest of the guys out the pen, may push this team over the top.
Final Projection:
The Tar Heels are a team that will rely on a dominate pitching performance every day, and they have the talent to do so. Their lineup is solid, but not good enough to win them games on a daily basis. This staff and bullpen will have a lot of pressure to win games for North Carolina. The good news for the Tar Heels however is that this rotation is one of the best in the nation and is up to the task. They will be in every game that they play because of that rotation. The only question is; will the rotation and bullpen be able to hold up long enough to carry this team to a National Championship?

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Chaz Frank, OF, 242
Hits: Chaz Frank, OF, 71
Home Runs: Cody Stubbs, 1B/OF, 5
RBIs: Chaz Frank, OF, 39
Runs: Chaz Frank, OF, 45
Stolen Bases: Chaz Frank, OF, 16

Wins: Kent Emanuel, LHP, 8; R.C. Orlan, LHP, 8
Innings: Kent Emanuel, LHP, 110
Strikeouts: Kent Emanuel, LHP, 100
Saves:  Michael Morin, RHP, 19

Madness 2013 MLB Draft Draft Rankings:
#11 Colin Moran

Madness 2013 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#32 Taylore Cherry
#38 Kayden Porter
#69 Skye Bolt


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