#37 San Diego State Baseball 2014 Preview

San Diego State Aztecs

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West
#37 San Diego State Baseball 2014 Preview
San Diego State Team Page


After a promising start to the 2013 season where San Diego State swept city rivals San Diego, who were ranked 12th at the time, the Aztecs struggled and finished with a 26-28 record at the end of the regular season.  But that was not the end of the Aztecs, as they won the MWC Tournament, winning five games in five days, and earned a berth in a NCAA Regional.  The Aztecs return a lot of contributors off that team last season and will look to get back to a regional again this year.

2013: 31-31, 15-15
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tony Gwynn

Field Players:
The Aztecs return four of their top five hitters from last year, led by Tim Zier.  The second baseman led the Aztecs with a .341 average last season, as well as driving in 41 runs and stealing 18 bases.  He will be joined by the corner infielders from last year, first baseman Ryan Muno and third baseman Tyler France, who both hit over .300.  France led the team in home runs with five and on base percentage with a .417 average, while Muno had four home runs and a team leading 45 RBI’s.  Evan Potter also returns to complete the infield.  He hit .195 last year and stole 16 bases.  Greg Allen is back in the outfield after hitting .299.  Allen is a threat on the base paths, having stolen 25 bases in 2013.  Brad Haynal will be the catcher again this season after hitting .241 with 30 RBI’s.  Junior Steven Pallares and sophomore Danny Sheehan are also back and will look to increase their roles after starting 29 and 27 games, respectively.  Pallares should see time in the outfield and Sheehan will provide infield depth.  Sheehan had a .218 batting average last year, while Pallares was 8-for-10 in stolen bases.

San Diego State suffers some losses in their pitching staff from last season, but they do return some key players.  Michael Cederoth will be the ace of the pitching rotation.  A local product, Cederoth has been the number one starter since his freshman year, but struggled last year, going 3-9 with a 4.25 ERA.  He will look to bounce back in 2014.  Also returning is the closer, Bubba Derby.  Derby saved ten games last year and had a 3.79 ERA.  Mike Robards should join Cederoth in the starting rotation.  He pitched in 19 games last year, starting seven, and finished 4-1 with a 3.58 ERA.  Justin Hepner will be back in the bullpen after going 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA in 19 appearances last year.  The Aztecs will look for a trio of other pitchers to step up and fill the lost production off last year’s team.  Tyler Sapp threw 22 innings as a freshman and had a 4.50 ERA.  Zach Oakley and TJ Kendzora will both look to improve their numbers this season after they both had ERA’s over 5.00.  The Aztecs also have eight freshman pitchers on the roster that could be called upon.  A couple of those players could find a key role on this year’s team.   

Who to Watch:
Michael Cederoth will look to put up big numbers in his junior season.  Although he was 3-9 last year, those numbers can be a bit deceiving.  He struck out 109 batters and held hitters to a .213 batting average.  Where he struggled was getting the decision, partly because of the fact he walked 48 batters.  Cederoth has proven that he has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher and will look to put it all together in 2014.

Final Projection:
The Aztecs ended last season on a high note and will look to build on that success.  Last seasons MWC champ New Mexico lost a lot off last year’s squad, so the conference looks to be open at the top.  San Diego State is in good position to take that position.  Of the 28 games the Aztecs lost last regular season, 15 of them were lost by two runs or less.  If the Aztecs can get some increased production out of the pitching staff, they should be able to win some of those games and find themselves back in a NCAA Regional at years end.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Greg Allen, OF, 254
Hits: Tim Zier, IF, 86
Home Runs: Tyler France, IF, 5
RBIs: Ryan Muno, IF, 45
Runs: Greg Allen, OF, 51
Stolen Bases: Greg Allen, OF, 25

Wins: Mike Robards, P, 4; Bubba Derby, P, 4
Innings Pitched: Michael Cederoth, P, 95.1
Strikeouts: Michael Cederoth, P, 109
Saves: Bubba Derby, P, 10

Madness 2014 MLB Draft Rankings:
#25 Michael Cederoth
#77 Greg Allen


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