#31 Texas A&M Baseball 2014 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #31
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
#31 Texas A&M Baseball 2014 Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


In their first season in the SEC, Texas A&M did well, going 34-29, including a series win at then #6 Ole Miss, a pair of wins in the SEC tournament, and a berth in an NCAA Regional.  The Aggies won a pair of games in the regional before getting eliminated by Oregon State, a team that made the College World Series.  With a solid first season under their belt, the Aggies will hope that their returning players can help them replicate those results.  

2013: 34-29, 13-16
2013 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Rob Childress

Field Players:
The Aggies will return almost all of their players from last year, with the one exception being shortstop Mikey Reynolds.  Junior Cole Lankford is coming off a big sophomore season where he hit .352 with three home runs and 40 RBI’s.  A pair of seniors, Krey Bratsen and Troy Stein, will join him.  Bratsen hit .279 with 23 RBI’s and started all 63 games for the Aggies.  He will be back in the outfield this season.  Stein, who will serve as the catcher, hit .287 with five home runs and 23 RBI’s.  Infielder Blake Allemand also returns after starting 61 games last year.  He hit .263 with 27 RBI’s and drew a team-high 29 walks.  Sophomore Hunter Melton and the do-it-all junior Daniel Mengden also return.  Melton hit .280 and led the team with six home runs as a freshman.  Mengden, who serves as the team’s ace on the mound, hit .279 in 140 at bats last season.  Senior Jace Statum will be back in the outfield and he hit .252 last year.  Jonathon Moroney and Mitchell Nau will also be looking for more playing time after they both started at least 30 games and drove in more than 20 runs apiece last year.  Providing depth will be sophomores J.B. Moss and Logan Taylor.  Freshmen Ronnie Gideon comes in highly recruited and has a chance to see time this season.  

The Aggies have a great 1-2 punch on the mound in Daniel Mengden and Parker Ray.  Mengden will be the Friday night starter after going 8-4 with a 2.11 ERA.  Ray was used mostly out of the bullpen last year but looks to shift to the Saturday starter.  He was 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 26 appearances, including six starts last season.  Sophomore Grayson Long looks to be the third starter after going 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA in ten starts as a freshman.  The bullpen returns most of its key pieces as well, including closer Jason Jester.  The senior saved 14 games and appeared in 33 games last year, going 3-4 with a 2.47 ERA.  He held opponents to a .200 batting average.  Matt Kent and A.J. Minter are both back after seeing action in 26 games apiece last year.  Juniors Corey Ray and Jason Freeman will be other arms in the bullpen.  They will be joined by freshman Mark Ecker, who projects as a closer in the future.

Who to Watch:
Daniel Mengden will mean a lot to the Aggies this season.  He will provide the Aggies stability on the mound and added production in the field.  With another season under his belt on the mound, Mengden could be dominant this year.  He threw two complete games as a sophomore and batters only hit .201 against him.  On top of that, Mengden will provide himself run support with his bat in the lineup.  He should improve on his win and loss totals this season and the Aggies win totals should improve as well.

Final Projection:
Texas A&M returns most of their production from last year, but there are some holes.  This year’s team will look for someone to step up and fill the leadership void.  Last year’s team was very young so the Aggies hope there has been some maturation with those young players.  The non-conference schedule this season is very winnable, but there is a trip to Fresno State that could be a challenge.  The Aggies look to be in great shape to make a return trip to an NCAA Regional.   

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Krey Bratsen, OF, 219
Hits: Cole Lankford, IF, 76
Home Runs: Hunter Melton, IF, 6
RBIs: Cole Lankford, IF, 40
Runs: Blake Allemand, IF, 34
Stolen Bases: Krey Bratsen, OF, 18

Wins: Daniel Mengden, P, 8
Innings Pitched: Daniel Mengden, P, 110.2
Strikeouts: Daniel Mengden, P, 94
Saves: Jason Jester, P, 14

Madness 2014 MLB Draft Rankings:
#94 Daniel Mengden


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