#28 TCU Baseball 2014 Preview

TCU Horned Frogs

Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
#28 TCU Baseball 2014 Preview
TCU Team Page


The Horned Frogs’ 2013 baseball season was a successful one… but just barely. TCU (short for Texas Christian) was one win away from a losing campaign, but the team salvaged a 29-28 record and made it into the Big 12 Conference tournament. The Horned Frogs then beat Oklahoma State, but losses to West Virginia and Kansas ended the season. It was a far cry from the 40 wins and a trip to the Super Regional round turned in by the Horned Frogs in 2012. What can the team do to get back to that lofty perch?

2013: 29-28, 12-12
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Jim Schlossnagle

Field Players:
Part of the problem TCU faced last year was a lack of power in its bats. The Horned Frogs had only 13 home runs on the entire team, which won’t win you too many games in a power conference like the Big 12. To make matters worse, the top homer hitter (Paul Hendrix, with five) is gone, taking with him nearly half the homer count. The Horned Frogs do bring back sophomore Boomer White, who was the team’s top hitter and the only hitter over .300. White hit .314 with 59 hits, but a troubling statistic was his runs scored (18). This suggests White could get on base, but other hitters couldn’t bring him around to home plate. Cody Jones is the team’s fourth leading hitter at .269 and he led the team in steals a year ago with 13. The Horned Frogs stole 38 bases last year, so it is good to have Jones and his legs back in the lineup.

The outlook is a lot better on the pitcher’s mound. The top two hurlers from a year ago, Preston Morrison (7-3, 1.51 ERA) and Brandon Finnegan (0-8, 3.18) are back. Ignore the fact Finnegan lost all eight of his decisions for one second. These two pitchers combined for 53 walks and 150 strikeouts, and this suggests pretty decent control. Trey Teakell (3-0, 0.82) and Travis Evans (1-0, 1.08) were the top relievers, and they combined for eight walks and 40 strikeouts. Alex Young (7-4, 2.66), who started two games and appeared in 22 overall, is also back. Where the team’s hitting lineup is depleted somewhat, the pitching could help this lineup get better.

Who to Watch:
Finnegan and Morrison are earning preseason accolades in key areas, and the truth is the TCU season will revolve around these two players. The only reason Finnegan had a rotten season in wins and losses clearly had to do with TCU’s less than stellar hitting lineup. Anything of an improvement in Finnegan’s won-loss record will help secure a better season. Also, having these two players back will help Schlossnagle form a solid rotation to get these players a bit of help, not to mention rest in key occasions.

Final Projection:
The only reason TCU fell from 40 wins to 29 last year had to do with hitting. You can’t have one hitter over .300 in baseball and expect to get to the NCAA tournament, much less win 30 games. The Horned Frogs should reach 30 wins this season thanks to stronger pitching and hopefully improved batting. An influx of 15 freshmen should help the Horned Frogs in terms of numbers, and who knows; if any one of those freshmen can hit then it’s an added bonus. TCU has games scheduled against Michigan State, Cal State Northridge, Rice and Dallas Baptist, and TCU needs to win some of these non-league games in order to impress the tournament committee. Right now things are borderline, but the Horned Frogs should make it.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Cody Jones, OF, 208
Hits: Boomer White, OF, 59
Home Runs: Kevin Cron, 1B, 2
RBIs: Derek Odell, IF, 32
Runs: Cody Jones, OF, 43
Stolen Bases: Cody Jones, OF, 13

Wins: Preston Morrison, P, 7; Alex Young, P, 7
Innings Pitched: Preston Morrison, P, 107
Strikeouts: Brandon Finnegan, P, 86
Saves: Alex Young, P, 5

Madness 2014 MLB Draft Rankings:
#24 Brandon Finnegan


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