#12 North Carolina Baseball 2014 Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels

Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#12 North Carolina Baseball 2014 Preview
North Carolina Team Page


Last year, the North Carolina Tar Heels made it all the way to the College World Series, where they were knocked out by UCLA after earning the top seed and ACC championship. Now, North Carolina retains a number of players this year and has had another stellar recruiting season, ranked at number four nationally by Perfect Game. They are one of the three ACC programs to be ranked in the top ten by Perfect Game, so the conference is looking particularly strong this year, although the Tar Heels’ experience of winning in the big games should count in their favor.

2013: 59-12, 21-7
2013 Postseason: College World Series
Coach: Mike Fox

Field Players:
A deep roster of field players will be led by third baseman Colin Moran, who was the most productive batter in a number of categories last year. The Tar Heels always recruit well, and with depth in all positions and a number of young players with plenty of potential, North Carolina should enjoy another superb year at the plate.

Star pitchers Kent Emanuel and Trent Thornton return from last year, with the latter named to the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America second team. They will be relied upon to have similarly productive years as the undoubted leaders of the pitching staff.

Who to Watch:
Outfielder Skye Bolt was also named to the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America second team, and enjoyed a very productive 2013 both defensively and at the plate. If he can maintain the form that saw him hit .321 with six home runs and 51 RBIs, the sophomore will be a terrifying proposition for his opponents.

Final Projection:
Based on last year, the Tar Heels should be hopeful of making good progress in the NCAA Tournament and will want a return to the College World Series in 2014. However, other teams have improved also, so it could be difficult for North Carolina to get into the final stages of the national tournament. If they are able to peak at the right time and find consistent form, they could be an outside bet for the College World Series.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Colin Moran, 3B, 281
Hits: Colin Moran, 3B, 97
Home Runs: Colin Moran, 3B, 13
RBIs: Colin Moran, 3B, 91
Runs: Colin Moran, 3B, 76
Stolen Bases: Michael Russell, IF/OF, 18

Wins: Trent Thornton, P, 12
Innings Pitched: Kent Emanuel, P, 131.2
Strikeouts: Kent Emanuel, P, 98
Saves: Trent Thornton, P, 8

Madness 2014 MLB Draft Rankings:
#124 Brenton Moss

Madness 2014 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#13 Chris Oakley


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