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Some take-aways from the Alumni Baseball Game & a look forward to the season


joeywa
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Thinking about the Alumni Game, and here are some items that stood out.

 

Overall Observations

  • Great to see Augie and Coach Gus out at the event. 
  • Augie's interview in the dugout in-game was very good.  Texas made sure that he left with class and grace, and it showed today. 
  • Augie looked like retirement is agreeing with him.  :)
  • It was also great to see the former players make the trek back to Austin for this event. 
  • CJ looks like he's working on a Dallas Keuchel beard.
  • Rupp is a freaking beast. 
  • Something inherently wrong seeing Tres in a color other than Burnt Orange. 
  • Drew Stubbs in old Longhorn form driving a letter-high fastball over the RF fence.  Looked routine. 
  • Kiesch as the Alumni Manager was fun. 
  • As an Astros fan, seeing Marlow sporting the Astros uni was really sweet.
  • A Happy Birthday to Swindell's son, Dawson.
  • Great seeing the Alums interacting with fans. 
  • Rupp mic'd up on LHN was pretty cool.
  • The new field turf changes and field dimensions looked great.  I still think we should have dirt around home plate and on the warning track, but I'll take the changes and smile.   

 

Texas Baseball observations:

  • Morgan Cooper is good, I mean, really good.  He has a chance to be dominant this season.  He showed a newly implemented slider and was great with his change.  He gets those clicking with his FB, and he will mow down some folks this season. 
  • Ryan Reynolds is the most impressive freshman on the roster.  He plays the 3B position like a veteran.  He hits from both sides of the plate with power and isn't afraid to take an outside pitch oppo.  He's going to be a good one. 
  • Brett Boswell is finally swinging the bat like I have been expecting for a couple of seasons.  He looks very comfortable in the box.
  • Patrick Mathis made an outstanding catch of a cutting fly ball in RF.  If he has learned to take better approaches to fly balls, then I'll be all-in the Mathis Fan Club.  He still hits with power, and he will benefit from the shortened dimensions at the Disch.
  • Cantu is swinging much better from what I saw today.  I still think he will have times where he gets into a funk, but I believe the new staff has been working with him and he'll have a very good year.
  • Gurwitz has changed his stance and approach at the plate.  This will benefit him this year.  He squared up the ball very well today.
  • I don't know if Kody Clemens is ready to be the DH.  He may in a few weeks or a month.  I think his timing is off, which is natural coming back from injury.  Still has a ton of up side.
  • Love me some Travis Jones.  That kid is a baller.  Doesn't matter where you play him on the diamond, or where you put him in the batting order, this kid produces.
  • Hamilton will be a good addition as he comes into his own.  I hope to see him bulk up some, but he is a good ball player.
  • Nolan Kingham started out well, but really struggled when he had to go to his #2 & #3 pitches.  I hope the staff can get this dialed in fairly quickly. 
  • Jon Malmin and Tyler Schimpf didn't look bad, both had moments where they flashed some good stuff, but neither were consistent nor dominant.
  • O'Hara and Parker Joe Robinson were both impressive in their time on the mound.  Robinson just has some nasty stuff after changing his arm slot, and he will give hitters fits if he keeps it up.  O'Hara looks like he can give us some solid middle to late relief this year.
  • Chase Shugart looked like he hasn't missed a beat.  His FB is still wicked and his offspeed stuff was almost impossible to touch.  He had a bender that absolutely froze the frosh McNicholas.  Welcome to the next level kid. 
  • The approach at the plate was a complete 180 from what we've become used to out of Texas teams in recent years.  I saw one, that's correct, one player square for a bunt and that was on a first pitch and he pulled it back, appearing it was by design.  Hitters were aggressive and putting some good swings on balls the entire game. 
  • Fielding was solid outside of an error on a fly ball to LF that was muffed. 
  • Rand in LF looked off today.  Not sure what was going on with that.
  • Baserunning was fundamentally sound, no issues at all.

 

Overall, there is a lot to be excited about.  We have several arms that will give us depth and innings when we need them.  I'm pleased with what I saw.

 

 

 

Alright you seamheads, tell me what you saw and let's discuss. 

 

 

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One other note, this is a team that is loaded with youth.  It will cause some folks to pull out their hair at times, but there is quite a bit of talent on the roster.  Depth is something else that stood out to me.  We have not had that luxury the last few seasons. 

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I think it will be a much better year than last year that's for sure. With Cooper on the mound they can beat anyone.

 

Agreed.  We just need to identify two more solid starters for SA & SU games.  :)

 

I think Coop is likely our FR starter. 

 

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The mentality/approach of the staff interested me. It comes across as very refreshing and enabling (in a positive way) one for college baseball players. These guys are good at finding positives in negative outcomes. Baseball is full of failure, especially at the plate. This staff appears to be trying to convince these kids to be aggressive and even if the outcome sucks, remember the good parts. There's a cumulative effect to that mentality in baseball. I hope it works. It damn sure sounds good.

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The mentality/approach of the staff interested me. It comes across as very refreshing and enabling (in a positive way) one for college baseball players. These guys are good at finding positives in negative outcomes. Baseball is full of failure, especially at the plate. This staff appears to be trying to convince these kids to be aggressive and even if the outcome sucks, remember the good parts. There's a cumulative effect to that mentality in baseball. I hope it works. It damn sure sounds good.

Excellent post and insight.

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The mentality/approach of the staff interested me. It comes across as very refreshing and enabling (in a positive way) one for college baseball players. These guys are good at finding positives in negative outcomes. Baseball is full of failure, especially at the plate. This staff appears to be trying to convince these kids to be aggressive and even if the outcome sucks, remember the good parts. There's a cumulative effect to that mentality in baseball. I hope it works. It damn sure sounds good.

 

Not too sure that there is another staff that is as good as Pierce, Allen, Miller, Haig and Bishop. All 5 of these guys are on the same page..

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I personally need baseball to do something good.  2016 / 2017 is challenging for the worst Longhorn sports-year since I have been a fan (40+ years and sports I care about). 

 

One thing to take away from the last few years is that collegiate athletics is cyclical, sometime quite vicious.  While it makes it difficult to see the positives and the up side for fans, it is far more grating on the players and coaches.  Texas is in the process of turning things around, but there is not a plug-and-play option that I've seen.  Competition and parity (in all sports) among universities is far more equal than it has ever been. 

 

In the words of my good friend JimsTexas, have a blessed day and keep those horns up! 

 

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Just saw that Drew Stubbs signed a deal with the Twins. I think that could really be mutually beneficial. Have always loved how he plays the game.

 

 

Had to be his dinger off of Cooper on Saturday that got him the offer. That's my story anyway.

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