Posted: 1/10/2014 3:57 PM
2014 Baseball: Ole Miss Rebels
Position Player Lost: Stuart Turner, Andrew Mistone, Tanner Mathis, Christian Helsel, Jake Overbey, Lance Wilson
Pitchers Lost: Bobby Wahl, Mike Mayers, Brett Huber, Tanner Bailey, Brady Bramlett (Redshirting, Torn Labrum)
Position Players Returning: Austin Anderson, Will Jamison, Preston Overbey, Auston Bousfield, Sikes Orvis, Will Allen, Holt Perdzock, Cameron Dishon, Austin Knight,
Pitchers Returning: Sam Smith, Matt Denny, Aaron Greenwood, Jeremy Massie, Josh Laxer, Jacob Waguespack, Scott Weathersby, Chris Ellis, Hawtin Buchannan
Key additions of Position Players: John Gaitlin, Dalton Dulin, Errol Robinson, Braxton Lee, JB Woodman,
Key additions of Pitchers: Wyatt Short, Christian Trent, Evan Anderson
(I've had a little bit of access to the OM baseball team, so I know a tad about the new additions. Obviously I wouldn't be able to do that another team)
Pitching: Mike Bianco has a lot of faults. Fielding a solid SEC Pitching rotation is not one of them. After the 2011 season, Ole Miss lost all three of it's starting pitchers to the draft, and proceeded to replace them with three guys in Bobby Wahl, RJ Hively, and Mike Mayers that would have a 3.0 ERA the following season. Mike doesn't struggle to develop a quality SEC rotation.
Starters: As for the pitching rotation this year, I think it will be interesting. The rebels return Sam Smith from the starting rotation in 2013, who quietly had a solid year last year. (3-1 3.41 ERA) especially for a Sunday pitcher. Essentially, I think Smith stays in that role as a Saturday/Sunday guy, as I think he is best suited for it. I think on Friday nights this fall, Ole Miss will trot out Christian Trent. Trent originally signed with LSU out of high school before transferring to Delgado Community College. From what I could tell in fall ball, Trent is a left handed pitcher that can pound the strike zone from 89-92 MPH. He has a solid off speed arsenal as well. I don't think he's Bobby Wahl by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think Trent will be our best option to win games on Friday night. On Saturday, I expect to see Sam Smith from a strategic stand point. Smith will be our second best starter, behind Trent. Smith doesn't over power people, but he does get outs, and relies on his fielders. On Sunday, I think you'll see either Jake Waguespack or Josh Laxer . Both of those guys have the potential to be great, and Waguespack is still young. Wags was hurt most of last year, but turned in fairly decent performances against Southern Miss and Alabama as a starter. Laxer has been shaky, but when he's on, he's really good. He's been a project so far, but I do think he's going to be much better this year, whether that's in middle relief or as a Sunday Starter.
Middle Relief and Set Up Men: Obviously with the loss of Tanner Bailey and Brett Huber, Ole Miss will have to replace a set up man and a closer. Aaron Greenwood struggled at times last year, as he became fatigued and his slider became flat. I think this year, Greenwood will have more stamina about him, and will continue to fill that void as a set up man. I think another set up man to look at would be Hawtin Buchannan. Hawtin can absolutely throw the crap out of the ball. 96-98 MPH. If he can ever begin to consistently locate his off speed pitches, he could be dangerous. I think that is who Ole Miss will look to as set up men. Some Middle Relief type guys to keep an eye on are Matt Denny, who had a solid Freshmen year, and provides a quality Left Handed Pitcher out of the pen, Jeremy Massie who is a soft tossing lefty, and outside of the State game last year pitched really well, and Scott Weathersby who comes at you from all angles. I'm interested to see how they handle Wyatt Short and Evan Anderson. Those guys are young, but from all accounts have really good potential from the left side
Closer: Some people believe he will be our Friday night pitcher, but I think we'll see Chris Ellis in this role. Ellis really had a good Freshmen season, and a brilliant sophomore fall, before being injured and not every really fully recovering. Ellis has some electric stuff. Fastball can run from 95-97 MPH, and he has a filthy slider. Sometimes, Ellis has some meltdowns on the mound, and I believe that's from starting. I think he would be prominent in this role, but I wouldn't be shocked to see him moved to Friday night, and let Hawtin try to close. We may see Bianco treat Ellis like he did Hively in the latter part of 2012
At the Plate: The Rebels top returners at the plate are Austin Anderson (.310), Will Jamison (.281), and Preston Overbey (.281). Jamison didn't face a terrible amount of lefties, but had a decent year. Overbey and Anderson picked it up from where they were their freshmen and sophomore years. Overbey's average is somewhat interesting, because around the beginning of April he was hitting around .210.. I think he began to figure some things out towards the end of the year, mainly not swinging at curve balls in the dirt. Anderson had a really solid year. He was on a tear at the end of the year. I think all Anderson and Overbey both will hit over .315 this year, in hopes to replacing Stuart Turner and Andrew Mistone. Behind them, you will have Auston Bousfield who had a disappointing 2013 season after a really solid season in 2012 as a freshmen. Bous is too good in Center Field to take out of the line up, but he has the potential to be a really good hitter. I think Bous will have a solid year and hit in the .290 to .300 range. The keys for Ole Miss in my opinion to be successful at the plate are Sikes Orvis and Will Allen. Those guys are in positions where they're going to have to play, and play every single day. Both of them had disappointing years at the plate with Allen hitting .231 and Orvis hitting .237. Orvis will likely be the every day first baseman, and Allen will likely be the every day catcher. Both have to improve, and reach some of their potential. I think John Gaitlin will start at second base after returning from injury in 2013. I'm not sure how Bianco will handle the lefty/righty situation of Jamison, but I think this is the year he finally lets him play against both types of pitchers. Either JB Woodman or Braxton Lee will take over for Tanner Mathis in LF. I believe eventually it'll be Woodman's job. I think Holt Perdzock and Austin Knight will be the DH's depending on what hand the pitcher throws with.
Projected Lineup vs. RHP
Projected Line Up vs. LHP
Analysis: This could possibly be the end of an era for Ole Miss baseball. The four non conference series aren't tough and OM should not have any trouble regarding those. The SEC slate is interesting. OM got lucky with Missouri, Georgia, and UK on the schedule. All of those teams should still be rebuilding. You have to go 7-2 in those series, with two being at home. That would put you needing to go 10-11 against the rest of the SEC to host. That's not impossible, at all. I think Bianco needs to host this year. It won't matter what happens from there, but that'd relieve a lot of pressure from him.
I hope like heck this year works out. Bianco deserves to go out on his own terms, he built this. But if you're gonna build this monster, you gotta feed it.
Posted: 1/10/2014 9:39 PM
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Posted: 1/10/2014 10:41 PM
rebelsfan13 wrote: Is Hawtin finally going to contribute?
Posted: 1/10/2014 10:49 PM
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Posted: 1/11/2014 11:50 AM
Posted: 1/11/2014 11:58 AM
SaratogaSprings wrote: Why would OM fans be expecting to host this season? This would be the one season you should be more patient.
Posted: 1/11/2014 12:01 PM
YuneMan20 wrote: I don't expect to host. I also don't think its a given that Bianco is fired if he doesn't host.SaratogaSprings wrote: Why would OM fans be expecting to host this season? This would be the one season you should be more patient.
Posted: 1/11/2014 12:48 PM
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Posted: 1/11/2014 1:29 PM
Posted: 1/11/2014 7:51 PM
Last edited 1/11/2014 7:52 PM by bigrebelfan05
Posted: 1/12/2014 2:40 PM
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