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Thoughts of the season

Discussion in 'Diamond Gators' started by taxman22, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. taxman22

    taxman22 Premium Member

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    Ok guys, I will try and keep up this year. Few thoughts heading into the year.

    1. I am excited about this team, it is still young. Sully is the man. He will get the most out of them.
    2. I am concerned on who will replace nelly’s Clutch hitting and overall leadership. That guy was a war daddy. Who replaces B McConnell production. Those two guys were a huge part of the o production last year.
    3. Of more concern is the starting rotation. I trust sully to get the most out of them. They should have tight leashes if their is the depth we hear about. It just wasn’t there last year. If the starters cant eat innings, this team will be average again.
    4. I am excited to watch Langworth his his last year. Solid player.
    5. I am also excited to see these sophomores take a jump.these guys have to take a significant jump. They should. We will see.
    6. DH is interesting. Sounds like Kirby has been tearing it up. Limited success in real games. Butler seemed to hit in spurts. Decent options here.

    What say you gator fans?
     
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  2. MadduxFanII

    MadduxFanII GC Hall of Fame

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    I find myself a little less optimistic than a lot of folks - some of the rankings we've received seem really ambitious and premature (4th? Really, D1?).

    I don't see the proven pitching on the roster to justify pre-season optimism. That's not to say it won't develop - it very well might. But right now, I don't see a single pitcher I can confidently say will actually be good next year. I love Leftwich's stuff and peripherals, and Mace seems to have thrown well in practice, but does anyone feel comfortable penciling them in as high-quality SEC weekend starters? And at the moment, the bullpen looks like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

    The funny thing about last year is that folks around here identified in the pre-season all the problems that would end up derailing the season. We all just figured - reasonably, I think - that O'Sullivan would figure it out. "There's no proven pitching, but we know O'Sullivan recruits at an elite level, and we know he can develop pitchers like no one's business, so it'll all work out." And like I said, that was a perfectly rational position. But I think what we saw last year was that even Kevin O'Sullivan can't wave a magic wand and turn a collection of broom sticks into a competent pitching staff. Maybe O'Sullivan will figure it out this year, but I'm not comfortable basing pre-season optimism on "Sully will make it work" after last season. Until I see multiple pitchers throw well against multiple SEC opponents, I'm going to remain skeptical about the team's prospects.

    We're losing a lot of production in McConnell and Maldonado, but for whatever reason I'm pretty confident the lineup will shake out all right. Improvements from the likes of Smith, Young, Acton, Fabian and Calilao should prove really helpful, and if Hickey and Rivera live up to the hype and Langworthy remains a steady presence in the lineup, we should hit a fair bit.
     
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  3. gatortenor37

    gatortenor37 GC Hall of Fame

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    This should be Langworthy's team to lead this year. JMHO, but I think he will rise to the occasion. Can't wait for some baseball action. Go Gators!!
     
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  4. MatsideObserver

    MatsideObserver GC Hall of Fame

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    Good points. I really think the offense will be fine. Missing Brady McConnell and Nellie for sure, but thinking Jud and others should take a leap this year.
    Pitching wise, you probably need 6-7 guys minimum you can trust on the weekend and I have a hard time coming up with 7 based on what I have seen/read.
    Hoping to be pleasantly surprised by some of these pitchers once the season starts.
     
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  5. BSBLGATOR

    BSBLGATOR VIP Member

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    One thing to keep in mind is that at this point we are all thinking the offense will be good and possibly great. We do return a lot of hitters and it sounds like Armstrong, McMullen and Butler have looked good this spring than they probably ever have.

    Just prefacing that the hitters hitting our pitchers could be that we have a strong group of hitters that have all seen our pitchers for 20 at bats a piece. Yes we all know they need to throw more strikes but the last couple of outings for Mace and Leftwich have been better against our really good group of hitters. That is encouraging.

    I am not sure what Marshall will offer for competition but what I am looking for is how the pitchers compete. Do they live in the zone and get they get weak or solid contact. If they are routinely getting weak contact that bodes well for movement in the zone. I will reserve my judgement until we see what the first series looks like. I am optimistic that they will turn a page from last season to this one! Hopefully!
     
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  6. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

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    I think we all have the faith in Sully that he has both earned and deserves—that said:

    The holes opened up from a new year coming to be are well described here already (the loss of Nellie and McConnell)—

    I truly expect our hitting to be solid—I feel like the offense will be more evenly distributed up and down the lineup rather than saddled on 1 or 2 players—

    I feel like Langworthy will be the natural team leader both in the clubhouse and in the dugout and on the field—at the same time I think we will see Jud develop into a natural team player that all of our guys will rally around because of his style of play (elite defense and obviously growing into a more competitive roll with his bat)—

    The pitching is of everyone’s concern and rightfully so—we all want our staff to both prove themselves and do their part to lead this team—IMHO the only way this will happen is every single pitcher on this staff is going to have to take on the no fear personality with that gunfighter’s stare, battle your tails off every hitter they face to the point that every team they face knows coming in they’ve got a real fight on their hands—

    I will expect to see Kirby and Butler split AB’s in the DH role depending on who’s hot and RH/LH pitcher for the opposition—

    I believe our defense behind the plate has also been strengthened—

    Looking forward to the coming season—
     
  7. MatsideObserver

    MatsideObserver GC Hall of Fame

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    The people who have been there more often may disagree on this but I get the impression that Kirby may start at third with Armstrong and/or Butler handling DH duties.
     
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  8. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    It all comes down to pitching.

    we really shouldn’t have all that much confidence given last year, but I’m hopeful that guys have improved.

    I think fielding will be better - much better behind the plate and we probably don’t have a hole anywhere in the field. And really: Sully has a lot of options, imo.

    Likewise, I think hitting will be improved. But it’s really about making that clutch hit - will the guys come thru?

    it’s all about pitching. If the starters can’t get it done: then the bullpen needs to step up! And vice versa. Should be entertaining to watch the season unfold.
     
  9. taxman22

    taxman22 Premium Member

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    I want to see the starting rotation dominate innings in non conference. Pitch like it’s june. Dominate the lessor opponents for 5-6 innings. Sully expects that. I can assure you. I do think he has more options this year on the mound. Those guys will be pushed early to really compete and get outs.
     
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  10. apkgator

    apkgator GC Hall of Fame

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    IMO the high rankings derive from the opinion pro scouts have of the prospects on the roster. The problem for us is that those prospects haven't converted that talent into production thus far.....especially the pitchers. This season will be all about living up to potential.
     
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  11. eastowest

    eastowest GC Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Matherly87

    Matherly87 GC Hall of Fame

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    From what I've seen I'd rate the infielders from top to bottom not including those at first base.

    Acton - sure glove, good throws, average arm, average range
    Rivera - better range, can flash the leather, good reactions, good arm (he gets to more balls but doesn't always make the plays, he's a freshman)
    Blasucci - good glove, usually good throws, good arm, average range
    Smith - strong arm, good glove when not behind the plate, occasional throws are off, good reactions to the ball
    Nunez - good glove, above average range, throws can be sometimes erratic
    Kirby - good glove, decent throws, average arm, two step range, money with the bat as some fans would say

    @gatorjjh might rate them a little differently (maybe Smith 3rd and Blasucci 4th) since he has seen them more. I think the good news for this year is Sully has some options and is not using an outfielder to play infield. You could add Hickey to the list as well but he has settled in at catcher.
     
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  13. shane4three

    shane4three GC Hall of Fame

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    Feel good about:
    Mace
    Jack
    Pogue
    Scott
    Specht
    Crisp-pen
    Alinthoff
    Barco
    Luethje
    Butler-pen
     
  14. gtj31

    gtj31 GC Hall of Fame

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    This is almost 100% my view. I agree losing Maldo and Brady hurts but I am not worried about the bats stepping up at all. I think this year’s Fabian turns into the best player on the 2019 or 2020 Gators. But boy do those arms (and catcher) worry me.
     
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  15. GornGator

    GornGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Nice! Thanks guys for all the work and write ups. Can't wait to settle in and watch them learn and develop along the way this season. Good luck to Sully and staff, and the boys of course.
    GO GATORS!!!! ALL CHOMP!!!!
     
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  16. srqgtr

    srqgtr Premium Member

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    I know we have just completed our first series and Marshall isn't a top team but, I would be very interested to hear some of our more knowledgeable posters give their impressions of the team, so far. What freshmen may make an impact? Who might end up as the Sunday starter? 1st base, 3rd base, right field, catcher, closer? How do we compare to Miami (since we meet them this coming weekend)?
     
  17. MyakkaGator

    MyakkaGator GC Hall of Fame

    My first impression after watching this weekend series is the amount of options that we have both in the field and at the plate.. It's an embarrassment of riches, definitely a good problem to have. The offensive firepower is unquestionable... The key is going to be how/when this pitching staff settles in and how consistent it is over the course of the season.
     
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  18. gatorstevelp

    gatorstevelp Premium Member

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    For those that had a good look what are your thoughts on McMullens play at 3rd base? Were some of those balls he just missed ones that a stellar defensive 3rd baseman would have made a play on? Not sure we have anyone better defensively. However, his bat looks as though it has to be in the lineup somewhere.
     
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  19. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    He missed a couple of plays first 2 days that a thought an “India” would make. But he had some good ones too that weren’t exactly routine.

    Sunday, though, he had some off-line throws. And one where we got off-balanced and just missed it.

    I figure, though - like with Brady at C last year - Sully will give Kirby a lot of reps at 3rd to get him acclimated & “ready”. Certainly, we have other options at 3rd, but this might be a case of Kirby needing more reps, not less. If he continues to deliver at the plate - he has got to be in the line-up.
     
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  20. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

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    I think everything that has been posted is pretty much spot on—our freshman class (while yes, they are true freshmen and will have those moments) is an exceptional class—

    We all saw flash “wow” potential in them this past weekend and at the same time to be accurate had a couple of “really’s” in there—

    After having had years where our offense had to heavily count on 2-3 bats what we’re looking at this year is the ol’ grin ear to ear kind of problems—;)

    While pitching was good this past weekend there are things to be worked on to have our guys ready to pull the wagon doing their part to the point that the offense just remains plain fun—

    I want Kirby’s bat in the lineup as much as anyone but if he’s going to stay at 3rd base he needs to see a lot more fungo every day—I honestly don’t know if that will solve his defensive issues or his glove is already maxed out—I’m sure he will get the extra work and we will see—
     
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