Matt.. About Fletcher

Hey Matt,
If the opportunity comes up, could you ask around if Fletcher has made any conscious changes to his swing or approach at the plate? He’s been tearing it up lately, and to me his swing looks visually better than it did earlier in this season and last season, but I don’t know enough about it to identify what, if anything, is different. I do know that he is currently tied (with Opitz) for the lowest strikeout percentage on the team, which is pretty impressive for a guy that also leads the team in slugging percentage.

Also, how crazy is it that Opitz now has the lowest batting average among starters (.218) but has the second highest OBP of the same group (.430). That’s a lot of walks.

I’m not Matt but Fletcher is just a good hitter. For example last night he took a few pitches from the LHP late in the game last night and then took a pitch and went to left field with it. He knows how to hit. He will hit for power and can drive in runs.
On Optiz he just hasn’t got rolling yet. I don’t expect him to hit for a high average but he is the best catcher we have. The OBP is high because of his ability to read pitches that may be in part too catching and seeing the ball so much. He is clutch and can get a big hit.

The impressive thing to me is how well the freshmen are hitting and producing at the plate. Nesbit and Franklin. Goodheart has suprised me too. In the next few weeks we will figure out how good the hogs are this year. Ole Miss, Vandy and Miss St these series they will have to perform and take advantage of scoring chances and be effective to win. The same thing applies to our pitching. They will have to make pitches in key spots to win.

Completely agree that Fletcher is just a good hitter, just wondering if any change was made consciously in an attempt to improve or just to return to the form we seen at times in seasons past.

Also, on Opitz, I didn’t mean that as a knock at all. He’s elite behind the plate, so even if his OB% was more in line with his BA, I’d still want him starting at catcher. I was just remarking on the disparity between those two numbers, which is unusually large.
I’d think he’s due for an upwards correction in his batting average soon, because as you said, the OB% is so high because he sees the ball well. I think that will translate to more hits eventually.

Nesbit and Franklin have been huge for sure. This season is on a whole different trajectory at this point if they hadn’t produced at the bottom of the order like they have. And I think we’re just seeing the beginnings of a great season from Goodheart. He tore it up in fall ball and at San Jac last year, he even hit in the leadoff spot for them. He was brought here to be a big part of the order, and think that’s exactly what he’s going to do.

The key to Fletcher improvement is very simple he is swinging at more strikes(what Martin was/is not doing)and he is going with the pitch he has had several line drives to left which is something he rarely has done…He is being patient and when he gets a pitch on his zone he is ripping it.He needs to just keep this up b/c he will see some tough LH down the stretch.

I totally agree on Goodheart he sis going to provide some big hits in the future and he will hit some HR’s the ball jumps off his bat as good as any on the team…

Opitz IMO is taking too many hittable the way he is getting on but we need some more hitys out of him.

I have noticed something unique during baseball season. The people on the board now seem to care more about the hogs than some of the idiots that post during football and basketball season! Have you noticed the same thing?

The team being pretty darned good just might have something to do with that.

Marty you have a good point but the number of people posting don’t compare to the football or basketball and they don’t complain as much! Yes they are pretty darn good again this year!


The team being pretty darned good just might have something to do with that.

[/quote]Yes and No. The “yes” being that they’re ranked 8th and are #4 in the current RPI, while also co-leading the SEC West. The “no” being that, to me, they just don’t seem to be as good overall as last season – rather they currently look greener, less explosive, and they seem thinner at the starting pitcher position.

But, I’ll add that the sweep of Missouri is looking better day by day.

And personally, I retired recently and have more time to “care”.

Yes last year and this year gave everybody in a pretty decent mood during baseball season…so far anyway!


I agree with you, except for the starting pitching comment. I’d say Scroggins fill the hole Murphy left, and Noland has been about as reliable as Campbell was to this point last year. The main difference is both Wicklander and Noland are true freshman and will only get better with more innings.

Also, our bullpen has so many more options than last year. Reindl, Ramage, Loseke, and Cronin were the only reliable arms.

The bats of Kenley, Franklin, and Nesbit have certainly been a welcome surprise.

When I was a student at Arkansas I got to know some of the baseball players and have been a big fan ever since. I post in football or basketball sometimes, but I honestly don’t care about those enough to follow them like I do baseball.
Marty might be on to something though, it is much more rewarding to be a baseball fan at Arkansas than football or basketball at the moment. Nothing wrong with wanting to root for a good team, and the baseball program should be rewarded with more support after the success they’ve earned.

I plan to get a detailed answer to this tomorrow.

We put a lot of resources into baseball coverage on this site and I think that attracts people who want to talk about baseball.


I hope no one was expecting this team to be on a par with the 2018 team. They were thought by many pundits to have a chance to be CWS finalists before the season even started. There was a lot of experience lost following 2018. But while the 2019 team is green in some aspects, I’ve been impressed by the maturity of the freshmen on the team.
Don’t misunderstand, they still have a long way to go and they are still learning. But darn, they look promising.

Thanks Matt. All the resources y’all put into it definitely don’t go unnoticed.