Matt: on A.J. Lewis as All-American

I see he was the Division 1 All-American catcher (by Collegiate Baseball). Maybe I have been under a rock someplace, but I had no idea he was that good. They ranked him ahead of Opitz, which is saying something. He will be our starting catcher next year for sure.

I think his All-America status is based on the hitting numbers he recorded this year. Defensively he was kind of shaky - three errors and three passed balls in 13 games. Teams successfully stole 9 of 12 bases against him.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say he will be the starter at Arkansas right away. Dominic Tamez was probably the best hitter of the catchers this year, but he didn’t play the position well consistently. Cason Tollett would have seen some playing time if he wasn’t injured because he was a better defender than Tamez.

The good thing about Lewis is that he can do more defensively than catch. He’s played in the infield and in the outfield. That versatility provides some options to get his bat into the lineup.

One of DVH’s most appreciated assets, of the many he has, is his honesty with players and parents. So when he tells a young Texas catcher that he’s great at blocking, moves well behind the plate, needs to improve his recieving but has to relax in order to do that, I’ll go with that assessment over a third party resource.

I get the sense your comment is directed at mine about Tamez. I think Tamez has strong qualities as a catcher - you don’t get recruited to a program like Arkansas if you don’t. He has as strong of an arm as I’ve seen from a freshman catcher. I think he will be a strong prospect once he becomes a more consistent receiver.

My point - and I probably did not convey this well - is that I have seen Arkansas’ coaches eventually yield to the best defensive catcher since I’ve covered the team, even if it meant sacrificing some offense.

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Word is Tamez is headed to junior college

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