SIAP - DVH All-Arkansas Team

Saw an article the other day about Calipari’s All-Time Kentucky roster, and I have been thinking about it for Arkansas.

Since Arkansas baseball is Kentucky’s basketball, what would DVH’s all-time roster look like for his tenure at Arkansas?

I’ll take a stab:
C - MCCann
1B Wilkins
2B Anderson
3B Cox
SS Hode
OF Bennintendi, Eibner, Gentry

Lefty P Smyly
Righty Knight

I’d go with Nick Schmidt instead of Smyly at LHP. And I think Martin will end up the SS on that team but he isn’t there yet. Trying to come up with a DH.

Edit: Chad Spanberger as the DH

C McCann
1B Danny Hamblin
2B Mark Bridges
SS Scott Hode
3B Logan Forsythe
OF Andrew Benintendi
Craig Gentry
Bret Eibner
DH Bret Eibner

Starting pitchers
Nick Schmidt
Dallas Keuchel
Blaine Knight

Jay Sawatski
Matt Cronin
Zach Jackson

I’ll take Carson Shaddy as my 2B, especially the way he played last year.

I had a hard time with 2B
Shady only played there at the end of his career.
Very good one year, but not sure about best Imof an era

I really had a hard time remembering second basemen
Many listed Anderson, but I didn’t remember him playing second. I thought he was a third baseman.

This thread makes you think. To me, it just signals all of the great players that have come through the program in the past 17 years. I’ll do a little differently and post all of the players who came to mind when thinking through what the “all-time” team might be. I don’t think of this necessarily in terms of career statistics, but in terms of how good they were at their position by the end.

C - James McCann, Grant Koch, Brady Toops
1B - Danny Hamblin, Andy Wilkins, Chad Spanberger, Dominic Ficociello
2B - Brian Anderson, Carson Shaddy, Scott Bridges
SS - Casey Martin, Matt Reynolds, Scott Hode
3B - Bobby Wernes, Logan Forsythe, Zack Cox
OF - Andrew Benintendi, Brett Eibner, Craig Gentry, Dominic Fletcher, Heston Kjerstad, Eric Cole
Starting Pitchers - Blaine Knight, Dallas Keuchel, Nick Schmidt, Drew Smyly, Ryne Stanek, DJ Baxendale, Trevor Stephan, Jess Todd, Jalen Beeks
Relief Pitchers - Matt Cronin, Zach Jackson, Colby Suggs, Nolan Sanburn, Barrett Astin, Mike Bolsinger, Jay Sawatski, Charley Boyce, Barrett Loseke

That doesn’t even begin to take into account the strong college players who were the heart and soul of their teams and instrumental to so many strong teams, but wouldn’t be considered for a list like this. I think of guys like: Tyler Spoon, Tim Carver, Bo Bigham, Matt Vinson, Ben Tschepikow, Scott Lyons, Joe Serrano, Luke Bonfield, Jake Dugger, Brian Walker, Blake Parker, Kacey Murphy, Collin Kuhn, Brandon Moore and on and on.

Anderson played all over the place, but he wound up as the everyday second baseman in 2014, his final season. He actually began his career in the outfield.

It has been awhile, but t thought Scott Bridges played as much OF as 2nd base.

Glad you brought up all those names. All of them were important parts of very good teams.

I would put my catchers as James McCann and Brian Walker. That would allow for a right-left platoon. I think Walker’s hitting would put him above some of the others mentioned (Koch and Toops). All four of those were good defensively and allowed to call pitches by the pitching coach. Walker was the first that I knew was allowed to call a game early in his career. Koch was superb defensively, but he never hit for much of an average.

The best defensive first baseman during the Van Horn years was Dominic Ficociello. It’s not close.

Best center fielder was Jacob Morris, although Dominic Fletcher is comparable in many ways. Morris, who was not much of a hitter, was definitely faster and got to more balls in the deep alleys. He had a better arm, too. Fletcher probably gets better jumps. But in the words of the author of Money Ball, you have a hard time making up for speed in the outfield. You can’t measure what one player gets to because of better speed but it may be significant.

Best defensive third baseman is open for discussion. Bobby Wernes may have been the best, but Clay Goodwin (a holdover from DeBriyn days) was terrific.

As far as shortstop, Scott Hode hit better than he fielded. But he was more than adequate in the field.

I don’t argue with any of the lists compiled here. It’s all opinion and no one is wrong. I’m just adding a little to the discussion on some that may have been left out of the threads.

There are periods of this discussion that it is not apples to apples. Equipment (both bats and balls) changed in the era. So some that posted unbelievable pitching stats during the low offense years should not be magically called better than some pitchers who faced offenses that spiked because of batter friendly bats and balls.

Personally, Carson Shaddy’s one great season at second base is enough to put him ahead of Brian Anderson there. Shaddy played second better than Anderson and had an amazing year both hitting and in the field. Anderson never played second like Shaddy did last year, and Shaddy’s SEC hitting numbers were amazing. I think of Anderson and Shaddy alike in that they had some kind of throwing issues that prevented them from being great at points in their college careers. Anderson was a more consistent hitter, but he was better suited for DH for much of his time at Arkansas.

Can’t leave Kevin McReynolds off this team.

Well yeah you can, since he didn’t play for Van Horn. :sunglasses:

oops. True.

That’s a whole different discussion – greatest all-time baseball players. I know that there is one that many would never include and that’s Lance Alworth. He had a good pro offer even while the pro baseball scouts knew that he was going to concentrate on football. In fact, he was not a fan of his own ability in any sport and thought he would go to law school.

The best all-time players who I saw in person were Kevin McReynolds and Andrew Benintendi. Jeff King was the top overall pick, but I didn’t look at him the same way I did either McReynolds or Benintendi.

I think Benny might get a vote or two there, Clay.