State of the Hogs: 2019 Hogs to operate differently on offense

Here’s a front-page commentary to coincide with the start of baseball practice today: … different/

Good article Clay…I like the aggresssive approach on the bases but all the cathers in the SEC can throw and I hope it doesn’t backfire on us some…How good a hitter is Franklin? all we hear is what a great defensive player he is but he looked good at the plate in the exhibitions…I think Gooheart is going to be a stud and Ezell will be good too although i don’t expect him to hit .378 in this league.

“They open official practice Friday with a team that will be pushed to be different in what still could be a very good season”.

I’m not sure I remember a better returning offensive “3”, than Martin, Kjerstad, and Fletcher. It appears, sadly, that we’ll be pressed to be “different” this season.

You remember the three coming back. Do you remember the six not coming back? That includes the top two hitters in SEC play: Carson Shaddy (.395) and Eric Cole (.346). Cole hit eight home runs in SEC play. That was best on the team. Luke Bonfield was solid, too. So was Jax Biggers.

Cole led the team in RBI in SEC play (28) and Shaddy was next (22). Grant Koch did not hit for high average, but he had 20 RBI in SEC play. That’s outstanding from the bottom of the lineup. Yes, Kjerstad, Martin and Fletcher scored a lot of runs, but it was because those guys behind them in the lineup hit. That’s exactly what Dave Van Horn was talking about when he said he couldn’t stack those three together or teams would pitch around them. Jared Gates had an up-and-down season, but it was up in postseason play. He picked it up when some of the others slumped in postseason.

Yes, they will have to take extra bases when pitches are in the dirt. They will have to steal a few more bases and I suspect that Casey Martin will become a threat on the base. That’s one of his great tools, fantastic speed.

Trevor Ezell has a chance to hit for high average. They hope Jordan McFarland replaces some of the power that was lost, but he hasn’t done it yet.