Thought one of the TV analysts made a good point about Casey Martin..................

…he said he would not bat him right in front of Kjerstad. He seemed to be saying they were wasting Martin’s speed by not letting him steal more, waiting on the Hog power to knock him in. I could see Martin taking on Cole’s role as the leadoff hitter, then let a veteran hitter bat second who could lay down the bunt or hit and run or just wart the heck out of the pitcher running up the pitch count while Martin pressured him with the steal threat. I am not questioning Van Horn’s wisdom in laying off steals letting our power bring folks home, but it is an interesting thought.

The issue with that question, to me is - where in our lineup would he NOT be hitting in front of someone with HR power? I guess you could stick him down at 7 or 8, but even then, the top of the order would be coming up soon. And, you definitely want to get more (top of order) at bats than less (down in the order) for Casey.

Now, with Cole graduating (as you mentioned), perhaps he could lead off next year. But . . . you might want him batting 3rd or 4th, as he obviously has 15-20 HR potential. And if you don’t, we’re still going to have Kjerstad and Fletcher coming up right behind him - so you have a very similar situation to the one being discussed this year.

However . . . it’s a good “problem” to have.

I think the announcer wasn’t looking up and down the batting order and realize the true depth. DVH knows more about baseball than he does! Next year will be a complete different story. Heston and Casey may not be 2 and 3 or right together.
The line up will be totally different. Just put the a lineup for defense together.
3B Casey Martin
SS Jack Kenley
LF Heston
CF Fletcher

SP Campbell
SP Cole Ramage
SP Bonnin
SP MCKinney (if healthy and recovered)

RP Matt Cronnin (Closer)

A lot of open positions will questions marks
I’d say DVH has his work cut out for him.

Where else would Martin hit? You want him high in the order and you want him batting with someone on base.

Bingo, wiz. Great points

Maybe where Cole is batting this year…leading off.

The other thing to remember about the lineup is that DVH has (mostly) set it up to alternate left and right handed batters. That has some impact on where he puts various batters.

Good point. Having a switch hitter lead off is a definite advantage.

Batting leadoff is not what it used to be. Look at George Springer in Houston, who reminds me of Martin in a way – speed, but also home run power (14 HR this year, 34 last year). And with the lineup we had this year (and hopefully will have something similar next year), it doesn’t matter where in the order you are, there’s a good chance you’ll be hitting with men on base. A “leadoff” man may only lead off once in a game. The rest of the time, he’s as much an RBI man as anyone else.

Casey is a remarkable freshman for Arkansas. I don’t know how the MLB evaluators missed him last season. He’s a 5 tool guy. Those tend not to play college ball, unless they also win Heismen trophies. A couple weeks ago an announcer noted that he expected Casey to be a top 10 pick in two years.

Five tool guys are too important to bat #1, unless you have nice bottom of the order hitters (rare). Their speed’s important but probably not as important as slugging percentage or RBIs.

For the Hogs, his batting right before KH has been a plus because the 4-6 hitters have also been solid.

But, as a rookie five tool guy, I’ve been amazed at his fielding the last half of the year; he clearly moved from High Schooler to Sophomore.

Casey has the it; he’s fun to watch. I guess you can argue with him hitting anywhere from 1-6.

See my post above about Springer. A five-tool guy clearly. Yes the Astros have hitting up and down the order, but so do the Hogs. If the 8 or 9 hole guy get on, then the leadoff man is in an RBI spot and it’s nice if he has that capability. Cole has 14 homers as a leadoff guy this year. I can easily see Casey in that role next year.

Use great caution when listening too closely to these “analysts” who are doing a live game. They typically lavish often unwarranted praise on players because (a) they know people who care enough to tune into their team’s games are very interested and supportive of the players - they WANT to hear positive things said about their guys, and don’t mind if it’s exaggerated. And, (b) because they know if they’re wrong, these fans won’t remember when they heard it, or who said it. In other words, these guys (game analysts) are in the business of making the viewer feel good about his/her team, first and foremost.

For example, just in the last couple of weeks, the guy doing our game where Knight pitched called him a “certain first round pick” in the upcoming draft. Blaine was generally expected to be a second round pick, but might go anywhere from the late first (possibly) to the third - which is where he ended up being drafted (pick #87). He was never a “certain” first round pick.

Now, I’m not saying Casey won’t be a first round pick in 2 years. I’m no expert, and it’s too early anyway. Just saying to take these hyperbolic proclamations by TV talking heads with a grain of salt.

It wouldn’t sruprise me at all - nor would it surprise me to see him hitting anywhere in the top 4. It would surprise me to see him hit any lower than that only because that would tend to decrease his number of AB’s over the course of a season. IMO, the order will depend on the newcomers we have coming into the program, and who secures a starting job in the areas vacated by those leaving, and what their offensive capabilities are.

But whatever it turns out to be, I’m just happy Casey will be a big part of it.



Now, I’m not saying Casey won’t be a first round pick in 2 years. I’m no expert, and it’s too early anyway. Just saying to take these hyperbolic proclamations by TV talking heads with a grain of salt.

[/quote]Well, I am an expert, or at least in my own mind. Casey’s good…especially for a frosh. Leads the team in steals, batting average, 3rd in slugging percentage, and 4th in OBA. Moreover, this isn’t a team of slackards. What’s amazing is he didn’t start 5 games. But, stats be damned…you can see the “it”.

The thing is, as we have seen from players in the past & present, is sometimes a player doesn’t quite meet his stats at the plate from the year before as we have seen from a couple of guys this year. Could be due to nagging injuries & opposing teams/pitchers/coaches dealing with him differently at the plate, etc. Not saying that will happen to Casey, he may blast 20 or more HR’s next year.
That being said, the fact that Casey does about everything on the field at a high level he has already caught the eyes of MLB scouts & next year will probably be his last as a Hog.

Will he be draft eligible as a sophomore? I thought both Martin and Kerstad will not be draft eligible until their junior year.

You are correct - both will be here 2 more years before they can be drafted by MLB.