Martin was a middle infielder growing up. Shortstop is his natural position. He played third last season because there was a need there and Jax Biggers was a solid shortstop. Truth be told, Martin probably wasn’t the best defensive third baseman on the team last year, but his bat was better than Jack Kenley’s. His bat was better than everyone. He made a lot of great plays at third, but he also committed a lot of errors, including six in the postseason. He committed three errors in the final four games, including one apiece in the two losses of the championship round.
I think a left side with Martin at shortstop and Kenley at third might actually be better defensively than what the team had last year on that side. I don’t think they are married to those positions, but I think that’s the most likely place for them.
Here is what Van Horn had to say about Martin playing shortstop during the fall:
“Casey just has so much range,” Van Horn said. "He may have the best range of anyone in the country.
“Then when you get the ball, what can you do with it? Well, he can still throw you out from the hole or he can throw you out from way behind second base because of his arm strength.”
Thanks for the replies. I never doubt Coach Van Horn about much of anything, but am not a college baseball fanatic…I’m more of a MLB guy. I did get to see the regional and super regional and was surprised at Casey’s power for a guy that is not big. He has some punch in that bat. He is fun to watch because he has power and can really run.
I hope to see him in pinstripes some day. Easy Dudley, not everybody can be a Redbird.
When you start your lineup with a shortstop that hits .350, you have the makings of something special. Generally, that’s not a position that is loaded with hitting potential. You start with defense. Martin is a natural shortstop. He may make some errors, but he will get to more balls than anyone on the team. It’s a fascinating start to a lineup. If it doesn’t work out, then they can make changes. But I like the concept to think you can have something special in the batting order at shortstop. That’s what LSU had with Bregman. He’s not playing there in the big leagues, but he COULD play there.
Bregman is a ballplayer. He is not a big guy, but he can play the hot corner. He is a clutch hitter and a big part of Houston’s success. He is talented and scrappy…a good combination. He is the kind of guy an owner might want to reward. You know he is going to give it his best.
Here is another big reason for DVH putting Martin at short and Kenley at third. Van Horn told me Tuesday that he feels like Kenley will be drafted and sign as a drafted junior after this season. So, his thinking is that he wouldn’t want to be breaking in a new shortstop two years in a row. Casey Martin can play it this year and then return to that spot next year for his junior season. Makes perfect sense. All the other things we have discussed in this thread apply, like Martin getting to more plays because of greater range. But there is not a worry that Kenley could do well at short, too. And, that could still be a possibility.