Texas A&M's Nick Banks is having a strong season. (TAMU)


Southwest Midseason Report

We’re a little over halfway through the college baseball season, and the Southwest region and Big 12 have delivered some things that were expected, some surprising things, and some emerging stars. There’s a lot of baseball still yet to be played, but here’s a look at some of the best so far in 2015:

Most Surprising Start: Texas A&M

Texas AM logoIt might not make a lot of sense to include a preseason Top 25 club in this spot, but if anyone saw Texas A&M ripping off 24-straight wins and starting the year 31-2 despite losing its ace pitcher, then losing another ace in AJ Minter, that person is lying.

Even without Minter, we knew the Aggies were going to pitch well. Maybe not to the tune of a 2.08 team ERA with 282 strikeouts and just 81 walks, but that was always going to be a strength of the club. A&M’s ability to hit has been the bigger surprise.

After playing a schedule sponsored by Hostess to begin the season, there was fair reason to be concerned that A&M’s bats would drop dramatically in production. But that hasn’t happened. The Aggies are still hitting an outstanding .320/.415/.483 as a team, and seven regulars are hitting .300 are better. That’s tremendous.

The Aggies have a tough SEC road ahead of them with series against Mississippi State, Arkansas, LSU (road), Tennessee (road), South Carolina, and Ole Miss (road). But thanks to their strong start, even an average finish through that gauntlet would probably mean a host bid and possibly a national top eight seed.

Surprising … On The Flip Side: Texas

C.J. Hinojosa needs to have a strong second half of the season. (Texas)C.J. Hinojosa needs to have a strong second half of the season. (Texas)

Before their 6-4 win Tuesday night over Wichita State, the Texas Longhorns lost seven-straight games, including a midweek loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi sandwiched by being swept at Oklahoma State and Nebraska. Both Oklahoma State and Nebraska are solid teams, but a team like Texas, who looked like a top-10-type of club just a couple weeks earlier and is now 18-15, shouldn’t get swept in back-to-back weekends and shouldn’t sleepwalk through a midweek game against a RPI-killing opponent. Speaking of RPI, Texas was No. 87 in that category before Tuesday’s game.

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