Top 25 Breakdown: No. 1 TCUAnalysis
2016 Record: 49-18. RPI: 8.
Coach (Record at school): Jim Schlossnagle (565-254 in 13 seasons).
Ballpark: Lupton Stadium (6,000).
Postseason History: 14 regionals (active streak: 3), 4 CWS trips (last: 2016), 0 national titles.
More: Fall Report on TCU
TCU's Projected Lineup
|C||Evan Skoug, Jr.||.301/.390/.502||9||51||7|
|1B||Connor Wanhanen, Jr.||.231/.327/.290||0||23||9|
|2B||Cam Warner, Sr.||.300/.346/.431||6||43||10|
|3B||Elliott Barzilli, Sr.||.339/.418/.518||7||48||14|
|SS||Ryan Merrill, Sr.||.298/.353/.410||1||25||11|
|LF||Josh Watson, So.||.280/.398/.506||11||44||12|
|CF||Nolan Brown, Rs. Sr.||Injured in 2016|
|RF||Austen Wade, Jr.||.286/.434/.359||1||27||13|
|DH||Luken Baker, So.||.379/.483/.577||11||62||1|
|RHP||Brian Howard, Sr.||10-2||3.19||98.2||93||30||0|
|RHP||Jared Janczak, Rs. So.||7-4||2.61||82.2||80||26||0|
|LHP||Nick Lodolo, Fr.||HS––LaVerne, Calif. (Damien HS)|
|RHP||Durbin Feltman, So.||3-0||1.56||34.2||49||11||9|
Grading The Horned Frogs
Just as scouts grade prospects using the 20-80 scouting scale, we use a 20-80 scale to evaluate teams in our top 25. A score of 50 in each category is average, relative to a typical NCAA tournament team; 55 is slightly above-average; 60 is above-average (plus); 70 is well above-average (plus-plus); 80 is top of the scale, historically strong. Accordingly, 45 is fringe-average or slightly below-average; 40 is below-average; 30 is well below-average; and 20 is the extreme in that direction.
The Horned Frogs received a wealth of warranted love from a pitching perspective toward the end of the 2016 season, but some forget that Bill Mosiello’s offense also rose to the occasion. The Frogs have been productive at the plate the past two seasons, and there’s reason to believe this might be their best lineup in a few seasons.
The Frogs return one of the nation’s leading power hitters in Baker, while there’s an abundance of experience throughout the lineup. Skoug is a hard-nosed backstop who should be even more consistent than last season with more power production. Meanwhile, Barzilli is one of my favorites with his ability to hit the ball with some authority, particularly to the gaps. Watson had a very strong and consistent fall, while Wade and Warner are quality returning bats. There’s also Wanhanen, who hopes to return to his old ways after taking a slight step back last season.
The X-factor for this group could be Brown. Brown was expected to replace Cody Jones in center field last season, but suffered an early-season injury and ended the year with three at bats. Brown is athletic and provides the Frogs with a quality bat and always importance experience. Also, keep close tabs on junior college transfer Austin Ingraham, who had a strong fall and led the team in batting average and extra-base hits.
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