Fall Report: San Diego StateFall Report
Mark Martinez and his coaching staff have done an amazing job at San Diego State, but like many staffs, they’re always seeking to take the next step.
The Aztecs used to be one of those programs that had the talent to compete at a high level, but more often than not, they’d fall short of expectations. But everything has changed over the last six or seven seasons. In addition to establishing a clear identity as a program, Martinez’s program has formed into a postseason mainstay.
Before the 2013 season, the Aztecs had reached the NCAA postseason just nine times. But since that berth, SDSU has reached the postseason five of the last six seasons and are considered the standard in the Mountain West Conference.
That’s all fine and dandy to Martinez and his staff, but they’re always aspiring for more. They don’t want to just make the NCAA postseason, they want to become a big player on the national stage. And to accomplish that goal, they need to get better and deeper across the board, while most importantly, being more athletic.
Martinez came to that realization in last year’s Corvallis Regional. The Aztecs finished the 2018 campaign with an impressive 39-21 overall record but lacked the athleticism to compete against a team like LSU. He addressed that and more this fall.
“I think we had a real good group last year that honestly kind of exceeded our expectations,” Martinez said “We were a little bit younger and had more moving parts than usual. We had some guys playing out of position in some spots. Now, we’re trying to compete more on the national level.
“One of our recruiting points has been to be more athletic across the board. That’s a process, and it’s not something you can just wave a magic wand at,” he continued. “We feel like we’ve gotten more athleticism and speed over the past couple of seasons, and our goal is to go out there and be as athletic and compete with the LSU’s of the world. We need to be in a position to create more opportunities for ourselves, especially from an offensive standpoint.”
While the pitching staff is in terrific shape, there’s some uncertainty when it comes to the offense and position players.
SDSU has the tough chore of replacing offensive stalwarts Chase Calabuig and Jordan Verdon, while shortstop David Hensley could be difficult to replace as well, though USC graduate transfer Angelo Armenta had a strong fall. The Aztecs also return some key hitters, such as powerful Chad Bible, among others.
On the mound, righthanders Harrison Pyatt and Justin Goossen-Brown give the Aztecs a pair of productive and seasoned arms, while righthander Logan Boyer, a power-armed veteran, is again healthy and had a strong fall as well. Also keep an eye on sophomore Casey Schmitt, who tallied video game numbers last season and showed even crisper stuff this fall.
What’s the inside scoop on the Aztecs this fall? Let’s find out:
SIZING UP THE ROTATION
The Aztecs are excited about their weekend rotation for good reason.
San Diego State typically has solid arms throughout the roster, but Martinez believes this might be the first time his team is able to go four-deep and high-quality in the rotation with the return of Goossen-Brown, Pyatt, and of course, the return of hard-throwing righty Logan Boyer.
Boyer is the most interesting of these arms, though. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, looks the part, but made just nine appearances (four starts) last season because of recurring injury issues. Boyer was healthy this fall and looked the part. His fastball was anywhere from 93-96 mph with heavy cutting action. He’s also developed an effective breaking ball, while the changeup can be used to keep hitters honest.
Click below to read more about the Aztecs!