Fall Report: San Diego StateFall Report
SAN DIEGO — “Well, you know we had a bad year last year.”
San Diego State head coach Mark Martinez doesn’t sugarcoat it. The Aztecs struggled to a 21-38 record after winning back-to-back-to-back Mountain West Conference tournament championships. Even though they are preparing for a new year, last season is still at the forefront of discussion.
They didn’t live up to the standard that had been set in recent years.
Not unlike many teams winning conference championships, the Aztecs were hit hard by the draft. But along with ace Bubba Derby, a sixth-round pick, and senior emotional leader Steven Pallares, San Diego State also had a trio of juniors sign pro contracts — catcher Seby Zavala (Rd 12), righthander Mark Seyler (Rd 19) and three-year starter at third base and middle-of-the-lineup bat Ty France (Rd 34). Add in a recruiting class that was picked apart by the draft and features only two of eight original signees still on the roster and last year’s roster was left devoid of experience and top-end talent. The Aztecs didn’t have a single player selected in the MLB draft for only the second time since 1971.
The coaching staff wasn’t expecting to lose a number of the players it did.
“We did a poor job of preparing for that,” Martinez said. “Last year, we spent a lot of time playing with a lot of young players.”
But that meant extra seasoning for a group that remains largely intact from last season. The Aztecs had just three seniors. They return 11 of their top 12 hitters and all but eight starts on the mound. And Martinez believes his team is hungry after “they were all very humbled last year.”
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