Fall Report: CaliforniaFeatured
California’s fall workouts have been all about getting everyone up to speed.
The Golden Bears have had some luxuries over the past couple of seasons. They had the services of the nation’s premier hitter in Andrew Vaughn, along with other key sluggers such as Cameron Eden and outstanding backstop Korey Lee. On the mound, the Bears had a solid one-two punch with Jared Horn and Arman Sabouri leading the charge, while Rogelio Reyes was a real weapon out of the bullpen.
Cal’s 2019 campaign ended in successful fashion with a trip to the NCAA postseason and a 32-20 overall record. However, as head coach Mike Neu looks ahead, he realizes the Bears have some serious work to do with many fresh faces now on campus.
They must replace Vaughn, Eden, Lee, Horn, Sabouri and Reyes, among others. And though far from impossible to overcome, there’s uncertainty.
“I think we’ve got a lot of new, but talented, guys,” Neu said. “I think the takeaway from the fall is just trying to get these guys up to speed and prepared for the season. We have 13 freshmen for the second year in a row, I think, and we have some impressive talent.
“On the mound, it’s going to be pretty interesting, because if you look at our roster, we’re not going to enter the 2021 season without a single pitcher from this staff,” he continued. “We’re going to be young on the mound, and in general, really, but this is a group that likes to work.”
The pitching staff has plenty of potential with the return of talented young arms Sam Stoutenborough, Sean Sullivan and Grant Holman. Meanwhile, the offense has the tough chore of replacing the top three sluggers However, Darren Baker had a strong fall and is a definite breakout candidate, while Quentin Selma hit .311 last season and is ready to take another step forward and senior Max Flower hit .280 and put together a solid fall for the Bears.
But can the young players fill in the gaps? That’s the question.
“I think this could be a sneaky good team,” Neu said. “I’m realistic about the league we’re in and what our teams look like. I know when we’re good and when we’re simply not, and I do think this team has a chance.
“How we do in the spring is going to depend on how well we mature as a team,” he continued. “There’s some draft talent and there’s some competitiveness out of this group. We could be one of those teams that plays up a little bit if we get hot. We had some guys step up last year and allow us to make the postseason. We could have that happen again.
Let’s dive into Cal’s fall workouts.
Check out our full Cal fall report below!