East Carolina catcher Travis Watkins (Aaron Fitt)


Top 25 Breakdown: No. 10 East Carolina

Season Preview

2016 Record: 38-23-1. RPI: 27.
Coach (Record at school):
 Cliff Godwin(78-45-1, 2 years).
Ballpark: Clark-Leclair Stadium (Capacity: 3,000).
Postseason History: 28 regionals (active streak: 2), 0 CWS trips, 0 national titles.
More: Fall Report on East Carolina

East Carolina's Projected Lineup

CTravis Watkins, R-Sr..326/.407/.4767443
1BBryce Harman, Sr..242/.379/.3764252
2BCharlie Yorgen, Sr..262/.346/.3261226
3BEric Tyler, Sr..306/.381/.4265369
SSTurner Brown, So..281/.379/.3523349
LFBryant Packard, Fr.HS—Greenville, N.C.
CFDwanya Williams-Sutton, So..360/.455/.5515277
RFSpencer Brickhouse, Fr.HS—Zebulon, N.C.
DHLuke Bolka, Sr..317/.400/.4633123
LHPEvan Kruczynski, Sr.8-12.01116.295270
LHPJacob Wolfe, Sr.6-42.9588.157320
RHPTrey Benton, Fr.HS—Cerro Gordo, N.C.
RPJoe Ingle, Jr.6-33.5952.2754012

Grading The Pirates

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.

Hitting: 60

The Pirates ranked near the national median in scoring last year (162nd in the nation), but expect them to be an above-average offensive team in 2017. This is a veteran-laden lineup filled with hard-nosed grinders who don’t give away at-bats. Watkins has been a key contributor since 2013 (he redshirted in 2014), but he really blossomed into the centerpiece of the lineup last spring. He’s a physical righthanded hitter with a mature approach and a knack for delivering in pressure-packed situations. Williams-Sutton made a huge splash as a freshman, leading the AAC in batting and OPS while showing both pop and speed. He’s a dynamic talent who teams with Watkins to give ECU a pair of fearsome righties in the heart of the order.

The switch-hitting Brown is a slap hitter who has added some strength and should find the gaps more often as a sophomore. He’s a pesky out who should be a capable table-setter atop the lineup. Yorgen doesn’t put up gaudy numbers but is another good bat handler who excels at bunting and executing hit-and-runs. The coaches say Tyler turns in quality at-bats more consistently than any other player on the team, and he also has enough strength to rack up some extra-base hits. Bolka has made big strides as a hitter after entering the program as primarily a pitcher; he gives ECU another emerging threat from the right side.


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