Top 25 Breakdown: No. 10 East CarolinaSeason 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
|C||Travis Watkins, R-Sr.||.326/.407/.476||7||44||3|
|1B||Bryce Harman, Sr.||.242/.379/.376||4||25||2|
|2B||Charlie Yorgen, Sr.||.262/.346/.326||1||22||6|
|3B||Eric Tyler, Sr.||.306/.381/.426||5||36||9|
|SS||Turner Brown, So.||.281/.379/.352||3||34||9|
|LF||Bryant Packard, Fr.||HS—Greenville, N.C.|
|CF||Dwanya Williams-Sutton, So.||.360/.455/.551||5||27||7|
|RF||Spencer Brickhouse, Fr.||HS—Zebulon, N.C.|
|DH||Luke Bolka, Sr.||.317/.400/.463||3||12||3|
|LHP||Evan Kruczynski, Sr.||8-1||2.01||116.2||95||27||0|
|LHP||Jacob Wolfe, Sr.||6-4||2.95||88.1||57||32||0|
|RHP||Trey Benton, Fr.||HS—Cerro Gordo, N.C.|
|RP||Joe Ingle, Jr.||6-3||3.59||52.2||75||40||12|
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.
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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