UConn Baseball 2020



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Adam Schwartz who redshirted last year also looks like he found a new home at UMBC.
A good job snooping, although Schwartz currently isn't showing up on the UMBC baseball roster. Of course, those things aren't always up to date. Schwartz was another 2019 roster guy who I figured was another candidate who might have been in trouble in terms of making the spring roster.
Adam Schwartz is now showing up on the UMBC baseball roster.
 
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I was trying really hard to keep up with all the good insight you have brought to this board. :)
It can be a rather thin line between good insight and random babbling on my part.
 
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From Baseball America. They see Colby Dunlop really breaking out. I'll have to wait on that one.

2020 AAC College Baseball Preview

>3. Connecticut: (39-25, 12-12)

The Huskies have plenty of depth on their roster, something that will help offset the losses of drafted players Mason Feole, Jacob Wallace and Anthony Prato. Freshman first baseman Reggie Crawford has plenty of pop in his bat, and coaches feel that right fielder Ben Maycock is primed for a breakout year with the potential to hit double-digit home runs. Center fielder Chris Winkel moved from first base to center field in the fall after stealing 13 stolen bases in 2019. Second baseman Christian Fedko posted a .271/.408/.401 line with 43 RBIs and could be poised for an even better spring as a junior. After allowing 13 earned runs in his first 13.2 innings of the 2019 season, Colby Dunlop finished the season on a high note with a 7-4, 4.31 mark for the year. He will look to carry that momentum into this season as the team’s likely Friday starter. Caleb Wurster has the tough task of inheriting the closer role from Wallace, but the lefty reliever should be up to the challenge after pitching to a 2.66 ERA in 47 innings as a high-leverage reliever as a redshirt freshman.<

>Newcomer of the Year: Reggie Crawford, 1B/LHP UConn

The first player to ever get drafted out of North Schuylkill (Pa.) High, Crawford was selected in the 37th round by the Royals but elected to honor his commitment to UConn. The Huskies and head coach Jim Penders are certainly happy to have the two-way player who carries an imposing 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame and plenty of power for a team that hit just 40 home runs last season. In addition to providing solid defense at first base and a potential middle-of-the-order bat, Crawford can get his fastball up to 94 mph on the mound to help a roster that lost three of its top pitchers from the 2019 season.<

Top 2020 draft prospects for UConn:

6. Colby Dunlop
11. Chris Winkel
20. Jimmy Wang
 
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D1Baseball.com is out with their AAC preview. UConn is picked to finish third, and not make the NCAA tourney this season. There is some good UConn info in this piece.


The following selection pretty much sums up what I have been thinking about Uconn baseball for this coming season

>The Huskies closed a very successful decade with six regional trips in 10 years, establishing themselves as the clear-cut power in the Northeast. To keep that run going, UConn will need some unproven players to mature quickly, after losing mainstays Anthony Prato, Mason Feole, Jacob Wallace, John Toppa, Michael Woodworth, Jeff Kersten and CJ Dandenau from last year’s team.<

Interesting summary of the starting pitching:

>UConn feels good about its depth on the mound, though it lacks a proven ace in the Feole mold. Junior righty Colby Dunlop is a converted shortstop with a quick arm that generates 88-94 mph heat with good movement as well as a swing-and-miss breaking ball and quality changeup, and the Huskies need him to take another step forward with his command to anchor the rotation. Junior righty Joe Simeone is an aggressive strike-thrower with an 88-91 fastball and a putaway slider, and the coaches love what they saw from him in the fall, making him the likely Saturday starter. Juco transfer RHP Nick Krauth (a polished three-pitch bulldog whose high-80s heater plays up because of his deception) and intriguing sophomore RHP Jimmy Wang figure to compete for weekend starts as well. A 6-foot-3, 208-pound righty who showed up on campus as an unknown actuarial science student from Beijing by way of Michigan, Wang has made big strides since last spring, flashing 95 mph heat and the ability to spin a nice slurve at 78-80.<

This article also says a number of UConn freshmen on the pitching staff have bright futures.

AAC Impact freshmen

2. Reggie Crawford
13. Max Nielsen
19. Andrew Marrero
26. Todd Petersen
30. Patrick Gallagher

AAC 2020 draft top prospects

14. Colby Dunlop
16. Caleb Wurster
26. Jimmy Wang
30. Chris Winkel
34. Christian Fedko
47. Ben Casparius (no decision yet on eligibility for the coming season)
50. Joe Simeone

AAC 2021 draft top prospects

3. Patrick Winkel
9. Kyler Fedko
 
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>UConn feels good about its depth on the mound, though it lacks a proven ace in the Feole mold. Junior righty Colby Dunlop is a converted shortstop with a quick arm that generates 88-94 mph heat with good movement as well as a swing-and-miss breaking ball and quality changeup, and the Huskies need him to take another step forward with his command to anchor the rotation. Junior righty Joe Simeone is an aggressive strike-thrower with an 88-91 fastball and a putaway slider, and the coaches love what they saw from him in the fall, making him the likely Saturday starter. Juco transfer RHP Nick Krauth (a polished three-pitch bulldog whose high-80s heater plays up because of his deception) and intriguing sophomore RHP Jimmy Wang figure to compete for weekend starts as well. A 6-foot-3, 208-pound righty who showed up on campus as an unknown actuarial science student from Beijing by way of Michigan, Wang has made big strides since last spring, flashing 95 mph heat and the ability to spin a nice slurve at 78-80.<
Dunlop was horrific at the start of the season. But we all need to remember that he got two starts in the post-season and was our best starter by far. In the AAC Tourney he went 5 1/3, no runs, 2 hits, and in the NCAAs, against Nebraska, went 8 innings of 1 run, 5 hit ball. If he is "that guy" everyone else's job on the staff becomes easier. Wang has potential but who knows. I'm not as impressed with what Simeone has done as that summary seems to be. And I'm not counting out Haus from making a run for the third starter spot either. But if Dunlop's a true #1, we have enough depth to be o.k. with the starters.

Whether we have anything besides Wurster in the pen is another issue entirely. While he was maddeningly wild, I thought Johnson had the stuff to be a good set up man behind him this year, but obviously that isn't happening.
 
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Haven’t listened yet...
Not tons of actual news there.

1. Of the three D-1 transfers, they hope that Willis will be ready to pitch by the start of conference play in March, Stock has been cleared but they won't know whether Casparius is cleared to play this year until right before the opening weekend. Spoke of them all more as pitchers than positional players.

2. Said that Dunlop and Simeone were fighting it out for the Friday night role at the moment.

3. Noted that we will be more reliant on players who haven't previously contributed than any year he can remember, but beyond that -- recalling that we only return five players who contributed at all offensively (Chris Winkel, Gozzo, Nucerino and the Fedkos) he gave no indication of where the other four bats are coming from (although we all believe Crawford is one of them).
 
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Dunlop was horrific at the start of the season. But we all need to remember that he got two starts in the post-season and was our best starter by far. In the AAC Tourney he went 5 1/3, no runs, 2 hits, and in the NCAAs, against Nebraska, went 8 innings of 1 run, 5 hit ball. If he is "that guy" everyone else's job on the staff becomes easier. Wang has potential but who knows. I'm not as impressed with what Simeone has done as that summary seems to be. And I'm not counting out Haus from making a run for the third starter spot either. But if Dunlop's a true #1, we have enough depth to be o.k. with the starters.

Whether we have anything besides Wurster in the pen is another issue entirely. While he was maddeningly wild, I thought Johnson had the stuff to be a good set up man behind him this year, but obviously that isn't happening.
After last season ended, Joe Simeone went off to play summer ball. He had an outstanding summer season as a starting pitcher for Keene of the NECBL. He had possibly the best season of any UConn pltcher in summer ball last year. From what these previews indicate, it sounds like Simeone built of that summer ball season during UConn baseball fall ball and this preseason. We'll see what happens with Simeone at the start of the regular season, but for now I am quite excited to see what he can do based on what he did during the summer season.
 
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Haven’t listened yet...
Not tons of actual news there.

1. Of the three D-1 transfers, they hope that Willis will be ready to pitch by the start of conference play in March, Stock has been cleared but they won't know whether Casparius is cleared to play this year until right before the opening weekend. Spoke of them all more as pitchers than positional players.

2. Said that Dunlop and Simeone were fighting it out for the Friday night role at the moment.

3. Noted that we will be more reliant on players who haven't previously contributed than any year he can remember, but beyond that -- recalling that we only return five players who contributed at all offensively (Chris Winkel, Gozzo, Nucerino and the Fedkos) he gave no indication of where the other four bats are coming from (although we all believe Crawford is one of them).
Erik Stock being eligible is news that we did not have before, so that has some significance. I recall that from a fall interview that Penders liked what he saw of him on the mound during fall ball, so if he becomes a main bullpen cog that would up the significance level. Also good to know that Justin Willis is having a fast recovery and is due back around the end of March.

While Uconn is still waiting to find out if Ben Casparius will be cleared to play this season, Penders was busy trumpeting his ability. Penders said he thought Casparius could become a Friday starting pitcher. Even if Casparius is not eligible to play this season, that is still something significant to watch for next season if need be.

One other interesting note. Penders said that Kyler Fedko has shown significant improvement as a defensive outfielder since being moved there, to the point where Kyler is now one of UConn's best defensive outfielders.

I suspect that if the decision on Ben Casparius being eligible is not made until just before the opening weekend, that will delay the posting of the roster on the UConn athletics website until that decision is made.

Also hoping that Chris Jones and the coaches still come out with their preseason interviews. I just love listening to those things.
 
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This article concludes with a note on Andrew Marrero:

>Former Wilbur Cross pitcher Andrew Marrero is competing for a role in UConn’s bullpen as a freshman with his highly effective breaking ball drawing praise from his UConn coaches.

“He is a guy who is a short burst guy now,” Penders said. “Give him an inning, five or six batters and he just lets it rip. He is fun to watch. He has all the histronics with the delivery, but he is able to repeat his delivery. There is a confidence with the way he goes about things, a little swagger to him and you need that as a freshman if you are going to succeed.”<
 
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Redshirt freshman RHP Tyler Briggs apparently is no longer at UConn. Briggs is listed on the baseball roster of Wabash Valley College, the same JUCO school where UConn recruit Austin Peterson is playing this spring.

 
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Article on Kevin Ferrer
Kevin Ferrer had a great season at the bat in summer ball last year. Based on that I was wondering if he would be in the running for a starting spot in either the outfield or at D.H. for UConn.

Anyway, here are some snippets from the above New London Day article:

>“He can really hit,” coach Jim Penders said. “I think he’s going to find a way. If he’s not starting opening day, he’s probably going to get some starts at DH. You may see him in left field. He’s improved his defense, but he’s still got a ways to go. I wouldn’t consider him an every day outfielder just yet. But he’s developing.”<

>Ferrer sat out his first season in Storrs as a red-shirt. He put his time to good use, working on his conditioning, adding muscle and polishing his baseball skills.

Penders took notice.

“He’s put his nose to the grindstone,” Penders said. “Last year he used that time that he wasn’t on our roster and red-shirted to really improve on his own. He took pride in getting his work in and never missing a lift and got his body in better shape, too.”<

>Penders got another good look at Ferrer’s offensive skills during Thursday’s scrimmage.

“He has a knack for finding holes,” Penders said. “Even today he found a hole in the infield. He has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball and hitting them where they ain’t. He does that very well. Never looks like he’s overmatched in the batter’s box.”<
 
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Jonesie: you've spoiled us! In prior years the Coach McDonald and Coach Hourgan interviews have been out at this stage! Hopefully these interviews are in the pipeline, it would be a shame if they would be discontinued this year! Six days out...go Huskies!
 

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