Texas Baseball Schedule 2023 – The Longhorns could lose as many as nine of their regular 11 starters in the outfield and a handful of key weapons.
Featuring a guaranteed first baseman, a bullpen full of power arms and a stacked roster, the Texas Longhorns entered the 2022 season with high expectations after missing the College World Series finals in 2021 – a year for head coach David Pierce’s team. to win the first national fantasy program since 2005.
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But despite a better-than-expected offense led by first baseman Ivan Melendez’s historic season, the bullpen faltered for much of the year and the first rotation took a hit when right-hander Tanner Witt required Tommy John surgery.
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The Horns battled through adversity to finish the regular season in good shape and reach the College World Series, but the run ended after just two games when starters Pete Hansen and Lucas Gordon both struggled in their starts and the bats went quiet with just one. extra base in two games.
Like most teams built to contend for a title, Texas has a number of players who may or may not be signed after the 2022 MLB draft, putting a lot of pressure on Pierce’s incoming recruiting class to contribute in terms of time and personnel. add experienced players with immediate impact through the NCAA transfer portal.
With the season just around the corner, let’s take a look at the 2022 team and look ahead to make predictions about the 2023 team.
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The Florida native had a concussion that limited him to one game from early April to mid-May. When Kennedy was able to return, he was not sharp at the plate as his batting average dropped from .345 to .299.
Campbell got off to a slow start after a promising summer ball campaign and a solid fall, but came up late in the season with Kennedy’s injury. After hitting under .200 for most of conference play, Campbell finished with a .266 average, 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases, which led the team.
In his third season at Forty Acres, Hodo emerged as a solid defensive pitcher and reliable hitter, hitting .319 and showing more power at the plate, going from nine doubles and five home runs to 25 doubles and 10 home runs. . If there was a disappointment, it was his speed that failed to translate into stolen bases, going nine of six in 2021, but Hodo played well enough to have professional options after this season.
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Todd is finally leaving after six seasons at Texas and a strong 2022 campaign that overcame an early season shoulder injury that limited him to a hitting role. Some late adjustments helped Todd find more power, and he finished his career hitting .332 as a sixth-year senior with six home runs.
Stehly has been the real revelation of the season – Stehly worked his way into the starting lineup as a reliever and finally gave Melendez the protection he needed in his record-breaking season. Like Melendez, Stehly slumped a bit, but hit .367 with 19 home runs. Texas will not only miss his production, they will also miss his work ethic.
With his speed and left-handed hitting, Kennedy has some appeal as a prospect and will sign in free agency if he is not drafted. He’s almost 23 years old, so if he has a desire to play professional baseball, now is the time to enter the organization’s system. With two years of eligibility remaining, the Longhorns can keep Hoda on campus for a fourth season, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he leaves.
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If Campbell doesn’t return to the outfield where he started his career at Texas, he can play right and left field and has enough speed to play center if Hodo turns pro. He has shown his potential, and his speed makes him a dangerous weapon, so Campbell, who should be one of the best players on this team in 2023, has a very fortunate football game to build on. that alone shows enough progress. Plug him in as the best player in 2023, a role the Longhorns need him to fill.
Another potential option in center field is Ace Whitehead, who made one appearance on the mound and was more active as a pinch runner for Texas as a freshman. In a limited sample of 18 at bats, Whitehead showed promise as a lefty, hitting .556 with two doubles and three walks.
One player to watch in next month’s draft is California outfielder Henry Bolte, who is considered a top-50 prospect by MLB.com for his combination of power and speed. There are questions about Bolte’s swing that could help Texas get him on campus to start his career, but it’s possible Bolte will make the jump to professional baseball if he doesn’t play college baseball.
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Aleda midfielder Max Belyeu is likely to finalize his signing with Texas. Belyeu, a left-handed hitter, is another powerful fastball player who projects as a speedy contributor for the Longhorns.
“Max is one of the best left-handed hitters in the country, he’s going to bring a quick-hitting tool to our program from day one,” Texas assistant coach Sean Allen said when Belyeu signed last November. “He has good strength and can play all three positions outside the field. Max checks all the boxes to get what we want in a quarterback in Texas.”
Belyeu could get competition from lefty Brenner Cox, who could also be seen on the mound. Cox, from Prosper Rock Hill, fits Pierce’s preferred profile as a linebacker, with plenty of speed and good strength.
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“I love Brenner’s makeup,” Pierce said. “As a two-sport athlete, he has great leadership skills. Some of the best players I have coached over the years are the best defenders in football. Brenner has the ability to enter the Forty Acres as a two-way player and immediately contribute as a pitcher and position player.
With the only major National Player of the Year award remaining, Melendez is headed to professional baseball after the best hitting season in school history, which may not be matched or surpassed for decades after hitting .387 with 32 home runs. and 94 RBIs.
The player currently on the list with the best chance to replace Melendez is Gavin Kash, one of the better prospects from the recent signing class, who hit .174 in 23 at-bats as a freshman. Kash had a hit in nine of those at bats, so his approach includes a lot of swing and errors as well, but he has enough visible power to make him a player to watch in the summer and fall.
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If Pierce wants a more contact-oriented approach, Waxahachie’s Jared Thomas could get a significant look if the Longhorns decide not to consider the position through the NCAA transfer portal. Thomas is so good at running that he could also play outfield at some point in his Texas career, hitting .484 as a junior with a reputation for consistently competitive at bats.
If Stehly represents the team’s positive story with his relentless performance and high-level production, Daly’s second season was arguably the biggest disappointment, with the exception of closer Aaron Nixon. Daly’s defense improved at second base as he cut his errors from nine to four, raising his fielding percentage from .964 to .986, but his batting average dropped from .316 to .237 with a decline of slugging and on-base percentage. well.
Once again, the Kid was a joy to watch in his place and took significant steps forward at the plate, raising his batting average to .282 with a big improvement in his power, jumping from five home runs to 15 home runs while slugging. percentage. from 0.401 to 0.552.
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Faltin’s glove and promising power make him an incredible prospect despite legitimate concerns about his 43.1 percent strikeout rate, so even with two seasons of eligibility remaining, he is expected to jump into professional baseball with whatever improvement he can. to do next season may be beyond his years.
If Faltine leaves as expected, Daly could stay at second base or move to shortstop, a position that likely belongs to California product Cutter Coffey, the top shortstop in the state and a top 75 prospect at least one spot. . Considered a right-handed pitcher in this projection, the prospect of playing both ways in college could appeal to Coffey, who is ranked as the third baseman by MLB.com and ranked just outside the top 100. whether speculation helps or hurts Texas will show next month.