AStateNation visited with Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball coach Tommy Raffo about the team’s projected lineup for the season, which begins Friday at Alabama-Birmingham.
Dalton Lovell has been with RS sophomore, a development player. He started some games for us last year. (Junior college transfer) Frankie Alvarez has a little learning curve jump into the level. We knew Stuart was leaving; Frankie was recruited for that along with Dalton. Joe Schrimpf caught in high school. His transition was easier. He has as l lot of intangibles behind the dish.
We could play potentially five players there. Obviously Matt Burgess returning and having the most time. Others who play there who are dual position players in Tanner Ring, Jake Bakamus, transfer in from Washington, JD Rainwater and Tony Ortiz, who are both pitchers. JD, Tony, Jake and Matt are all left-handed hitting options. Matt is a switch guy; Tanner is right-handed. You could see any of those five at first. With Tanner, JD and Tony able to pitch, you have to be able to interchange and swap out that position al little bit. Matt can DH and play first. It’s unique. We are not locked in. It’s kinda fun.
Joe Shrimp, Neil Lambert, Tim Seldomridge, we can play a Tanner Ring there because he is athletic enough, we can play a Jake Bakamus. More than likely keep Joe and Neil over in the second base spot.
Jeremy Brown, Neil Lambert, Timmy Seldomridge. There are a lot of deposits we put in the bank for him (Brown) last year and now you are hoping to see some returns coming on sophomore year. Typically, you see that at this level. Playing 56 games as a freshman was asking a lot but we felt it was the thing to do. We hope the development moves forward. That is the key. They all have a skill set that can play the middle infield.
Ring. Tanner was preseasons all-Sun Belt. His arm now is at a position after going through 2 years plus after the post labrum. Last year had to sit him some because not really fully recovered. You can play Joe there. Jake Bakamus is primarily his backup. He can play third and do well. Timmy Seldomridge can go there. Joe was there his freshmen year. Garrett Huff, freshman, probably more his primary position. And Garrett can play a little bit of second. We are trying to teach him that position.
You’ve got Burgess you got Bakamus. Gosh it could be anybody on the team. We have so many options depending upon on running situation later in the game. The thing that is really intriguing for us this year that we have never had is too have Ring, Rainwater, Ortiz, guys who are dual position players that if you throw you are going to lose the DH. So I think we have some options of the bench. You don’t want to lose you DH but it if that has to be the case I think we can do that.
It is a good first three. It really is. Might be one of our better first three that we have had in combination with White, Baker and Rucker. We have got to knock on wood, make sure they stay on top of themselves for the year. They bring a lot of speed, a lot of range, a lot of experience. They are all left-hand bats. They can swing, they all can bunt, they can run. They can do a lot of things. There are no sluggers out there but all potential could slug. Timmy can go out there. He has improved. He is unique because he can do so many things and help us defensively and help us late if we need. Drew Tipton is our fourth or fifth outfielder right now and still learning at this level. Neil Lambert could go out there; Garrett Huff could.