Today we’ll take a look at some of the options in the outfield in the second of a three part series on GT baseball.
The Georgia Tech outfield should be a position of strength in the 2015 season. Coach Danny Hall could start two or possibly three returning starters from last season. The versatility of his players will give Coach Hall several options in the outfield that will determine how many of those returning starters we see in the outfield when the opening day lineup is announced.
Left Field – Matt Gonzalez returns after being name second team All-ACC. Gonzalez started all 64 games last season. He was the only player to start every game. The junior outfielder/infielder is one of three returning starters that hit over .300 last season hitting .314. Gonzalez also led the team in runs batted in last season. Defensively, Gonzalez showed off his strong arm by throwing out 15 runners. Should Coach Hall decide to move Gonzalez back to the infield, he would have two or three other options in left field. Returning right field starter Ryan Puerifoy played left field in the fall. Freshman power hitter Kel Johnson could also start in left if he isn’t playing first base. Senior Grant Wruble has also seen some action in left after coming to Tech as a catcher.
Center Field – The second team All-ACC player Daniel Spingola returns for his final year. Spingola led the ACC in hits and triples while starting 62 games in center. His .319 average led the team in hitting. Spingola was also second on the team in runs batted in as the team’s leadoff hitter. Coach Hall utilized Spingola’s speed to lead the team in stolen bases. Sophomore Kennan Innis started 23 games last season before missing the final month of the season with an injury. Innis played center in the fall and should be the primary backup to Spingola.
Right Field – Sophomore Ryan Puerifoy returns after starting 44 games in right field last season. Puerifoy had a solid freshman season hitting .296. He covered a lot of ground in right and had seven assists in a record setting outfield that threw out 25 runners. If Puerifoy is used in left, Tech will look to a few players in right field. The aforementioned Innis saw action in right last season and could be used in a righty-lefty platoon if so desired. The third possibility would be left handed power hitter Cole Miller. Miller missed all of last season following hip surgery. GT could also use Miller’s bat as a DH.
Our final article in the three part series will cover the pitchers and catcher on the 2015 squad.