2013 Starter: Ty Ross
Stats: .217, 32 RBI, 3 HR, .275 SLG%, 22 BB, 24 K, .295 OBP, .996 FLD%
By most accounts, Ty Ross' final year at LSU was a disappointment. The coaches had a lot of expectations for Ross entering the season, hoping he'd make the jump and reach the potential he'd shown in his first two seasons. His batting average dipped significantly from when he hit .292 in 2012. He never found much consistency at the plate and mostly bounced between the No. 7 and No. 8 spots in the lineup. His draft stock obviously suffered, as he fell to the 12th round, when some had pegged him as a possible first or second-round pick before the season.
But while Ross never got it going at the plate, he did show up behind it. Ross showed tremendous ability at catcher, committing only two errors all season. Runners were only successful 67 percent of the time stealing against him. But without much pop offensively, Ross left LSU fans wanting more by the time his career finished.
Who Returns: Chris Chinea, Michael Barash
Newcomers: Kade Scivicque
Someone other than Ty Ross will regularly man catcher for the first time since 2010, and as of now, who that will be is still up in the air. The two returning players were both freshmen in 2013 and played only sparingly at catcher in their debut season. Of the two, Chinea has the bat most ready to be in the starting lineup come 2014. But his game as a catcher still needs to develop. In the times he did play in 2013, 11 runners attempted to steal on him, and he didn't catch a single one. Because of Chinea's power potential, he will find a place in the lineup next season, but it probably won't be at catcher.
That would leave Barash, who graduated high school a year early in order to enroll at LSU. Barash spent most of the season as the bullpen catcher, so he has developed some chemistry with the members of the pitching staff. But Barash showed a lot of youth in the times he did play, so he may not be ready to handle everyday duties next season.
So in comes Scivicque, a transfer from Southwest Mississippi Community College. Primarily known for his defense, Scivicque showed a solid all-around game in 2013, earning a spot on the first team All-MACJC. He led his team with a .321 batting average and had 37 RBI with four home runs and 12 doubles. He also got it done behind the plate, being named MACJC Defensive Player of the Year with a .991 fielding percentage. Scivicque will definitely bring the most experience to the position in 2014, which could give him a significant leg up on the two rising sophomores.
Projected 2014 Starter: Kade Scivicque
Who will be the starting catcher in 2014?
TSD will preview all eight positions in the field as well as the starting rotation and the bullpen in a 10-part series. You can find all the previous outlooks in the links below:
Position Outlook: Catcher
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