Fall ball now deep into week two

Ole Miss heads into the second weekend of fall baseball practice still with many questions unanswered. Each passing week should help the coaching staff determine a lot of things as they evaluate the 2007 squad.

After a week-plus of fall baseball, some things are apparent. Others are not.

It's still an uncertainty who will be behind the plate for most games this season. Brett Basham? C.J. Ketchum? Others?

Same goes for first base and third base. Andrew Clark? Certainly he's shown he can play already. Dan Black? Haven't seen much of him yet. Cullan Kight? Been waiting on his shot to play first as a redshirt last season. So has fourth-year junior Peyton Farr.

Cody Overbeck? At third he's done well and also at the plate. Devin Hicks? Could be the third baseman after waiting in the wings as a redshirt during Chris Coghlan's last season. Evan Button? Such a talented kid who wants to play badly. Could be a starter but also could back up Justin Henry at second or Zack Cozart at short. Count Zach Miller in the backup role at second currently.

Outfield? Logan Power is likely with Fuller Smith a great possibility as well. Jon-Jon Hancock is the veteran out there, and Jordan Henry is in the mix too. So is returnee JoJo Tann.

It's just so early and there's so much to be decided. But that's what makes fall baseball and the preseason practices so important. And then a set lineup might not happen until after the first few weekends of non-conference play. That was certainly the case with the pitching rotation last season.

Pitching staff? Loaded. Best in America? Could be if they stay healthy and there are no defections. Will Kline, Lance Lynn, Cody Satterwhite, Craig Rodriguez, Nick Hetland, Jesse Simpson, Brett Bukvich, Thomas Flautt. Those are the returning vets.

New names, both redshirts and newcomers: Nathan Baker ("He has no idea yet just how good he can be," someone close to the program told me who knows what he's talking about); Jake Morgan (can throw it in the low to mid 90s, I am told, and will be a factor on this staff);

Scott Bittle, Wade Broyles, Rory McKean, Tyler McMullen, Kevin Parker, Michael Robbins, Colby Wark, James Wiley, Matt Smith, Justin Cryer.....goodness there's so much talent on this pitching staff.

The Rebels have three intrasquads this weekend – Friday at 2:15 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. Things could come more into focus in some areas after those three big scrimmages.

But it could take the remainder of the fall and into the preseason, maybe even into the regular season to get it all sorted out.

Mike Bianco says you can never have enough talent. It appears to me that from top to bottom and all the way down the lineup, he's never had more in seven years at Ole Miss.

Does that mean Omaha in 2007? Obviously as Texas and Miami proved to us the past two seasons, there are a lot of other talented teams out there.

But the Rebels are right there with them. When you keep knocking on the door, someday it will open. It may take kicking it down, but it will happen.

The pieces are there again. It's just making sure they fit in all the right places that's the challenge of the coaches now and in January.

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