I am posting this message to give a summary in my opinion on what the baseball team has accomplished so far this year. I have been to 7 games this year and watched another three, so I think I have a good idea of what I am seeing. This is not a post based on stats but one about what the team looks like to the naked eye. Let us examine.
Taylor Hightower- Defensively, this guy is good. He has proven over and over what kind of cannon he has under the red and blue. He blocks balls very well and is one of the best defensively. Offensively, his bat is picking up a little with each game, much to the liking of Bianco. I give him an A so far.
Matt Smith- His bat has been about where I expected it to be so far. He is hitting at .339 and is second on the team in hits and rbis. He has 16 walks and 11 strikeouts. If he continues to get on base with walks and not sit down with strikeouts, then he could be all-SEC. His power can improve some but I think he will continue to hit well. Let's say A so far.
Alex Yarbrough- All I can say is wow. This kid went off against Tulane. His glove is good and his bat is even better. He makes contact very well. He has very little power, but he is turning into a Jordan Henry type of player. The sky is the limit for this kid. A+ so far.
Kevin Mort- We have him out at SS for his glove, and he is very good at it. He has played ok in the field so far with a couple of errors. He doesn't strike out very much, which is very good for this team. However Kevin has just not produced offensively so far. He has had some opportunities to help the club out, but he just can't get his bat going. While his expertise is not hitting, we need to see a few more hits. I'll give him a B-, being generous.
Zach Miller- Zach has always been good in the field, and he does not disappoint this year either. While Zach's average doesn't show it, he is leading the team in rbis on the year. He is hitting well when it counts. A few less strikeouts might help his average,but overall I think he deserves an A-, mainly for the defense and team-leading rbis.
Tanner Mathis- A freshman phenom is all I can say. Another young player in this program that is very good. He gets on base period, and he doesn't strike out very much at all. He is second on the team in batting average, and I think he will continue to improve and turn into a very, very good player. A+
Tim Ferguson- Bianco had big hopes for Timmay this year, and he has lived up to the hype so far. Fergie leads the team in hits and is hitting increasingly well since he was moved from leadoff to batting third. With freshman like Mathis and Yarbrough, Tim finally gets the chance to knock in some runs. His glove has been great so far especially since making the switch from the infield. He is 11-11 in the SB departement, and he may end up with 35 SB this year. Fergie gets an A. Let's pick up some more rbis my man.
David Phillips- As an Ole Miss Rebel baseball fan, I know that Bianco has his favorites every year. This year it appears to be Phillips. I thought, here comes another choke season for a Bianco favorite, but I am very surprised at David's production so far. He leads the team in HRs and hits a lot of balls in the gaps. The downside is that he strikes out a lot. He leads the team in that category, but if he continues to hit the long ball, he will be in the lineup at DH. B so far. Cut down the SOs DP.
Miles Hamblin- Has played well so far. A couple of bombs and doing well in the rbi department. His average is suffering a little, but I believe that will pick up. He is great to have as a backup to Hightower. A do-it-all type of player, he is one of those guys you just love to have on your team. B so far.
Matt Snyder- Hasn't played too much this year but has hit for power, which is what we all thought he would do. He will do fine this year, and I am hoping for at least 10 HR on the year. If he plays 1B well, I think he will do great for the rebs. B due to lack of PT.
Mike Snyder- Hasn't played as much Bianco thought he would. Mike will likely be riding the pine a good bit this year if the freshman continue to hit the way they are hitting. He may be a liability in the field when it comes down to it. C for now.
Taylor Hashman- What a night vs APB. This was good to see if you're a rebel. He leads the team in BA and might earn a little more PT after this week's performance. Will likely play a lot against southpaws, and hopefully he can do well in SEC play. B+ so far.
That is all for today. I will talk about the pitching so far tomorrow. Kicking off SEC play tomorrow and looking for a statement from the rebels this weekend. Feel free to comment as these are only my opinions, and I look forward to seeing other's opinions.