Texas A&M was en route to what should have been a big season for them in 2020. They boasted arguably the best pitcher in college baseball in 4th overall pick Asa Lacey. Unfortunately for all of us we only got four starts in what should have been a historic season for the lefty.
2019 Record: 39-23-1 (16-13-1)
2020 Record: 15-3
Perfect Game Recruiting Class: 32nd
Texas A&M finished the shortened season just inside the top 25 in USA Today’s coaches poll at No.23. The Aggies began the season on a ten-game winning streak and finished with another five in a row. A three game losing streak midseason was likely the result of facing legitimate competition for the first time in 2020.
The Aggies benefited from a soft schedule and struggled to do much of anything offensively in the Frisco Classic. They scored just seven runs on the weekend including an shut out against Illinois to begin the weekend. Much of the lineup returns for 2021 though so expect some better returns for this season.
The Aggies return one starter from the weekend rotation last year in Chandler Jozwiak. The lefty had a 3.12 ERA in five appearances including three Sunday starts. He’ll be joined by several other capable arms competing for rotation spots.
Jonathan Childress is another lefty who looked very good last year coming off season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2019. Though in his third year, Childress is classified as a freshman still using a redshirt in 2019 and a free year from 2020. He was 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA in four midweek starts last year.
Bryce Miller was the go to bullpen guy in 2020 and has worked out of that role over his first two years. He’s ready to make the jump to the rotation. Head coach Rob Childress has been very excited with Miller in the offseason who’s velocity has consistently hit 94-97 and has worked in four effective pitches to his repertoire.
The Aggies have to replace two pieces from the core of the lineup last season in Zach DeLoach and Cam Blake. Logan Britt is a guy expected to immediately fill the void left by the two outfielders’ departures. Britt had limited playing time but Childress has dubbed him as the most improved hitter during the fall.
Conversely the infield returns loads of talent and experience. 2020 JUCO product Logan Sartori had an immediate impact his first season with a .364 average – best among returning starters. Fifth year Hunter Coleman mirrors him on the other side of the diamond. Coleman was a Freshman All-SEC player in 2017 and can also spot start at catcher for the Aggies.
Fellow fifth year Bryce Blaum will take over up the middle again. Listed as a junior, Blaum’s SEC experience also goes back to 2017 when he played for Ole Miss. Blaum had a break out year in his first year with the Aggies in 2019 but was off to a slow start before the season ended last year.
Offensively the Aggies have the guys to replace the loss of production by a guy like DeLoach. They’ve developed guys and brought in some new faces to add to their depth. Additionally, they have two guys with the most SEC experience in the league to lead the team in a year where a lack of experience is evident across the SEC.
The biggest question mark will come from the pitching. The upside is the Aggies are one of many teams to lose their ace from 2020. Some young arms without the league experience are going to need to step up and fill the holes to make sure this team doesn’t miss the NCAA Tournament.
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