Photo by Tarah Cochran, TexAgs
Texas A&M Baseball

3 Days ’til Aggie Baseball: Impact newcomers ready to take center stage

February 11, 2020
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Every day leading up to the start of the 2020 Aggie Baseball season, the TexAgs baseball coverage team will post a story diving into various storylines surrounding the A&M squad. Be on the lookout for daily articles from Gabe Bock, David Sandhop, Ryan Brauninger and Heath Clary between now and Opening Day, February 14th. You can keep up with the full series here: 2020 Aggie Baseball Preview Series.

Click play above to listen to today’s Q&A with head coach Rob Childress. Key notes for the interview can be found below.


The 2020 Aggie baseball team features quite a few familiar faces, both on the mound and in the lineup. Left-handers Asa Lacy and Chandler Jozwiak are entering their third year in college, and lefties Chris Weber and Moo Menefee are in year two with a ton of big-game experience under their belts. Additionally, LHP Jonathan Childress is back after an ultra-rapid recovery from Tommy John surgery. From the right side, Christian Roa will factor into the weekend rotation in a big way, Bryce Miller is the projected co-closer with Menefee and Jake Nelson is back after a solid close to his junior season.

Positionally, the no doubt leader in the A&M clubhouse is junior Bryce Blaum. He’s joined by veteran bats Hunter Coleman, Zach DeLoach, Will Frizzell, Mikey Hoehner, Cam Blake and Ty Coleman. That’s a ton of SEC experience back for the 2020 season, and now with a fresh outlook and approach under the direction of new third base coach Chad Caillet and an enhanced role for “OC” Justin Seely.

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Jonathan Childress is returning to the rotation after losing most of last season due to injury.

But who are the new names that you need to know when you head out to the ballpark starting this Friday to watch the 2020 Aggie baseball team? There are quite a few incoming freshmen and transfers that are expected to make an early impact on the squad this season, but two offensive players, a pitcher and one two-way player are among the top newcomers creating the most buzz entering the season.

Trevor Werner - SS/RHP: The cousin of former A&M shortstop and former Yankees minor league pitcher Adam Smith, Werner has slowly but surely established himself as a critical piece to A&M’s plans, both on the infield and in the back end of the bullpen. In fact, on Friday night, Werner will become the first true freshman since Smith to start game one of his career at shortstop. The 6-3, 220-pounder from Klein High School will likely hit in the nine-hole and has really turned heads as a position player, but many on the inside believe his future as a reliever is even brighter.

Logan Sartori - 3B: The JUCO transfer from Aggie-friendly Hutchinson CC made his way to Aggieland after a pair of record-setting seasons in the Jayhawk Conference. Sartori is the all-time career leader at Hutch in doubles (38) and triples (11) and added 13 home runs and 28 steals combined in ’18 and ’19. The Lincoln, Nebraska native stepped right in this fall and challenged for the starting shortstop spot, but it looks like he’ll land at third base and hit in the top of the lineup just behind Bryce Blaum to open the season.

Ray Alejo - CF: There might not be a better defensive center fielder or better base stealer in the SEC than Alejo. The fifth-year senior transfer from UCF (by way of Ole Miss) stole 51 bases combined the last two years in Orlando while starting 113 consecutive games for the Golden Knights. But a part of his game that is under the radar as he re-enters the SEC is his ability to drive the baseball. Alejo hit 18 doubles and eight home runs as a junior while serving as the UCF leadoff hitter in ’19, and he flashed that potential during Saturday’s Maroon & White game when he sent a Chris Weber fastball over the wall in left field for a grand slam during the first inning of action. Alejo won’t be asked to be a critical home run source for this lineup, but he comes to A&M with quite a few more tools on that belt than many expected when the Aggies accepted his transfer.

[Barr is] immediately eligible and will get ample opportunities to emerge as a key mid-to-late inning bullpen arm for the Maroon and White in 2020.

Dawson Barr - RHP: The sophomore transfer from TCU adds a fiery competitor to the A&M bullpen and fills a need for right-handed relief pitching. Barr pitched in 14 games with four starts as a freshman for the Horned Frogs, and while the ERA (4.63) and opponents’ average (.270) were a touch high, his strikeout rate was fantastic for a freshman (24 Ks in 23.1 innings). Barr was a Perfect Game All-American at Liberty Christian High School in Argyle, where he went 12-1 and fanned 85 hitters in 49.2 innings as a senior. He’s immediately eligible and will get ample opportunities to emerge as a key mid-to-late inning bullpen arm for the Maroon and White in 2020 after a solid fall and spring showing.

Finally, here is my projected A&M Opening Day lineup, rotation and bullpen depth chart entering Friday night.

Lineup:

  1. Bryce Blaum - 2B (R)
  2. Logan Sartori - 3B (R)
  3. Cam Blake - LF (L)
  4. Will Frizzell - DH (L)
  5. Hunter Coleman - 1B (R)
  6. Zach DeLoach - RF (L)
  7. Ray Alejo - CF (R)
  8. Mikey Hoehner - C (R)
  9. Trevor Werner - (R)

Depth Chart:

  • C - Hoehner / H. Coleman / Barker / Ashy
  • 1B - H. Coleman / Watson / Schmidt
  • 2B - Blaum / T. Coleman
  • 3B - Sartori / Bost
  • SS - Werner / Lopez
  • LF - Blake / Barker / Schmidt
  • CF - Alejo / Britt
  • RF - DeLoach / Corbett
  • DH - Frizzell / Watson / Schmidt

Pitching Rotation:

  • Friday - Asa Lacy (LHP)
  • Saturday - Christian Roa (RHP)
  • Sunday - Chris Weber (LHP)
  • Tuesday - Chandler Jozwiak (LHP)
  • Wednesday - Jonathan Childress (LHP)

Top Bullpen Arms:

  • Closer - Bryce Miller (RHP) | Moo Menefee (LHP)
  • Key LHP - Chandler Jozwiak | Dustin Saenz | Will Johnston
  • Key RHP - Trevor Werner | Dawson Barr | Jake Nelson | Cam Wynne | Blake Mayfield

Key notes from Rob Childress interview:

  • We're excited about the series this weekend at Olsen Field. Our players are ready to play a team that isn't themselves. They're ready to get started. I feel like we've done a great job from an offensive standpoint. The players have all embraced Chad Caillet and what he's trying to do here. We were very good offensively on Saturday, and it has made us optimistic about where we are heading going into the start of the season.
     
  • Our outfield battles are going really well. They're moving the offense along the way it has to be moved. Ray Alejo is a special player on defense. We have some great defenders to go along with him as well, guys like Zach DeLoach can defend. I think it's a significant advantage for us because our outfield is as big as most teams are going to play. Other teams can get exposed here with how much ground they have to cover.
     
  • I wouldn't say our infield is set in stone. It's something we feel really good about at the current moment coming off the last scrimmage. When we move Trevor Werner to the mound, it's going to shift the infield a little bit. That would have us move Bryce Blaum over to shortstop and have us insert Ty Coleman at second base. We feel good about where we are right now, though.
     
  • Logan Sartori had a fantastic fall for us. He's a very offensive player and hasn't stopped hitting this spring after batting over .400 in the fall. He's definitely a guy we need to have production from in our lineup.
     
  • Chandler Jozwiak will start on Sundays for us. He's earned that spot. That pushes a lot of really good arms into the bullpen in middle reliever roles, which we're going to need early on in the season with us playing five games a week for the first few weeks.
     
  • Miami (OH) has an awful lot of experience coming back from a team that won 37 games last year. They have 8 of 9 starters back, and they have some good pieces in their rotation. They are incredibly well-coached, and they certainly have our attention. We're going to have to do a great job of keeping them off the bases because they stole over 100 bases last year.
     
  • For Hunter Coleman, we're going to do what we can to help him stay healthy this year. He has as high of a baseball IQ as anyone on the team, and he's been a prominent leader on this team. I hope he has the year he wants and has prepared for, and it means him staying healthy. He's been a huge part of this team, and we hope it all works out for him this year.
Discussion from...

3 Days ’til Aggie Baseball: Impact newcomers ready to take center stage

2,075 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 11 days ago by Aggieangler93
Wicked Good Ag
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If Ray is as fast as the synopsis says wouldnt an attempt at the 1 or 2 hole be in play for more speed at the top of the lineup?

I can also see Deloach higher than 6th in the order based upon in summer performance and being in the lineup for the past two years. Wish I could make it this weekend to see all the newcomers in person
Aggieangler93
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AG
Ready for some Aggie hardball. I'm looking forward to another exciting season.
GIG 'EM - Class of '93
Dad of Class of '22
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