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Texas A&M Baseball

Jim Schlossnagle provides final thoughts on historic first year in Aggieland

June 27, 2022
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Off a trip to the Men's College World Series, Texas A&M head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle joined Monday’s edition of TexAgs Radio to look back on what Aggie baseball accomplished in one year and to also chat about recruiting, facilities and more.



Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • It’s good to be in Aggieland, but wish we were celebrating. I didn't want to watch a single pitch of the finals, but I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Mike Bianco is a really good friend of mine. It's good, I guess, that a team in the conference wins the national championship, and it's nice to see my friend win it.
     
  • This move has been very fulfilling. We got into recruiting as soon as we could. Within five minutes of the last out, Nolan Cain was on his phone arranging flights for official visits. It sounds crazy, but being in Omaha kind of sets you behind a little bit. Players do not wait to go to other schools. There is no vacation for us.
     
  • There are times when you sit back and think, "Holy cow, look at what we did." We were the most perfect imperfect team. We were imperfect in that we didn't do it with pitching and defense, but at the end of the game, we had one more run than the other team. That culture and character you hear about are very real. We have to work hard to maintain it.
     
  • The Arkansas series was a big one. What Jacob Palisch did was impressive. There are a lot of MVPs on this team, but it's either him or Troy Claunch. That Sunday vs. Arkansas was special. That Ole Miss weekend was special. The only challenge with us was going into the loser's bracket. If we had to play a fourth or fifth game, who would have pitched it? We were about to find out in Omaha. That series win over Arkansas stands out to me because I thought they were the bar in our league.
     
  • When you start out, you're "rebuilding" this program, and you think it's a two or three-year project to put yourself into position. Once we got into the spring, I knew we had a good offense. I thought it was going to be the best infield defense that I had ever coached with Kalae Harrison, Trevor Werner and Troy Claunch. We lost Werner, Kalae, and then we lost Khristian Curtis. It felt like you were climbing uphill. Still, I knew the character of this team was outstanding, and I knew we were always going to circle back.
     
  • The last 72 hours have been some of the most brutal times in my coaching career. We have to renew or not renew a scholarship by July 1. The MLB Draft isn't until the middle of July. You only have enough spots. We can have 27 guys on scholarship. You can have 35 guys on the team. You're trying to predict things you don't have control over. Are these guys going to sign? They don't know. You have to project things out, and you have to have some uncomfortable, unfair conversations with players and families. You're trying to make an educated guess. You could end up with all these players you don't have room for, or you could be completely devastated. My job is to give us the best chance to have a great roster. This is what we're left with now that the MLB Draft is in the middle of July rather than the middle of June.
     
  • Eventually, I'd like to get this to a point where a ton of homegrown players are on the field and the transfer portal only supplements that. Right now, it's just the transition of getting to that point. I want to win every year. Aggies want to win every year. Sometimes, we might have to live with three freshmen on the field. Hopefully, if that happens, they're the right three freshmen, and they figure it out.
     
  • As a coaching community, we wanted the MLB Draft pushed back one day between the super regionals and the Men's College World Series. MLB was looking for a way to celebrate their draft because it had always been done over the phone. We had it set up for the draft to be in Omaha. Then COVID hit. MLB eventually did what was best for them and moved the draft to the all-star break, which is in July. It puts college baseball in a tough spot.
     
  • Where would be without Micah Dallas and Nathan Dettmer? Sometimes, you get into a position where you have to ride out the slumps of your best players. They're great kids, and they're both coachable. They got with Nate Yeskie to find the right mix. They show up at their best when they're needed the most. For Micah, he had been there before. With Nathan, he wasn't a weekend starter until the end of last year. This was the longest he had pitched in his career. You saw some rough moments, but now, as long as he stays healthy, he should be something we can build around.
     
  • Yeskie does a neat thing where the next day's starter models that day's starting pitcher. Micah is right there when Nathan is going through his routine. Ryan Prager is right there when Micah is going through his routine. It creates a great synergy among the pitching staff within the team itself.
     
  • Chris Cortez had a simulated game the day before we went to Omaha that was the most electric thing that had happened on our field all year. It was amazing. He could be our version of Oklahoma's Cade Horton next season. We need Prager to do that same thing, but Cortez is that guy.
     
  • Jack Moss is supposed to go off and play in the Cape Cod League this summer, but he doesn't need at-bats. The next thing for me with him is working on his strength. Their mind immediately goes to home runs, but I don't want him to think like that. He's a first baseman, and corner infielders in MLB are usually bigger and stronger than he currently is. He has the frame to handle it. He needs to become a better mover. He needs to become as good of an athlete as he can possibly become.
     
  • We just need to keep our momentum going. The best way fans can help is to keep buying seats in the place we currently have to create a sense of urgency. I think Ross Bjork and John Sharp are very aware. Things have to happen in a timeline, and I get that. Nothing happens without football. I don't want to be in a rush just to do something. We have to do it right.
     
  • At Texas A&M, you cannot tell me that we should not have the premier ballpark in the country. How can we best maximize our space? I think my next big meeting on that is the third week of July. I want to make sure everyone is thinking grand. Think about when Camden Yards was built, and everybody went, "Holy cow." Every ballpark since has followed that same model.
     
  • These are conversations I had when I was taking this job. Look at Ole Miss and the expansion of their stadium. Ross Bjork was part of that. There are enough donors out there that are fired up. This expansion will happen. It just needs to happen the right way.
     
  • The last game against Georgia was a high point for me. We had been gone since Tuesday because we had a Tuesday night game in Corpus. We flew to Georgia. The town was packed because it was their spring football game day. We scored nine runs and then ten. It felt like we had been in Athens for a week. I asked Claunch if he wanted to shower after the game, but no, the team wanted to go home. Within 20 minutes of the last out, we were on the plane in full uniform, going home. I pulled in my driveway in full uniform, and I thought that was pretty cool. We did the same thing after we beat Vanderbilt.
     
  • The most satisfying thing for me was having my kids at the super regional. Jackson and Katie have grown up going to Omaha. They knew that coming here was an easy decision and a hard decision. They were 1000 percent behind me. To have my kids be able to run on the field and give me a hug, that was a highlight for me.
     
  • Between now and the MLB draft, we're trying to figure out the transfer portal, the guys on our team and the draft, but we're also trying to stay on top of our other classes. We're not out on the road much yet. We're spending this week trying to figure out the roster. Before we know it, the guys will be back for fall ball, and we'll be looking forward to the 2023 team.
Discussion from...

Jim Schlossnagle provides final thoughts on historic first year in Aggieland

11,543 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Dice
94chem
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Love to see the de-emphasis on summer ball, re:Moss. These guys have been in 365 day baseball for 15 years, but at this level, just playing more games can be an excuse for not doing the hard stuff that it takes to get better. Cross-train, weights, psychotherapy, drills, perfecting the change-up grip and arm motion...

I know they do this stuff, but having an extended time where there's not a game to get ready for, not a teammate to beat out or a score to keep, is way more important than an umpteenth summer of travel ball, sans parents in tow.
TxAg82/86
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AG
Love the getting home at midnight in uniform!
What was the "slow down big shooter" comment ?
archangelus2
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AG
TxAg82/86 said:

Love the getting home at midnight in uniform!
What was the "slow down big shooter" comment ?
Richard Zane asked coach a question around mid-season and that was coaches response. So he goes by big shooter now.
TxAg82/86
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AG
Thx !
94chem
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I have no idea what Cortez looked like in HS, but I can't imagine anybody doing anything against him. 32 years ago when I was in HS, the whole nation was talking about Todd Van Poppel out of Arlington Martin, who could hit the mid-90's on the gun. He was the consensus #1 pick, but he signed with t.u. and swore he was going to college. Oakland gambled at #11, and he took the 7 figure bonus.

I know times have changed, but Cortez has more stuff than Van Poppel. He throws harder, has better control, and his changeup is electric. There's no way this kid would have been in college back in the day, because he has big-league front of rotation written all over him.

Not surprised what Schloss said about his simulated game. He's just got to keep batters from hunting that fastball. It seems ridiculous to say that, but hitters are just too good these days at every level.
jigsaw87
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Heartstrong Sleep
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Vepp
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Wrecking crew21
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Dice
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AG
Very good interview. Thanks!
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