Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition | SECRant.com
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daboman of Aggieland
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Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


A short background on the Aggie program under Rob Childress ...

RC took over the helm of the 2006 Aggies after Mark Johnson’s 2005 Aggies failed to make the NCAA tournament. That made four of MJ’s final six season that we didn’t reach the tournament.

RC had been the pitching coach at Nebraska under Dave Van Horn. When DVH went to Arkansas for the 2003 season, Mike Anderson was named head coach. The word was that Anderson and RC were essentially co-head coaches with Anderson running the offense and RC the pitching. Someone had to be HC, and that was Anderson, but by all accounts, the pitching staff was 100% RC’s.

That’s the same situation that we hired Childress under. He has always been his own pitching coach and had *nothing* to do with the offense. From 2006 to 2010 that was Matt Deggs’ job. After a rough first season in 2006, this situation largely worked, although Deggs’ aggressive baserunning, part of an overall small ball offense, was too aggressive for many of us. This “problem” was eliminated the month before the 2011 season when Deggs abruptly resigned for “personal reasons” and was replaced by Andy Sawyers, a.k.a. “Saw Dog.”

2013, Last Season …

Always streaky under Rob Childress, the 2013 Aggies began the season being shut out at home by the University of Illinois Chicago (They play baseball?!?). After dismal offensive production in the 2nd half of the 2012 season, this start was brutal to watch. Dismal and brutal are both pretty accurate words to use when describing the Aggies offense in 2013. After years of watching Matt Deggs’, then Andy Sawyers' small ball offenses, this was something different. Like those offenses of the past, this team didn’t hit for much power, just 26 home runs in 63 games. It slugged at an anemic .370. It also didn’t hit for much average (.270) and it struck out a lot, 418Ks in 63 games. This wasn’t small ball. This was garbage.

At the end of last season, I wrote a “post-mortem” for the team on TexAgs.com. I had planned on using it as a beginning for this post, but it’s apparently been deleted. I am usually accused of being a sunshine pumper on there, but I called for the firing of Andy Sawyers (thus, the deletion). We’ve now had a year and a half of terrible offense, and of no apparent offensive scheme. From last year’s team, the returning productive offense is Cole Lankford (slow), Troy Stein (slow), Hunter Melton (slower), Krey Bratsen (very fast), and Mengden (average). This lineup will never succeed with small ball. This left me wondering WTF was in Sawyer’s head all last season. I even emailed him (never heard back). Only RC does interviews, and RC doesn’t discuss pitching, which leads to .

Looking to 2014 ...

Pitching was young but pretty solid last year. It wasn’t RC’s typically dominant staff, but it should be improved this season. Look for Parker Ray and Daniel Mengden to return as starters, and I suspect Mengden will be one of the aces of the SEC by the end of the season. It’s just a hunch after eight years of watching RC develop pitchers. I don’t think that Childress gets the credit that he deserves for the pitchers that he has developed over the years. I suspect that RC would like to make Mengden a pitcher-only this season, but we desperately need his bat.

Jason Jester, who is still on my shite list for blowing up our bullpen by not making his grades for the 2012 season, should be dominant again in whatever roll he is given. Grayson Long should also be improved. We have a large group of younger arms who had poor seasons in 2013. If we’re going to be successful, a couple of then will need to step up. Matt Kent and Corey Ray are a couple of guys who might fit that roll. RC will find guys who throw strikes and stick with them, at least for a few weeks. Guys who can’t throw strikes will be buried deep in the pen. RC has coached this way since he came to A&M, and I respect him for it.

In my old age, I don’t know any current players. However, over the last two summers, I’ve talked to a couple of former players and to another player’s father. At this point, I don’t have any faith in the offensive instruction that our players are receiving. I saw one of our more successful former starting pitchers out West at a minor league game in 2012 and talked to him for 30 or 40 minutes. He was upset about the lack of run support then (before 2013).

I know that RC “went the juco route” this off-season, which is a bit unusual for him. Maybe these guys will produce some runs despite our staff?!?

Despite my offensive concerns, hope still does spring eternal. There are few things in life as nice as a spring afternoon in the fresh air looking down at Leo’s beautiful field and the simple but elegant game taking place on it. I made almost every game as a student (1991-95) and then as a season ticket holder from 1997-2013 (lived in Ohio for the 1996 season). I’ll be here at my computer for the 2014 season following Dave and praying for good camerawork by 12th Man TV.

Beat the hell outta Northeastern!



This post was edited on 2/7 at 11:40 am



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ShaneTheLegLechler
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


I've seen Mengden on some high draft projections. He's legit.

We really need someone to step up and help Lankford in the lineup. Otherwise we will be similar to last year






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tmc94
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition








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tmc94
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


quote:

Grayson Long should also be improved

I expect a lot out of Mengden. I expect Ray will be solid. I think Long could make this staff elite. I really love his potential. He's the kind of guy that RC turns into a stud out of nowhere.






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Agforlife
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


RA'd for a sticky


This post was edited on 2/7 at 11:49 pm


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TbirdSpur2010
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


quote:

RA'd for a sticky


Granted






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WestCoastAg
UCLA Fan
#HKIC
Member since Oct 2012
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


quote:

I don’t have any faith in the offensive instruction that our players are receiving
so it looks like this is still going to be a problem






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Agforlife
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Somewhere in the Brazos Valley
Member since Nov 2012
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


I haven't kept up with baseball (college or pro) as much as I used to for the past few years. I am making a conscience effort to change that this year. Looking forward to making it out to some games and hopeful to see an improved team this year.





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daboman of Aggieland
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Columbia, MO
Member since Aug 2011
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


FYI, you can order four months of 12thManTV for $39. This will get you a stream of every game at Olsen that isn't televised by someone. The camera work was much improved last year. The audio is still Dave ...

Did I mention how improved the camera work was?!?






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daboman of Aggieland
Texas A&M Fan
Columbia, MO
Member since Aug 2011
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


quote:

I don’t have any faith in the offensive instruction that our players are receiving

so it looks like this is still going to be a problem

IHMO, yes

Our hitters have no aggression at the plate. All of the bunting that we do is counter-productive because we strike out so damn much. Too many of our kids start off on a cold stretch and then look almost exclusively to bunt.

There was a thread on TexAgs.com this off-season about Chance Bolcerek and Charlie Curl being cut from the team. I met Curl's dad Charles at Ole Miss last season. I watched most of the Friday game with him. He's a solid guy and Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of '77. He rooted hard for the Ags, not just his son. I liked that in a parent.

Anyway, here's what he had to say about the cut.
quote:

Granted Charlie had a tough year with the bat his junior year, but from my point of view, the coaching staff should take some responsibility for the entire team's batting average!Charlie only did what the staff asked of him (play defense, and sacrifice bunt)Was told he had an "average" glove defensively though he had the best fielding percentage of all infielders!Each year in summer ball, he got better and was a leader for his teams. Was this because he got away from the "coaching " of A&M? I could go on but this post is already too long and will most likely get edited from this post. I trusted Childress with my son and he let me down.

Even Charles doesn't mention Andy Sawyers. He's like this invisible man. Our hitting has been atrocious for a season and a half. Someone please interview the man who runs the offense.

Here are our 2013 season statistics, and the offensive numbers are ugly.



This post was edited on 2/8 at 12:43 pm


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ShaneTheLegLechler
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


I don't want to sound overly negative because I don't think Childress does a bad job overall necessarily, but I have several friends who played major D1 ball and were recruited to play at A&M and had A&M high on their list along with schools like Rice, Arkansas, Texas and TCU. None of them spoke highly of him and they said he has a pretty negative reputation in some recruiting circles.





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daboman of Aggieland
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


I've never met Rob Childress. I've seen occasional posters (granted, more than one) say things like this about him, but it's hard for me to put much into it until I've heard something more and/or something in person.






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ShaneTheLegLechler
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


Yeah that's understandable. And like I said I don't think he's done a bad job. I also think we could be a powerhouse baseball program with the right coach, everything else seems to be in place (sound familiar?)





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WestCoastAg
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


quote:

Our hitters have no aggression at the plate. All of the bunting that we do is counter-productive because we strike out so damn much. Too many of our kids start off on a cold stretch and then look almost exclusively to bunt.
I've only been following a&m baseball since 2010, same with football and basketball, but this seems to always be the problem with our lineup. It sucks. We can be a fricking powerhouse with the right manager






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Agforlife
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Somewhere in the Brazos Valley
Member since Nov 2012
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


From the small sample I saw last year we play small ball with a bunch of guys who are not fast enough to do that with.





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daboman of Aggieland
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Columbia, MO
Member since Aug 2011
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


Five days to opening day!








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TbirdSpur2010
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Texan Embassy @ Warrensburg, MO
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


How you liking this snow, dabo?





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daboman of Aggieland
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Columbia, MO
Member since Aug 2011
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


I love the snow. I am a full blown weather nerd - degree is in Meteorology. I grew up in Beaumont, where it almost never snowed.

I am somewhat floored at how long it takes to get streets plowed here. I lived in Lima, OH during the winter of 1995/96. If we got 10" of snow overnight, I was still expected at work at 8 AM. Columbia cancelled schools every day last week!






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Farmer1906
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Humble, TX
Member since Apr 2009
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re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


No investment in trucks and blows equal terrible roads to drive on when it drops below 32 and there is precipitation.





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daboman of Aggieland
Texas A&M Fan
Columbia, MO
Member since Aug 2011
1290 posts

re: Texas Aggie Baseball - 2014 Edition


Oh, and here is a picture of the underside of I-70 at route 763 here in Columbia. Apparently Missouri just finished repairing the worst 10% of it's bridges, and this one wasn't on the list?!? I was so floored, that I paused the news and took a picture of my TV screen.








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