Preview of the Beavers:
CWS champs in 06 and 07
CWS appearances in 05,06,07, 13, and 17. #1 overall seeds in 14 and 17.
Pat Casey is as good a coach as there is in any college sport. He has built a powerhouse in the rainy northwest. He is an absolute perfectionist. His teams simply don’t make the mistakes most college squads do. The play fabulous fundamental baseball. This is a different squad than he normally has.
Usually his teams are built around three great starting pitchers. This year it about a great hitting lineup. My take on the starters by order.
CF Steven Kwan. He has turned into a prototype lead off guy. Can really work a pitcher for walks. Great speed and is a great defensive player. This is an advantage defensively in favor of Oregon State. Average arm but he takes good angles and runs down everything.
SS Caydn Grenier. Regarded as the best defensive SS in CBB. #1 MLB pick. Bat finally came around this year. Vavra is a better hitter, but this kid is better with the glove and makes spectacular plays look routine. Cannon for an arm.
2B Nick Madrigal. #4 overall pick in the MLB draft. This kid is a once in a generation talent. The bummer is he broke a bone in his hand in the beginning of the season and missed 26 games. Casey allows him to call the D. He has been in a “slump” and is still hitting 406. He is 5’8” 160 and looks like a little kid playing tee ball in his stance. Does everything effortlessly and has off the charts instincts. Every announcer pretty much says you could plop him in a MLB game tomorrow and he would hold his own. I am am going to miss watching this kid play!
RF Trevor Larnach. Twins liked him, obviously. Was brought in as a pitcher, originally. Power jumped up this year with a new approach. Can hit to all fields with serious power. Very strong arm despite what they said in the paper. Very good with the glove and covers a lot of ground with very long legs.
Catcher: Adley Rutschman. Switch hitting, with power and high average. Fantastic behind the plate.
Big arm that threw 94 as a HS pitcher. Talk that he could potentially be the #1 overall pick next year.
Kicked a 63 yard FG in HS and leveled Christan McCafferty on a kickoff while playing on the football team as a frosh against Stanford.
3B Michael Gretler. The glue of the team. Great with the glove and is the guy that always seems to get the clutch hit.
LF: Alternates between two seniors. Nobach has had the better bat this year. Anderson usually comes in as a defensive replacement or if they want another lefty bat.
DH: Tyler Malone. Good lefty power.
1B: Zac Taylor. Very good defensively, but probably the weakest hitter.
1-6 is a nightmare for pitchers when they are on. The whole lineup has very good plate discipline.
There is not an easy out in the line up and everybody can bunt. The funny thing is that physically, they have a lot of pretty small guys. If they are on a roll with the bats, they will be tough to beat.