I've seen about a dozen baseball games this year, most recently two games of the OU series sweep this weekend. It looks like Texas is finally becoming the team everyone expected them to be the last two years.
Texas has been a bunch of slap hitting faggots for most of the season, but they finally turned it around about three weeks ago.
Brandon Belt is the team's best hitter, and he is a fantastic opposite field hitter. Maybe too good in fact. I wish he would pull the ball more, but he's maybe the only guy on the team who hits it where it's pitched.
Last year Kevin Keyes was Pedro Cerrano from 'Major League.' If you threw him anything other than a fastball, the chances were pretty good that you'd get him out. I watched him have some absolutely brutal at bats. But he has become a much more patient hitter and that has made him a better hitter. Dude's got great power.
Cameron Rupp is a masher. Yeah, he strikes out and can't run for shit, but he'll get on base and drive in runs.
Preston Clark and Russell Moldenhauer have really struggled at the plate. Clark has had too many injuries to count, and they've taken a toll. Moldenhauer just doesn't look the same since his offseason surgery.
What a difference a year makes. I didn't think Skip Johnson would survive last year, but he has the staff wrecking shit this year. Texas leads the nation with a team ERA of 2.17 (2.86 in conference).
Chance Ruffin is the guy you want to take the mound in game seven of the World Series. Pencil him in for seven innings.
Brandon Workman has lost the ability to throw his fastball for strikes consistently, and he hasn't lasted past the fourth inning in any of his last four starts. I don't know if it's his mechanics or not, but he hasn't been worth a damn in conference. He was flat out dominating earlier this season.
Cole Green has struggled as well in conference except for a complete game win against Nebraska. I think his problems are mental. Whenever the leadoff man gets on first base, Green comes unglued. Like Bill Paxton in 'Aliens.' He loses his concentration at various times throughout the game.
The most important players on the team right now are relievers Taylor Jungman, Austin Dicharry and Austin Wood. Freshmen Jungman and Dicharry are able to pitch long middle relief, and they've been dominating in conference.
Jungman has a great fastball and breaking ball, but he is also mature for his age and can still get guys out when he doesn't have his best stuff as he did against OU on Sunday. He may get moved into the starting rotation at some point.
Dicharry has a good fastball and a fantastic change up. I can't say enough about his change up. He makes guys look like Stevie Wonder playing wiffleball trying to hit it.
Austin Wood has been dominating in conference as the closer. He put on about 10 pounds over the offseason and got stronger. He doesn't have a dominating out pitch like Huston Street or J Brent Cox, but he has been just as good. Twenty one strikeouts and only two walks in conference.
Texas is in the Top 10 in the nation in fielding percentage. The biggest change has been at shortstop where Augie has inserted freshman Brandon Loy. He hasn't made a single error in conference.
Michael Torres and Tant Shepard have been solid enough at third base, and Travis Tucker has been great at second base.
Clark is a much better defensive catcher than Rupp, but Rupp isn't exactly a liability.
Kyle Lusson and Connor Rowe have played error free baseball in place of Jordan Danks in center.
Texas is in the driver's seat in the Big 12 with six of their last nine conference games at home. They've won ten games in a row and fifteen of their last seventeen.
If Workman and Green can regain their early season form and if Clark and Moldenhauer can start hitting, this team will be even harder to beat. Even if they don't, this team is looking good enough to make it to Omaha.
Be sure to check out Huck's thoughts on run generation.