Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010-2011 Depth Chart

While we wait for August 16th, the day that Dan Burkhart and Alex Wimmers sign their professional contracts to make their departure official, we start to look at Buckeye baseball without the terrific tandem. Unfortunately the departure of those two is just the beginning as we lost of an outstanding eight-member senior class. Throw in the transfer of Ross Oltorik, 11 Buckeyes will not be with the program that were in 2010, oh and lets not forget a new staff.

As it stands now, there are seven incoming freshman and two JUCO transfers. The number will more than likely increase by a player or two once the ink has dried on those contracts freeing up more scholarship monies. Until then here is where the Ohio State baseball program stands with it's incoming and returning players.

Depth Chart

Players by Class
* indicates 2010 starter position players at least 20 games started, pitchers at least 40 innings.
** Armstrong was a 2009 starter before missing entire 2010 season with medical redshirt



LHP Eric Best*
1B/DH Ryan Dew*
C Shawn Forsythe
OF Chris Griffin
OF Zach Hurley*
2B Cory Kovanda*
3B/SS Cory Rupert*
OF Michael Stephens*

Early Draftees:
C Dan Burkhart*
RHP Alex Wimmers*

RHP Ross Oltorik

Returning Players

RHP Brian Bobinski
OF Brian DeLucia*
SS Tyler Engle*
RHP Paul Guey
C DJ Hanlin
RHP Drew Malley
LHP Theron Minium*
RHP Drew Rucinski*
RHP Eric Shinn
RHP Jared Strayer*
1B Matt Streng*
RHP Dean Wolosiansky*

LHP Andrew Armstrong**
OF David Corna
2B Ryan Cypret

RHP Cole Brown
OF Joe Ciamacco
C David Fathalikhani
3B Brad Hallberg*
OF Hunter Mayfield
RHP Brett McKinney*

Red-shirt Freshman
C Steel Russell

Incoming Freshman
2B Corey Angelo
LHP/1B Ben Bokor
RHP Josh Dezse
RHP Greg Greve
OF Jordan Pollack
SS Jacob Hayes
OF Tim Wetzel

C Greg Solomon-Jr
C Brad Hutton-So.

By Position

Sr. DJ Hanlin
Jr. Greg Solomon
So. David Fathalikhani
So. Brad Hutton
Fr. Steel Russell

Sr. Matt Streng*
Fr. Ben Bokor

So. Ryan Cypret
Fr. Corey Angelo

Sr. Tyler Engle*
Fr. Jacob Hayes

So. Brad Hallberg*

Sr. Brian DeLucia*
Jr. David Corna
So. Hunter Mayfield
So. Joe Ciamacco
Fr. Tim Wetzel
Fr. Jordan Pollack

Sr. Brian Bobinski
Sr. Paul Guey
Sr. Drew Malley
Sr. Drew Rucinski*
Sr. Eric Shinn
Sr. Jared Strayer*
Sr. Dean Wolosiansky*
So. Cole Brown
So. Brett McKinney*
Fr. Josh Dezse
Fr. Greg Greve

Sr. Theron Minium*
Jr. Andrew Armstrong**
Fr. Ben Bokor

Positon starters lost: Burkhart, Kovanda, Rupert, Hurley, Stephens, Dew
Starting pitchers lost: Best, Wimmers
Position starters returning: Streng, DeLucia, Engle, Hallberg
Starting pitchers returning: Armstrong**,McKinney, Minium, Strayer, Rucinski, Wolosiansky.

Project Depth Chart
SP Rucinski*, Armstrong**, Wolosiansky*, Dezse
RP McKinney*, Strayer*, Minium*, Greve
C Hutton, Solomon
1B Streng*, Bokor
2B Cypret, Angelo
SS Engle*, Hayes
3B Hallberg*, Russell
DH Russell, Bokor
OF DeLucia*, Mayfield, Wetzel

Early Thoughts

Two things jump out and they are, wow we have a lot of catchers, wow we have no corner infield depth. To be honest, I don't expect to have more than three catchers on the roster come opening day 2011. I believe Russell is the most likely to move from catcher, and I could see one of the former walk-ons no longer with the program. Everything I'm hearing is that Hutton is a stud with the bat. This is a lineup that is extremely light on power and he'll get every chance to strengthen it. The corner infield depth will be even lighter if Bokor is used as a fulltime pitcher. Would think that one of the middle-infielders could handle a shift to third if needed, I saw Engle play some third last summer with the Licking County Settlers, but still it's far from ideal.

My next few thoughts are that with all we lost, it is still a team with solid experience. Streng, Engle, and DeLucia will be three-year starters (I know DeLucia technically isn't but he basically is) Hallberg and Cypret saw quite a bit of playing time, and Mayfield received more than a handful of at-bats to feel ok with him in the OF.

This is a lineup that outside of DeLucia is low on power. Very low. Streng provided decent pop in 2009, but was void of it last season. Wetzel is an absolute athlete and his raw abilities give him the leg up in the OF. It's hard to pinpoint what type of team the Bucks will have offensively. There are enough athletes for the team to manufacture runs being aggressive on the bases and at the plate, a concept that was lacking with Coach Todd.

It needs to be noted that of the 10 regulars in 2010 who received at least 95 at-bats, the top six players were Hurley, Stephens, Rupert, Burkhart, Dew, and Kovanda, they are all gone. DeLucia leads the returning players with his .320 average. Hallberg; .273, Steng; .263, and Engle; .224 is what returns. Throw in Mayfield's .313 average and Cypret's .267 clip, those six bring back a combined .270 average; 168-for-620 with 10 home runs (DeLucia had six), 21 doubles, and one triple, just a .356 slugging percentage. Major trouble.

On the mound losing Best, Oltorik, and Wimmers will hurt a lot, but the addition of Armstrong accounts for quite a bit. When healthy Armstrong, and Rucinski could be one of the top three Big Ten 1-2 punches. Wolosiansky has shown he is capable of making it a solid weekend rotation, we just need him to consistent. Minium and Strayer showed they are serviceable and can hold down a midweek role and give an inning or two out of the pen.

McKinney is still mystery. By far he had the rockiest freshman season of recent Buckeye pitchers, but in stints showed he can get it done. The incoming freshman Greve and Dezse are studs and will have their names in their fighting for innings. Dezse is the more likely of the two to get a bulk of innings, but Greve will still be a solid option on the mound.

The performances of Wolosiansky, McKinney, and the two freshmen will be the key for Coach Beals. The right guys step up, say Dezse, and Wolosiansky, you can move Rucinski into the bullpen giving the team a lockdown closer, with possible McKinney, and Greve setting him up, with Strayer and Minium giving an inning when needed.

Right now I'm cautiously optimistic about the team. Surprisingly without Wimmers, 2011 could be the best season on the mound the Buckeyes have had since 2007, unfortunately scoring runs might be an issue, a big issue. It will be very interesting to see what approach Coach Beals takes. In any event, with what is returning around the Big Ten, this is a team that will improve on the 7th place 2010 finish. While not the favorites, I don't see how anyone can think anyone but Minnesota is it, it should not take that much for Ohio State to finish better than 5th, a mark only achieved once in the last four seasons.

There will be more on this later in the summer and as we head into fall camp. Just wanted to provide a current picture of where we stand, and some early thoughts. Also coming over the next few weeks will be profiles of the incoming players. It is quite the recruiting class with Angelo, and Hutton from Florida, Pollack from California, Hayes from Indiana, and Solomon from Arizona.

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