In the last couple of days, FTRS has looked at their projected starters for both the infield and the outfield. But now, we have the lineup. Please note that the lineup is something that will probably change a good deal as Danny Hall and company work to find the best lineup for them. Anyway, here is my prediction for Tech's opening day lineup:
So starting with the top of the lineup, I swapped back and forth with Innis and Bailey in the leadoff spot, and I still believe that spot could go either way. I ultimately decided on Innis in the leadoff spot because he had a higher average last season and he's also the more experienced player.
Bailey should serve very well in the two-hole. With another year of experience, he should be able to get pretty solid contact on the ball, which is something the two-hitter should be good at.
In the middle of the order, the three and four-spots were really easy to figure out. Danny Hall went with Matt Gonzalez and Kel Johnson in those spots for the majority of last year. Johnson is Tech's all-around best hitter and should he stay healthy could easily be a 10-15 home run guy this year.
Gonzalez is a guy that typically has a slow start to the season, but he hit over .300 in conference play this year, and now as a senior, Gonzalez is going to want to get off to a quicker start in order to build his draft stock.
A lot of y'all may be wondering why I put Tristin English into the DH spot, and the reason is actually pretty simple. Out of all of the players on Tech's roster, English is the only one listed as a DH, though he is also listed as a RHP. Looking at some of his numbers from high school, it's pretty easy to see why. He was named the 2015 GHSA Region 4-AAAA MVP in his senior season. As a pitcher, he finished with a 1.09 ERA with 57 strikeouts over 32 innings (1.8 SO/IP). As a batter, he finished the season with a slash line of .632/.740/1.279 (no, that's not a typo), seven home runs, 45 RBIs, 31 walks, no strikeouts and 15-of-27 in stolen bases. So yeah, he was pretty solid in high school. Also, all of that was done in 27 games (104 plate appearances, 68 at-bats).
I went with Brandon Gold hitting sixth based solely on potential. Whenever Gold was able to get his bat on the ball last year, he always hit it hard. That didn't translate much into home runs, but with another year of work, he's definitely getting there.
As an aside, I originally had Gold and English swapped, and then I looked up those numbers for English and couldn't put him any lower than fifth. As good as Gonzalez has been for the Jackets, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Tristin English take the 3-spot from him this season.
Back to the lineup, looking at the bottom third of the lineup, I went with Justus-Pabst-Peurifoy. Justus is a solid hitter when he's on and should be a good fit in the seven-hole. Pabst is a prototypical eight-hitter, which means that he's not really that great with the bat, but he gets the job done. I went with Peurifoy in the nine because I feel like he brings enough speed to turn the lineup over.
How does the lineup turn out?