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Georgia Tech Baseball: Adventures in Outfielding

A new group moves into the grass at the Rusty C this season, and they're by and large an unknown quantity.

DeAndre Smelter projects to either Center or Left this season
DeAndre Smelter projects to either Center or Left this season
Danny Karnik/GT Athletics

If the infield is the (less promiscuous) Brett Favre of the baseball team, the outfield is certainly the Teddy Bridgewater: talented, but untested. Every single starting outfielder Tech had last year got drafted, so it's all but certain that at least one Jacket starting in the outfield will be a freshman this season. Let's examine all the listed outfielders to determine who.

Name Height Weight Class
Daniel Spingola 6-1 182 JR
DeAndre Smelter 6-3 221 SR
Ryan Peurifoy 6-2 189 FR
Eric Knox 6-3 213 FR
Keenan Inis 5-11 175 FR

Inis also projects to be a pitcher, so he's really just on here for sake of completeness. The most probable starting OF as I see it will be Spingola in right, Smelter in center, and Peurifoy in left. We could also see some combinations of Knox and Peurifoy in the outfield, as Smelter's bat has a lot to be desired. As Ben mentioned in his recruiting post a few days ago, Peurifoy was a honorable mention All-American in 2012 and holds his high school's records in all the major batting categories, so he should get he nod over Knox in most scenarios.

The defense shouldn't be much of concern here. We lose some speed in the outfield (anyone losing Kyle Wren would), but other than the few odd plays that will lose us there's not much to be worried about. We all know DeAndre can catch, after all! Spingola also started several games in RF last year and served quite well. The big unknown with this group is going to be the offense. Though Peurifoy and Knox hit well in high school, we don't know how they look against college pitchers and how they'll hit college bats. Smelter hasn't hit consistently in a while (he was a pitcher before making the switch to the OF due to a nagging shoulder injury), so he is also an unknown quantity. The only real data we've got is for Spingola, who hit .256 on 78 AB's last year. Not exactly world-beating stuff, but Spingola won't be taking Wren's leadoff spot in the lineup, just his place on the field! However, I have every confidence that the baseball staff will have these guys ready to hit on Friday and throughout the season. Coach Hall has never given us reason to doubt his ability to coach up before, and I don't think he'll start now.

This is definitely the most terrifying position group of the 2014 beesball team, except the one we'll preview tomorrow...

What say you, GT fans? Are you confident in the staff's ability to take a fresh OF and make them the bombers that we had last year? Let's hear it!