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2018 Husker Baseball

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1 hour ago, HuskerFever said:

 

But based on the OWH, we should be lowering our expectations and settling for less. :blink:

Maybe I'm off base, but baseball seems like the B1G men's sport where we should be what Ohio State is to football, or Michigan State is to basketball - obviously not expecting the national success. But with our support, history (in relation to the rest of the B1G), and facilities - whoever wants to win the B1G should expect to come through Lincoln to win the title. Sitting at home when the B1G tournament is in Omaha is just so deflating. Not to mention when it has been in Omaha, Iowa seems to benefit more so than Nebraska.

Edited by The Polish Rifle

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Where to start…

 

  • Recruiting overall – The talent level on this team simply isn’t high enough. Sure, we have 2 or 3 guys who will be drafted high in a couple of weeks, but the talent level falls way off after that. I believe in this staff’s 2nd or 3rd year they had a handful of high level recruits signed, but they chose to turn professional. Since then, NU has shied away from going after those players, not wanting to be burned again by the draft. You just can’t do that – you have to try, that’s just the nature of college baseball.
  • Recruiting in-state – NU’s in-state recruiting has been awful the past few years. Just awful. You look at the number of in-state kids they’ve given scholarship money to who are non-contributors (and have been for multiple seasons), it’s almost criminal … especially when you think about how many Nebraska kids are having success elsewhere. Among NU’s returning in-state players for 2019, you could argue that Hagge is the best of the bunch, and they didn’t deem him worthy of a scholarship out of high school, so technically they whiffed on him too. Miss after miss after miss on in-state kids. NU has a nice crop of in-state kids coming in next season, so hopefully they can turn this around, but some of the stories you hear about Silva and many Omaha coaches not getting along doesn’t make me hopeful.
  • Pitching injuries – Something isn’t right here. I don’t quite know what’s happening, but NU’s serious arm injuries numbers the past few years are staggering. It has to be more than just bad luck. This problem is going to start hurting NU on the recruiting trail … if it hasn’t already. Then you have the added factor of NU’s guys coming back from injury struggling to stay healthy or just not rebounding as quickly as expected, Hohensee probably being the exception, and you end up with the mess that you had on the mound in 2018.
  • Friday night starter – For whatever reason, this NU staff has not been interested in giving extra scholarship money to a top flight pitcher to put that dominant Friday night guy out there. Perhaps Silva believes he can develop Friday night worthy starters? It isn’t working. Relying on an extremely inexperienced pitcher like Alvarado as your Friday night guy was a dangerous plan in 2018, and put a lot of pressure on him. Then NU had no backup plan, and the starting rotation was a disaster much of the season. In college baseball, it all starts with that Friday night guy having success and everyone else feeding off him. NU needs a new thought process here.
  • 2018 – The above problems are nothing new, but NU was able to win at a relatively high level the past couple of years, and this staff deserves credit for gaining the most from what they had on the roster in 2016 and 2017. But to win at that high level with so little talent and with no dominant Friday night guy in college baseball, you have to do almost everything else right. NU has been really good in the late innings on the mound the past few years, excelled on defense, and did a decent job moving runners. In 2018, the pitching injuries decimated NU’s mid-level bullpen, making it tougher to hold leads. Then the starting pitching collapsed, and NU was constantly playing from behind. The defense was atrocious most of the season. And NU’s ability to move runners and batting average with runners in scoring position was horrible much of the season. NU did not have anywhere near enough talent on the roster to overcome all of this crashing down at once and even have the bare minimum success level in a season of making the Big Ten Tourney.
  • 2019 – It’s hard to imagine this getting much better next season. NU loses its 2 best hitters by a mile (assuming Wilkening turns pro) and its best pitcher in Hohensee. Some guys are going to have to take huge steps forward, which could happen – Wilkening certainly did it in 2018. The Waldron twins also made some nice strides in 2018. Otherwise, you’re relying on a lot of freshman arms, who typically have not excelled under this staff; guys coming off serious injuries, which did not work well in 2018; and hitters who did not do much to impress in 2018. Plus the Big Ten the past several seasons has been dominated by teams with older players, so relying on a bunch of freshman has not been a recipe for success. Perhaps the staff can get the defense fixed and avoid the arm injuries in 2019, which would help quite a bit to avoid missing the Big Ten Tourney. But this program is a long way away talent wise from being a team that competes to host regionals.

 

I really hate to see this going on, as I’m a big Erstad fan and want him to have success. But I really think the team could use a fresh perspective on the recruiting trail at the bare minimum. And they absolutely have to get this pitching injury issue figured out. The coaches, to their credit, have been very careful about pitch counts and holding guys back when they aren’t feeling right, so it has to be something on the training end.

 

It's going to be one of the strangest sporting events in this state’s history this week with the Big Ten Tourney in Omaha and no NU playing. That can never happen again.

 

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9 hours ago, throwback said:

Where to start…

 

  • Recruiting overall – The talent level on this team simply isn’t high enough. Sure, we have 2 or 3 guys who will be drafted high in a couple of weeks, but the talent level falls way off after that. I believe in this staff’s 2nd or 3rd year they had a handful of high level recruits signed, but they chose to turn professional. Since then, NU has shied away from going after those players, not wanting to be burned again by the draft. You just can’t do that – you have to try, that’s just the nature of college baseball.
  • Recruiting in-state – NU’s in-state recruiting has been awful the past few years. Just awful. You look at the number of in-state kids they’ve given scholarship money to who are non-contributors (and have been for multiple seasons), it’s almost criminal … especially when you think about how many Nebraska kids are having success elsewhere. Among NU’s returning in-state players for 2019, you could argue that Hagge is the best of the bunch, and they didn’t deem him worthy of a scholarship out of high school, so technically they whiffed on him too. Miss after miss after miss on in-state kids. NU has a nice crop of in-state kids coming in next season, so hopefully they can turn this around, but some of the stories you hear about Silva and many Omaha coaches not getting along doesn’t make me hopeful.
  • Pitching injuries – Something isn’t right here. I don’t quite know what’s happening, but NU’s serious arm injuries numbers the past few years are staggering. It has to be more than just bad luck. This problem is going to start hurting NU on the recruiting trail … if it hasn’t already. Then you have the added factor of NU’s guys coming back from injury struggling to stay healthy or just not rebounding as quickly as expected, Hohensee probably being the exception, and you end up with the mess that you had on the mound in 2018.
  • Friday night starter – For whatever reason, this NU staff has not been interested in giving extra scholarship money to a top flight pitcher to put that dominant Friday night guy out there. Perhaps Silva believes he can develop Friday night worthy starters? It isn’t working. Relying on an extremely inexperienced pitcher like Alvarado as your Friday night guy was a dangerous plan in 2018, and put a lot of pressure on him. Then NU had no backup plan, and the starting rotation was a disaster much of the season. In college baseball, it all starts with that Friday night guy having success and everyone else feeding off him. NU needs a new thought process here.
  • 2018 – The above problems are nothing new, but NU was able to win at a relatively high level the past couple of years, and this staff deserves credit for gaining the most from what they had on the roster in 2016 and 2017. But to win at that high level with so little talent and with no dominant Friday night guy in college baseball, you have to do almost everything else right. NU has been really good in the late innings on the mound the past few years, excelled on defense, and did a decent job moving runners. In 2018, the pitching injuries decimated NU’s mid-level bullpen, making it tougher to hold leads. Then the starting pitching collapsed, and NU was constantly playing from behind. The defense was atrocious most of the season. And NU’s ability to move runners and batting average with runners in scoring position was horrible much of the season. NU did not have anywhere near enough talent on the roster to overcome all of this crashing down at once and even have the bare minimum success level in a season of making the Big Ten Tourney.
  • 2019 – It’s hard to imagine this getting much better next season. NU loses its 2 best hitters by a mile (assuming Wilkening turns pro) and its best pitcher in Hohensee. Some guys are going to have to take huge steps forward, which could happen – Wilkening certainly did it in 2018. The Waldron twins also made some nice strides in 2018. Otherwise, you’re relying on a lot of freshman arms, who typically have not excelled under this staff; guys coming off serious injuries, which did not work well in 2018; and hitters who did not do much to impress in 2018. Plus the Big Ten the past several seasons has been dominated by teams with older players, so relying on a bunch of freshman has not been a recipe for success. Perhaps the staff can get the defense fixed and avoid the arm injuries in 2019, which would help quite a bit to avoid missing the Big Ten Tourney. But this program is a long way away talent wise from being a team that competes to host regionals.

 

I really hate to see this going on, as I’m a big Erstad fan and want him to have success. But I really think the team could use a fresh perspective on the recruiting trail at the bare minimum. And they absolutely have to get this pitching injury issue figured out. The coaches, to their credit, have been very careful about pitch counts and holding guys back when they aren’t feeling right, so it has to be something on the training end.

 

It's going to be one of the strangest sporting events in this state’s history this week with the Big Ten Tourney in Omaha and no NU playing. That can never happen again.

 

 

+1.  Alec Bohm is a prime example of this staffs failures on the recruiting trail.  You have a Omaha kid who is projected to go top 5 in the draft and it was reported in the OWH that this staff did not feel the need to recruit him.  Just mind boggling.  What really grinds my gears the most though is thinking about Erstad's opening press conference in which he pumped up the fanbase with the talks of how his philosophy will be very aggressive on offense and "chaos on the basepaths."  The program has been the exact opposite to where Erstad and his offense is almost too conservative.  I don't want to call him a liar because again. that may very well boil down to his inability to get the job done on the recruiting trail.  He has a lot to work to do and I don't think expectations should be lowered with a guy going into his 8th year at a program. 

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11 minutes ago, huskerbaseball13 said:

What really grinds my gears the most though is thinking about Erstad's opening press conference in which he pumped up the fanbase with the talks of how his philosophy will be very aggressive on offense and "chaos on the basepaths."

 

Probably could've taken some notes this season from Doc and said we should expect this team to go from "dugout to dugout."

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I don't have an answer on the stolen base thing - they certainly don't recruit that type of player. They have been aggressive at taking the extra base - trying to stretch singles into doubles, 1st to 3rd on singles, etc., so maybe that's more his thinking.

 

At least this year, it's also tough to steal many bases when you're always behind by multiple runs after a few innings. But that doesn't explain the lack of stolen base attempts previous years.

 

And not to go all Bill Callahan here, but this 2018 team played some of the dumbest baseball I've seen out of an NU team. Just huge mental lapses and defensive mistakes that didn't show up as official errors, but that cost them, allowing opponents' innings to stay alive, etc. And of course, you had things like a baserunner trying to tag from 1st to 2nd after the second out is caught, when you have the tying run tagging from 3rd, and getting thrown out at 2nd to end the inning before the runner crosses home, like happened Thursday. Just mind-boggling, simple high school level stuff.

 

Certainly, physical defensive lapses come when you can't throw strikes consistently, so it all kind of feeds on itself. But as far as the mental blunders, just awful decisions on basic baseball fundamentals, even if your pitchers aren't throwing strikes, you have to have the mental discipline to keep your head in it. Whatever message the coaches were giving was being tuned out. Another reason why a fresh perspective, a fresh voice would be a good idea in my eyes. And perhaps this coaching staff can do that by changing some roles around, etc. Will be curious to see what comes out of the study of the program.

 

I will give the coaches credit in instilling a fight in this group. This team didn't have a lot of talent or feel for the nuances of the game, but they did fight. Unfortunately, they were just behind far too often and by far too much.  I mean we had one stretch this season where I believe we scored 70+ runs over a 6-game stretch, and only went 4-2, as we faced deficits of 7, 9, and 13 in three of the games ... and we won the game we trailed by 7 runs in. Mind-boggling.

 

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It’s too bad Schreiber wasn’t named 1st team all B1G, but the kid from Illinois had a better season for a better team. I saw people on Twitter upset they didn’t throw Schreiber in the utility spot but usually that’s reserved for guys that are two way players- Lloyd from Indiana had a damn good year at the plate and on the bump.

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I will say, we have some excellent incoming freshmen from the state coming in next year.  Wish we could have also landed the Creighton Prep kid that is both a stud hitter and pitcher but he is going to Kansas State and the Argo kid who is going to the Air Force Academy.   We also picked up an exceptional JUCO kid that has three years left.  Definitely a good class.

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3 hours ago, Huskerpapa said:

I will say, we have some excellent incoming freshmen from the state coming in next year.  Wish we could have also landed the Creighton Prep kid that is both a stud hitter and pitcher but he is going to Kansas State and the Argo kid who is going to the Air Force Academy.   We also picked up an exceptional JUCO kid that has three years left.  Definitely a good class.

I look forward to seeing what they can do/contribute next season.  Also, to what the so far 2019 class can do after that.

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4 hours ago, Huskerpapa said:

I will say, we have some excellent incoming freshmen from the state coming in next year.  Wish we could have also landed the Creighton Prep kid that is both a stud hitter and pitcher but he is going to Kansas State and the Argo kid who is going to the Air Force Academy.   We also picked up an exceptional JUCO kid that has three years left.  Definitely a good class.

 

Depending on what happens in the draft.  

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Papillion native Sean Chandler who finished his Husker career with 9 innings pitching and an ERA just shy of 10 gets taken in the sixth round of the draft after dominating at Iowa Western.  You can't make this stuff up.  We could have probably used him this past year.  But, his arm probably would have fallen off had he stayed.

Edited by huskerbaseball13

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Texas A and M seems to find good Nebraska players.  They had 3 quality players from the state and Childress is an excellent coach.  

 

Why don’t we build a team to fit our small ball park?    Power hitters.  Van Horn always had a big bopper or two in the lineup.  Look at Tennessee Tech, they mash the ball and they all look like studs.  

 

This staff has had much to prove they belong.  Recruiting needs to improve immensely.   The B1G is better than we thought.   Indiana has facilities as good as Lincoln, Minnesota is well coached, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio St are all better programs than NU currently and if Maryland ever resurfaces the conference will be even more difficult. 

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Cazzie22 said:

Texas A and M seems to find good Nebraska players.  They had 3 quality players from the state and Childress is an excellent coach.  

 

Why don’t we build a team to fit our small ball park?    Power hitters.  Van Horn always had a big bopper or two in the lineup.  Look at Tennessee Tech, they mash the ball and they all look like studs.  

 

This staff has had much to prove they belong.  Recruiting needs to improve immensely.   The B1G is better than we thought.   Indiana has facilities as good as Lincoln, Minnesota is well coached, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio St are all better programs than NU currently and if Maryland ever resurfaces the conference will be even more difficult. 

 

 

 

 

Erstad has said many times that he plans on building the program around pitching/defense.  That's great, but you need to be able to develop and recruit quality starters in order to do that.  This staff has really struggled in finding a Friday night ace which is crucial in the college game. 

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Per Wilkening's dad, Jesse plans to sign.  That leaves us with one player returning that hit over .300 this past year, Gunner Hellstrom who only had 71 AB's.  We need to hope like hell the incoming class has some major contributors that are ready to go right away.   

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1 hour ago, huskerbaseball13 said:

Per Wilkening's dad, Jesse plans to sign.  That leaves us with one player returning that hit over .300 this past year, Gunner Hellstrom who only had 71 AB's.  We need to hope like hell the incoming class has some major contributors that are ready to go right away.   

14th round is pretty good money.  

 

One failure of the staff this past season was not using the gift they received when Luis decided to come back.  Why did they not use him like Meyers.  Play him in the field Friday and Saturday,  then start him Sunday?

 

This recruiting class, the staff seemed to get the in state talent to stay.  According to baseball America, the top 2 high school seniors are set to go to Nebraska.  Including Colby Gomes, the 161st best prospect by mlb.com.

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1 hour ago, huskerbaseball13 said:

Per Wilkening's dad, Jesse plans to sign.  That leaves us with one player returning that hit over .300 this past year, Gunner Hellstrom who only had 71 AB's.  We need to hope like hell the incoming class has some major contributors that are ready to go right away.   

Heck, we might have only 4 players returning who batted over .200 this year.

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36 minutes ago, brfrad said:

Heck, we might have only 4 players returning who batted over .200 this year.

Hellstrom, Roskam, Hallmark, Mojo, Gelo + new additions Palensky & Hammit should be where our offense comes from. We have a nice pitching class coming in as well, combine that with the arms we get back from injury - there should be no excuses for being left home in June next year. Gonna be pretty obvious whose to blame if we are left at home again.

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1 hour ago, The Polish Rifle said:

Hellstrom, Roskam, Hallmark, Mojo, Gelo + new additions Palensky & Hammit should be where our offense comes from. We have a nice pitching class coming in as well, combine that with the arms we get back from injury - there should be no excuses for being left home in June next year. Gonna be pretty obvious whose to blame if we are left at home again.

 I am intrigued by Bo Blessie.  He is 6'3" 155 pounds, and topped out at 94.  Imagine when he gets into the weight program.

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14 hours ago, The Polish Rifle said:

Hellstrom, Roskam, Hallmark, Mojo, Gelo + new additions Palensky & Hammit should be where our offense comes from. We have a nice pitching class coming in as well, combine that with the arms we get back from injury - there should be no excuses for being left home in June next year. Gonna be pretty obvious whose to blame if we are left at home again.

 

I do like some of the arms we have coming in...I think Colby Gomes will end up being very good.  That of course is assuming he doesn't blow his arm out like quite a few of our other pitchers and that Silva can actually develop him.  Both seem to be big ifs.  I'm not as optimistic as you on the offensive side of the ball though.  I think Altavilla will have a bounce back type of year but I'm not sure where the power/speed is going to come from unless the new blood impresses.  Eventually, Erstad will have to come to a realization that grinding out games and trying to manufacture runs each and every game is not sustainable for long term success. 

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1 hour ago, huskerbaseball13 said:

 

I do like some of the arms we have coming in...I think Colby Gomes will end up being very good.  That of course is assuming he doesn't blow his arm out like quite a few of our other pitchers and that Silva can actually develop him.  Both seem to be big ifs.  I'm not as optimistic as you on the offensive side of the ball though.  I think Altavilla will have a bounce back type of year but I'm not sure where the power/speed is going to come from unless the new blood impresses.  Eventually, Erstad will have to come to a realization that grinding out games and trying to manufacture runs each and every game is not sustainable for long term success. 

Yeah I’m not sold Erstad can put it together, but the talent is there. With our pitching staff (big assumption they are healthy) a middle of the road offense should be enough to sneak into the tournament. 

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1 hour ago, The Polish Rifle said:

Also, since it hasn't been mentioned here - UNK (baseball program cut - sucks) transfer Ty Roseberry will be at Nebraska next season. Hit .332 with 15 bombs for UNK - should compete for playing time.

 

Did they get granted waivers to play right away?

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10 hours ago, The Polish Rifle said:

Also, since it hasn't been mentioned here - UNK (baseball program cut - sucks) transfer Ty Roseberry will be at Nebraska next season. Hit .332 with 15 bombs for UNK - should compete for playing time.

I will not say that this kid doesn't have power, but the HR total may be a bit tainted.  The left field power alley in Kearney is pretty friendly. 

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