Daily Archives: January 6, 2013
Returning Players Reed, Cousino, Maile Solidify Core Lineup, With Top-Level Talents Waiting In The Wings
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Top-40 poll dates back to 1958, and UK had previously been placed as high as 19th in their rankings, which was in 2009; this was the same year that Scout.com had them ranked 6th in recruiting.
UK won a school-record 45 games last season, finishing higher in the SEC and NCAA Tournament than ever and not losing a single game until March 23rd, losing to UT 4-1. They finished 45-18, 18-12 in SEC play and 29-5 at home. There are many bright spots on this team returning for 2013, not the least of whom are such players as:
CF Austin Cousino (Sophomore)
-.319, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 20 doubles, 61 runs scored, 15 SB in 62 games (all starts).
-2012 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year .
-Sparked the offense at the top of the order and set a school record with 142 putouts in center field. Cousino also led the club with 8 outfield assists. .
-Shows tremendous range, a solid arm and strong base-running skills.
C/IF Luke Maile (Junior)
-.319, 12 HR, 51 RBI, .959 OPS in 62 games (all starts)
-Regarded as one of the best college players in the country; burgeoning power and defensive versatility are the hallmarks of this middle-of-the-order slugger.
-Basically rewrote the record books at Covington Catholic HS, literally; set every major offensive record with the exception of at bats (finishing 2nd).
-Father Rich was a football player at UK, while grandfather Dick was All-American in basketball at LSU.
IF Thomas McCarthy (Senior)
-.310, 20 doubles, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 42 runs scored, .851 OPS in 63 games (all starts).
-Started every game in the 2011-2012 season
-1st Team All-SEC at third base, the first UK third baseman to win the honor since 1972 (Jim Lett).
-3.4 GPA (majoring in psychology) and 2011 SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
LHP/1B AJ Reed (Sophomore)
-Prized two-way prospect out of Terre Haute South HS (Terre Haute, IN), where he batted .425 with 41 HR and 150 RBI while going 26-10 with 1.88 ERA and 390 strikeouts in 260 IP on the mound.
-.300, 4 HR, 43 RBI, .783 OPS (batting); 2.52 ERA in 53 2/3 IP, 9 BB, 51 K, 16 games (pitching).
LHP Corey Littrell (Junior)
-9-2, 2.74 ERA, 16 starts, 98 2/3 IP, 87 K
-Dependable as starter or in relief; at 6’3”, 190, he has a projectable frame.
-Already durable enough to average around 6 innings/start, will likely top last season’s numbers in 2013.
-OF Lucas Witt (Junior)
-.319, 9 HR, 23 RBI, 5 SB in 27 G (69 AB)
-Again I say: 9 HR, 23 RBI in 69 AB. I feel that bears repeating
-Was star QB at Lexington Christian Academy is a likely candidate for a starting spot in the OF, this season.
-Terrific athletic ability and confidently aggressive on the field, rarely seen without a smile on his face. (That’s what was most notable about him, to me: he just always seemed upbeat. To me, that goes to his intangibles and is every bit as important as raw stats.)
Owing to the persistence of team recruiting and a burgeoning reputation in NCAA Baseball, UK’s recruiting class was ranked 11th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, the 7th consecutive year the Wildcats have had a ranked recruiting class. I’ll be covering the newcomers in a follow-up post. And believe me: there’s far more talent on this team for one post to do it justice, so lots of updates, game notes and scouting reports to come (with apologies to the players I didn’t mention here).
As good as this UK team looks right now, the best may be just around the corner. The season opens in Spartanburg, SC vs. UNC-Asheville on February 15th.
And speaking for myself, it couldn’t come soon enough.