Hoosier Baseball Player Development 2017-2018

by Cassady Palmer • @crpalmer0627 • Dec 10

Player Development from 2017-2018 including players who were in at least their second season with the Hoosiers in 2018          

 

Offense

On the offensive side, there are five everyday Hoosiers who have been with the team for at least two seasons: Matt Gorski, Scotty Bradley, Ryan Fineman, Matt Lloyd, and Jeremy Houston.

Matt Gorski saw some pretty impressive jumps from his freshman to sophomore years. The two most obvious areas highlighting this were batting average and power. His average went from .288 to .356, and he more than doubled his number of extra-base hits. This includes home runs, where he doubled his freshman total from four to eight. He also improved his strikeout rate by almost 3 percentage points, ending 2018 at just 14.7% of plate appearances.

Scotty Bradley had an injury redshirt year in 2017, but his numbers did show solid improvement in his second full season. His plate discipline has gotten better, with his walk rate increasing by 5 percentage points and his strikeout rate dropping about 3.5 percentage points. His home run production also jumped, going from just one in 2016 to seven in 2018. He also improved his batting average from .257 to .326.

Ryan Fineman improved many of his offensive stats as well in his junior season. His home run hitting also went up, hitting seven of them in 2018 after hitting just two in 2017. His RBI total also more than doubled during his junior campaign, going from 17 in 2017 to 37 in 2018. As with the previously-mentioned returners, Fineman’s already solid strikeout rate dropped almost 3 percentage points in 2018.

Matt Lloyd mostly maintained his solid stats from his sophomore year to junior year. His strikeout rate decreased almost six percentage points, the most of any returner, while his walk rate remained within about a percentage point from last season. His batting average did go down a little bit from one season to the next, but he was still able to maintain his power numbers.

Jeremy Houston also had a bit of an up-and-down season at the plate. He improved his walk rate while his strikeout rate remained steady. But his batting average decreased and his power numbers were hit-and-miss. He did see his number of RBI increase, showing a bit of clutch hitting. He also came on significantly stronger as the season was winding down.

 

Pitching

On the mound, there are five regularly-used pitchers who played at least their second season with the Hoosiers: Matt Lloyd, Pauly Milto, Cal Krueger, Cam Beauchamp, and Andrew Saalfrank.

While the shift to a more regular fielding position led to fewer innings pitched for Matt Lloyd, he made the most of those he threw. He lowered his ERA from 2.23 to 1.54, and his batting average against dropped from .241 to .212. He also struck out more batters in the lower number of innings, improving his strikeout rate by a full eight percentage points. He has also yet to give up a home run while wearing the cream and crimson!

Pauly Milto worked about the same number of innings as last season while improving his stats as well. His ERA dropped from 3.92 to 2.03, while he gave up almost half the number of extra-base hits compared to 2017. This includes giving up just a single home run (which came in his single relief appearance after missing a month of play) compared to eight in 2017. His strikeout rate remained steady at about 20% of batters faced while walking just 7% of those faced.

Cal Krueger also saw a decrease in innings; this was due to the move from the rotation to the backend of the bullpen. His ERA did go up just a bit from 2.82 to 3.02, but his strikeout rate improved by a ridiculous 11 percentage points to 26%. His batting average against remained steady from year to year, and the percentage of hits that went for extra bases decreased by about 7 percentage points.

Cam Beauchamp’s workload in 2018 more than doubled compared to his freshman year, going up 145%. In that time his ERA dropped from 4.64 to 3.78 and his batting average against went from .313 down to .269. Most importantly, he cut his walk rate almost in half, going from 19% to 10% in just a single season. His strikeout rate also improved by almost 6 percentage points.

Andrew Saalfrank lowered his ERA from 5.58 in 2017 to 3.79 in 2018. This was due in large part to a big decrease in batting average against, which dropped from .314 to .211. He also improved his already-solid strikeout rate by 8 percentage points to a team-leading 32%. While he did give up more home runs this season, he gave up fewer extra-base hits as a whole.

That was a ton of numbers to throw out there, but an important piece to take away from it is that these players continue to improve each year. This also speaks to the depth of this team that so many players are able to get enough live-game reps to see these kinds of gains. These players are able to build on solid freshman and sophomore seasons to have all-conference and all-American types of junior and senior seasons, and this development helps prepare the team for baseball in June each year. 

 

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