2016 USF baseball season in review

Posted: June 1, 2016 in Baseball
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The Bulls went 24-33 (8-16 in the AAC) this year, battling through a ton of injuries and fielding a team that relied on so many true freshmen to carry the burden in 2016. While they compiled an overall losing record, it was a building year in what looks like a bright future moving forward. 

The Bulls batted .248 as a team this year as Coach Kingston had to rely on multiple freshmen to lead the team due to various circumstances (mostly injuries). They launched 36 home runs as a team and scored 236 total runs and were 66 for 83 in steal attempts. The young USF roster continued to produce with both power and speed despite the youth on the team. As a staff, they had a 4.43 ERA and held opponents to a .255 average against them while striking out 517 batters. It was the second year in which the staff struck out at 500+ batters. The young Bulls battled throughout the year and was in many of their games. Here are how all of the players did on an individual this year:

Levi Borders

#12 Levi Borders – Senior – Catcher – Winter Haven, FL (Winter Haven HS)

Borders played in 16 games this year, going 14 for 58 at the plate. He had 3 doubles, with 3 home runs, drove in 10 runs, and scored 10 runs. He had a .448 slugging percentage with a .357 OBP (6 walks). Levi’s season was ended due to a viral infection, but he will get a medical redshirt and should be able to return next year if he is not drafted in the upcoming MLB draft.

Luke Borders

#4 Luke Borders – Junior – DH/OF – Winter Haven, FL (Winter Haven HS)

Borders played in 43 games (started 38 games) while battling injuries. He was 39 for 146 (.267) with 5 doubles, 6 home runs, drove in 25 runs and scored 14 more. He had a .425 slugging percentage, with 13 walks (26 strike outs), with a .341 OBP (2 for 4 in steal attempts). Borders showed a lot of power at the end of the year and should be a key returning bat next year.

Dylan Burns

#49 Dylan Burns – Freshman – RHP – Vero Beach, FL (Vero Beach HS)

Burns played in 17 games this year. He was 2-0 (5.76) and went 25 innings, allowing 24 hits, 21 runs, while walking 20 batters and struck out 17 more as a late inning relief arm for the staff.

Garrett Bye

#32 Garrett Bye – Freshman – LHP – Riverview, FL (Riverview HS)

Bye played in 9 games, going 8 innings in relief, allowing 9 hits, 15 runs, walking 11 batters and striking out 12 batters.

Joe Cavallaro

#25 Joe Cavallaro – Sophomore – RHP – Venice, FL (Sarasota HS)

Cavallaro played in 16 games (14 starts). He went 6-3 (4.27 ERA) and went 84 innings, allowing 65 hits, 47 runs, walked 45 batters and struck out 75 batters. Cavallaro became the Sunday starter and had a solid season from the start to finish.

Chris Chatfield

#37 Chris Chatfield – Freshman – Outfield – Riverview, FL (Spoto HS)

Chatfield played in 48 games (38 starts) and was 25 for 136 (.184) with 6 doubles, 7 home runs, drove in 22 runs and scored 17 more. He had a .382 slugging percentage, 16 walks (61 strike outs) and a .293 OBP. Chatfield showed a lot of power, but needs to be more consistent moving forward to stick in the starting batting order for the Bulls.

Michael Clarkson

#24 Michael Clarkson – Redshirt senior – RHP – Oldsmar, FL (Dunedin HS)

Clarkson played in 15 games (7 starts) and went 1-5 while throwing 53.2 innings, allowing 60 hits, 36 runs, walking 33 batters and striking out 49 batters.

Kyle Cross

#16 Kyle Cross- Freshman – RHP – Altamonte, FL (Lake Brantley HS)

Cross appeared in 3 games this year, going 5 innings, allowing 13 hits, 9 runs, with 4 walks and struck out 5 batters.

Tyler Dietrich

#38 Tyler Dietrich – Freshman – Catcher – Naples, FL (Barron Collier HS)

Dietrich played in 34 games (27 starts) and was 29 for 101 (.287) with 5 doubles, driving in 10 runs, and scored 7 more. He a .337 slugging percentage, 7 walks (18 strike outs), and a .342 OBP.

Tommy Eveld

#28 Tommy Eveld – Redshirt junior – RHP – Tampa, FL (Jesuit HS)

Eveld played in 26 games this year, becoming the closer. He went 0-3 (2.21 ERA) and had a team high 9 saves while working 53 innings, allowing 36 hits, 15 runs, 24 walks and struck out 67 batters.

Jonah Garrison

#3 Jonah Garrison – Freshman – Infielder – Orlando, FL (Edgewater HS)

Garrison played in 28 games (18 starts) going 12 for 61 at the plate with 2 RBIs and scored 9 runs while totaling a .300 OBP.

Joe Genord

#20 Joe Genord – Freshman – Infielder/Catcher – Lake Worth, FL (Park Vista HS)

Genord played in 45 games this year (40 starts) and batted .270 (41 for 151) with 6 doubles, 6 home runs, drove in 21 runs and scored 15 more. He also had a .428 slugging percentage and a .325 OBP.

Hayden Kelley

#15 Hayden Kelley – Senior – RHP – Tampa, FL (Miami Dade CC)

Kelley played in 1 game this year, pitching one inning and allowing just one hit in his final year.

Michael Koenig

#34 Michael Koenig – Freshman – Infielder – Eustis, FL (Eustis HS)

Koenig played in 10 games (4 starts) and batted 1 for 14 with a run scored, that one hit being a triple, drove in a run, and drew 2 walks in limited playing time.

Brad Labozzetta

#35 Brad Labozzetta – Redshirt junior – RHP – Lakeland, FL (Polk State College)

Labozzetta played in 15 games (4 starts) and went 2-5, working 37 innings, allowing 37 hits, 26 runs, 31 walks and struck out 36 batters.

Brandon Lawson

#13 Brandon Lawson – Junior – RHP – Brooksville, FL (Hernando HS)

Lawson, a 2nd team AAC selection, played in 15 games (starting in 14). He went 5-5 (2.50 ERA) going 101 innings, allowing 83 hits, 34 runs, walking 30 batters and struck out 111 batters. Lawson had a huge year for the pitching staff and I hope he returns next year (stay away MLB, please).

Andres Leal

#9 Andres Leal – Junior – UTL – Tampa, FL (Tampa Catholic HS)

Leal played in 3 games, going 2 for 7 at the plate with one RBI. He did not appear the rest of the year but it was not clear why (injury maybe).

Luke Maglich

#18 Luke Maglich – Senior – Outfielder – Sarasota, FL (Riverivew HS)

Maglich played in 51 games, batting 51 for 188 (.271) with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, drove in 23 runs and scored 23 more. He had a .404 slugging percentage, 31 walks (51 strike outs), a .385 OBP, and was 23 for 26 in steal attempts. He was one of the few veteran bats the Bulls had all year long.

Shane McClanahan

#8 Shane McClanahan – Freshman – LHP – Cape Coral, FL (Cape Coral HS)

McClanahan missed the year after having Tommy John surgery in the offseason. In his high school career, he went 29-7 (1.04 ERA) and struck out 187 batters in that year. He will be huge next year for the pitching staff.

Kevin Merrell

#6 Kevin Merrell – Sophomore – Infielder – Odessa, FL (Steinbrenner HS)

Merrell, after missing the first bit of the season, started 39 games (41 overall) and made 1st team All Conference honors. He batted .320 (41 for 147) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, one home run, drove in 22 runs and scored 22 more. He had 22 walks (22 strike outs), a .418 OBP and was 16 for 17 in steal attempts.

Coco Montes

#5 Coco Montes – Freshman – Infielder – Miami, FL (Coral Gables HS)

Montes played in 56 games this year. He batted .218 (43 for 197) with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, drove in 13 runs and scored 19 more. He had 17 walks (49 strike outs) and a .287 OBP.

Cameron Montgomery

#33 Cameron Montgomery – Freshman – Outfielder – Windemere, FL (Olympia HS)

Montgomery played in 28 games (17 starts). He batted .211 (15 for 71) with a double, 2 home runs, drove in 8 runs and scored 10 more. He had 3 walks (22 strike outs) and a .253 OBP.

Andrew Perez

#14 Andrew Perez – Freshman – LHP – Orlando, FL (Timber Creek HS)

Perez played in 20 games (1-5 record) and started 2. He worked 30.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, 25 runs, 26 walks and struck out 36 batters. Perez became a key late inning relief arm throughout the year for the Bulls pitching staff.

Donovan Pink

#50 Donovan Pink – Freshman – Infielder – St. Petersburg, FL (Lakewood HS)

Pink played in just 3 games, going 0 for 3 in limited at bats during the year.

Daniel Portales

#29 Daniel Portales – Junior – RHP/OF – Tampa, FL (Jesuit HS)

Portales played in 13 games (4 starts) and was 2 for 18 at the plate with an RBI, scoring one run and walked 4 times. He also pitched an inning in relief, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk and struck out 2 batters.

Phoenix Sanders

#45 Phoenix Sanders – Junior – RHP – Gainesville, FL (Daytona State College)

Sanders went 5-5 (4.15 ERA) in 16 games and recorded one save, becoming the Friday night starter. He worked 95.1 innings, allowing 112 hits, 59 runs, 27 walks and struck out 95 batters.

Mark Savarese

#17 Mark Savarese – Junior – RHP – Palm City, FL (St. Petersburg College)

Savarese played in 8 games, going 1-1 in 10.1 innings of work, allowing 14 hits, 9 runs, 8 walks and struck out 12 batters.

Matt Sellers

#39 Matt Sellers – Freshman – RHP – Vero Beach, FL (Vero Beach HS)

Sellers missed the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the offseason. He went 6-2 (1.50 ERA) in his senior year of HS with 75 strike outs in 53 innings of work.

Peter Strzelecki

#30 Peters Strzelecki – Redshirt sophomore – RHP – Lake Worth, FL (Palm Beach State College)

Strezelecki missed the year as well after undergoing TJ surgery. He pitched in 8 games for Palm Beach a year ago, striking out 33 batters in 28 innings of work.

Duke Stunkel Jr.

#44 Duke Stunkel Jr. – Sophomore – Infielder – Palm Beach Gardens, FL (St. Petersburg College)

Stunkel played in 54 games (53 starts) and batted .260 (52 for 200) with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, drove in 21 runs and scored 31 runs. He had a .345 slugging percentage, 19 walks (42 strike outs), a .343 OBP and was 4 for 6 in steal attempts.

Ryan Valdes

#42 Ryan Valdes – Senior – RHP/OF – Tampa, FL (State College of Florida)

Valdes played in 4 games in the field. He was 1-0 on the mound (just one outing) and went 3 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, and struck out 3 batters.

David Villar

#10 David Villar – Freshman – Infielder – Pembroke Pines, FL (American Heritage HS)

Villar played in 55 games (54 starts) and went 49 for 205 at the plate with 14 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, drove in 23 runs and scored 29 more. He had a .390 slugging percentage, had 19 walks (62 strike outs) and a .305 OBP.

Garrett Zech

#27 Garrett Zech – Freshman – Outfielder – Naples, FL (Naples HS)

Zech played in 53 games, batting 49 for 197 (.249) with 9 doubles, 1 triple, drove in 7 runs and scored 28 more. He had a .305 slugging percentage, 18 walks (76 strike outs), a .342 OBP and was 19 for 24 in steal attempts.

2017 Projection:

Let’s start with the pitching staff. We should get Sanders, Cavallaro, Lawson (if he does not get drafted) back as the starters and key late inning arms in Perez, Eveld (again, if not drafted), Burns, and others along with McClanahan and Sellers who missed all year due to injuries. That’s a lot of returning talent for the Bulls, meaning they should be loaded entering 2017. Then we know that Coach Kingston will add a few more arms in the recruiting, adding to the talent on the staff.

Now, let’s turn to the offense. This was one of the youngest teams we have seen in a long time. I mean, we usually had at least seven freshmen in the batting order and in the field throughout the season. Now, they will return with a year of experience under their belt along with veterans Merrell and the Border brothers (if they don’t get drafted), giving the Bulls a super loaded roster with both speed and power. Anyone else that Coach Kingston adds to the mix will just be icing on the cake at that point.

2015 was a perfect storm with so many seniors and veterans, they made the postseason. This year, the Bulls had a super young roster and a ton of injuries throughout the year, but if everything comes together in 2017, the Bulls will be ready for brighter things ahead.


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