This is the first in a series of short profiles of the projected starters for the 2007 Nebraska Baseball team. Through the magic of words, I'll swing around the horn, touch home, run around the outfield, check in with the starters, stop in the bullpen, and the finish up on the bench with the DH.
First Base: Andrew Brown
2006-- Brown - .298 avg, .365 obp, .532 slg, 9 home runs, 14:31 BB:SO
Brown comes into his senior season having done nothing but flat out hit everywhere he's played. In 2005, he hit .404 with 15 homers and 20 doubles at Paris JuCo. The year before, as a freshman, he hit .333. In the Texas Collegiate League, he hit .311 with 13 home runs (with a wooden bat) in 42 games to be named the 2005 TCL Player of the year. Brown hit .398 as a senior in high school... etc., etc.
There's little doubt that Brown will be able to raise his numbers even higher than last season. He'll get consistent playing time instead of being relegated to a platoon with Brandon Buckman, or DH-ing. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brown put up a .330/.400/.580 line with 14 home runs.
Third Base: Jake Mort/Jeff Tezak/Craig Corriston
2006-- Mort - .265 avg, .289 obp, .382 slg, 0 home runs, 17:28 BB:SO
2006-- Tezak - .386 avg, .453 obp, .510 slg, 1 home run, 21:10 BB:SO
2006-- Corriston - .372 avg, .429 obp, .606 slg, 6 home runs, 18:26 BB:SO
Jake Mort plays good defense. That's not a question. However, transfers Jeff Tezak (Palomar CC) and Craig Corriston (Paris JuCo) can hit, and hit well. Mort... not so much. A two time All-Nebraska pick, and the pride of Nebraska City, Mort had a career batting average of .419 in high school, but has had trouble hitting at the collegiate level.
Tezak has excellent plate discipline; that 21:10 walk to strikeout ratio isn't a typo. He also has good speed, leading his team with 15 stolen bases on 16 attempts last year.
Corriston led the Region XIV Conference with 20 doubles, and was 21st in batting average with a .372 mark. If he can replicate even 80% of that production, Mike Anderson will find a spot for his bat.
Speaking of Anderson, here's what the Husker head coach had to say about the third base situation:
"All three are different," Anderson said. "Tezak and Corriston are similar defensively. Mort is solid defensively, has struggled a little bit offensively, but he's gotten better. Tezak and Corriston add something offensively. I'd like to get offense out of that position."
Not a lot of meat to that quote, but you can tell Anderson isn't really sure who he'll be penciling in the lineup each day. I'd guess Mort will probably get the first start, and Anderson will rotate Tezak and Corriston in very often in the first two to three weeks.