Nebraska will look to rebound off of their worst offensive season since joining the Big Ten in 2020. The Huskers who finished the 2019 season with a .256 team batting average will look to rejoin the upper half of the Big Ten offensive production.
The Husker depth chart must replace a pair of starters from last years regional team. Angelo Altavilla must be replaced at shortstop while part time starter Alex Henwood graduates from the second base position.
Gunner Hellstrom should get the majority of the playing time this season at catcher. Hellstrom saw more playing time throughout last season, splitting time with Luke Roskam at catcher. Hellstrom provides solid defense, as he threw out eight runners last season. True freshman Aaron Dolney will be a player to watch if Roskam sticks to the infield this season.
The Huskers have three players capable of playing first. Colby Gomes played a majority of his game last year at first. Gomes provides a left handed bat in the lineup and should improve his offense from last season. Ty Roseberry started at first for the Huskers in their fall scrimmage against Wichita State and should get more at bats then last season. True freshman Luke Boynton should have a shot at getting some playing time at first. Boynton hit 20 home runs as a senior last year in Georgia for his high school team. Nebraska combined to hit 35 in a season last year.
This competition should be open throughout camp. Jaxon Hallmark started 22 games for the Huskers last season at second base. Cam Chick started four games at second base and has the higher offensive ceiling. In Big Ten play last season, Chick hit .316 while he only hit .240 for the entire season. Hallmark meanwhile could use his speed more as the Huskers might use him as their centerfielder. Chick meanwhile could also see action at third base for the Huskers.
The shortstop position should be interesting. When Angelo Altavilla did not play short last season, it was usually Spencer Schwellenbach. Schwellenbach should takeover shortstop on a full time basis for the Huskers. Once he recovered from his ankle injury, he showed patience at the plate and was able to be one of the Huskers most productive hitters as a freshman. Shay Schanaman did not play in the field last season, but the Huskers did give him time in the fall at the shortstop position.
Roskam who had a great fall will get a lot of action at third base. He is a better defender than Chick and will make the occasional highlight play. If Nebraska is facing a left handed pitcher, expect Roskam to sit and Chick to get the start for the Huskers at third with Hallmark or another player taking the start at second.
Aaron Palensky is back. He made 54 starts in right field and 2 in left field. Expect him to man right field for the Huskers. He looks to be a potential All Big Ten selection. If Palensky could not go, Keegan Watson and his strong arm could play well in right field.
Center is a position that will see multiple Husker starters. Joe Acker started 44 games for the Huskers last season in center and looks to be the main starter. Hallmark is capable of playing center and will get a handful of starts most likely. Mike Addante could see playing time as well.
It is the Mojo Hagge show in left. Hagge who has the Big Ten’s best hair will play his last season for the Huskers. Hagge will make the spectacular defensive play and will look to put together a consistent season on offense for the Huskers. Drew Mackie, a freshman from Kansas City is a possibility to see some action in left field as well for the Huskers.
Leighton Banjoff, a true freshman from Ohio started at the designated hitter spot in the fall. The Huskers can rotate Banjoff in the field and as the designated hitter. It may also provide a way to get the Huskers players a few days off in the field.