#7 SS/2B Dansby "The Mansby" Swanson
6'1" 190lbs R/R Junior
The Mansby only got in a few contests his freshman year, and it was understandable that some were apprehensive about him taking the mantle from Tony Kemp. Last year, we saw the hype was real. He started all 72 games, hit .333/.411/.475 with 27 2B, 2 3B, and 3 HR. Swiped 22-27. Scored 63. Knocked in 34.
Simply put, he was the engine that powered our offensive machine. He can hit anywhere in the lineup, but why the hell not bat him at the top and maximize his plate appearances? Of course, if Jeren Kendall lives up to his top of the order hype, we might consider batting Dansby and his Lilliputian 2 GDPs 2nd. (I don't do this until Kendall forces this to happen.)
After leading us to our first title, The Mansby tore it up for the USA Baseball College National Team. He'll slide over to SS this year, and even though Conde played a fine SS last year, The Mansby is better. Better range, better arm, never rattled... He's Nomar Garciaparra. He's a right handed Chase Utley. He will be among the best players in college baseball this year and he's got a legitimate shot at the Golden Spikes.
In all honesty, the only question is how high into the first round will this season raise his stock?
The Young Gun
#10 3B Will "Nickname Not Yet Determined" Toffey
6'2" 195lb L/R Freshman
Reports out of fall camp was that we will not skip a beat at the hot corner with the season long suspension to Xavier Turner (for undisclosed reasons). We at AoG don't know exactly why Turner was suspended for the CWS and this year, but seeing as Jameis Winston only sat out for one half of one game for his entire career, the safe money is on Turner punching a baby. Perhaps a series of babies.
Never you mind... as Will "Youth Hockey" Toffey possesses the steely-eyed death stare of a pre-teen assassin. Oh, and he's been setting the world on fire in practice. I'm going to need to see him in action before I can give you an accurate scouting report, but look in those cold, dead eyes and tell me he won't be able to stop an opponent's heart with a simple glance. Those are the eyes of a straight up murderer, right there. A straight up murderer whose mom always has Sunny D in the fridge.
Sunny mother-fucking D.
The Come-Back Kid
#43 1B Zander "Awesome X/Barnaby Jones" Wiel
6'3" 225lb R/R RS Junior
Going into last year, I thought Awesome X would tear up the league. Sadly, he was blinded, clad in a blonde wig, and completely sans X-Tacles. Barnaby Jones wandered through life last year as little more than Killface's boy toy, which was a poor substitute for the potential power bat Xander Crews showed in '13. He was supposed to be our big thumper in the 4-hole, but instead, he put up an uninspiring .260/.378/.409 with 14 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, and 44 RBI. He was pulling off and pile-driving balls in the dirt. The good news is this was likely Wiel at his worst, and if he can keep his front leg in and hit down on the ball, he can drive it just about as far as any in College Baseball.
The People's Champ
#2 2B/3B/UTIL Tyler "The Best Person Who Has Ever Lived" Campbell
5'11" 170lb R/R Junior
Last year, The Soup Can Kid was largely a forgotten man, logging some mop-up and mid-week work. That is, until Xavier Turner GOT HIMSELF SUSPENDED FOR THE GOOD OF THE TEAM, AND TYLER CAMPBELL TURNED INTO THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED. See him up there being fore-arm shivered by Mike "Happy" Papi in the CWS? The People's Champ didn't take kindly to that. What Happy Pappy forgot was that Tyler Campbell is a G-D superhero, and jumps over mo'freaking moving cars. The Wahoos never stood a chance.
I have no idea if The Soup Can Kid has locked up a starting jerb, but I want him out there--be that at 2B, DH, or as the spirit guide to every damned baseball player we've got. Campbell started only 6 games, hit only .212/.297/.303, but was still one of the bigger reasons we won the damned title.
The Other 2B Candidates:
To be honest, this is likely going to be a fluid situation. Here are our other possibilities:
Nolan Rodgers: So. .203/.310/.243
Liam Sabino: Fr.
Penn Murfee: RS Fr.
Some of you are likely wondering where Ro Coleman is on this list. Well... Coleman is no longer listed as an IF possibility on the roster. He's an OF, where he should be. His main asset is speed, and he will likely be a back-up CF. Check out tomorrow's OF position preview, where I will likely ignore him again.