We’re 13 days away from Arkansas baseball, and HawgBeat is constant its lineup preview sequence for the 2023 Diamond Hogs.
The Razorbacks will return simply two starters from final 12 months’s lineup, so followers will quickly change into accustomed to the entire new faces.
With scrimmage protection, weekly notebooks, place previews, the Diamond Hawgs Podcast and extra, HawgBeat supplies the most effective Arkansas baseball protection round.
We proceed issues with the cleanup spot, crammed by a participant who wants no introduction to Razorback followers…
#6 – Brady Slavens – 1B
Sr. | L/R | 6′ 3″ | 205
Olathe, Kan. / Olathe Northwest HS / Wichita State / Johnson County CC
2022: 63 video games, .255/.332/.523, 35 R, 61 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 16 HR, 58 RBI, 30 BB/66 Ok, 2 SB
Returning for 12 months three in a Razorback uniform, Brady Slavens is totally recovered from an offseason surgical procedure on his throwing elbow, which was bothering him for a lot of the 2022 season.
“No ache,” Slavens stated Jan. 28. “Feeling actually good.”
Slavens, 22, is shaping as much as be one of many cornerstones for the Diamond Hogs this 12 months, becoming a member of Peyton Stovall as the one different returning starter within the discipline. His 30 dwelling runs and 121 RBIs throughout his Arkansas profession present the wealth of expertise he brings in opposition to SEC pitching in an order that severely lacks it.
Whereas his 16 longballs tied for the group lead in 2022, Slavens took a step again statistically in virtually each different class from the 12 months earlier than. His 66 strikeouts have been additionally a team-high, and he noticed drop-offs in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs, common, on-base share and slugging share regardless of an 11% enhance in plate appearances.
As head coach Dave Van Horn talked about within the fall, nonetheless, 2023 brings a brand new alternative for Slavens, and seemingly quite a bit much less strain with it.
“He noticed this fall that he’s going to be surrounded by some good hitters, so it’s not like he’s received to go up there and hit a three-run homer each different at bat,” Van Horn stated Nov. 9. “We’re actually working with him going the opposite approach like he did just about down the stretch. I bear in mind the house run he hit reverse discipline in opposition to Oklahoma State that gave us the lead in that regional and a few balls up the center in opposition to North Carolina. I feel he’s going to have a very good 12 months for us.”
Van Horn famous final month that Slavens and the teaching employees have caught with that middle-opp strategy, citing one particular at-bat this offseason by which he hit a pitch on the internal half greater than 400 toes the opposite approach.
On the opposite aspect of issues, Slavens figures to fit again in at first base, the place he spent a lot of the 2021 season. He was largely confined to the designated hitter spot final 12 months as he handled elbow discomfort — which resulted within the surgical procedure to restore ulnar nerve instability.
Van Horn has been adamant all through the offseason that that would be the case. Nevertheless, Slavens took reps at third base earlier than each open scrimmages final weekend, and he even logged just a few innings on the scorching nook towards the top of Saturday’s contest.
In a small pattern dimension, Slavens seemed serviceable at worst, making a pair throws throughout the diamond to Caleb Cali, who is predicted to be the first third baseman.
Slavens isn’t any stranger to the opposite aspect of the infield, having performed there in highschool, at Wichita State, in junior faculty and once more in Fayetteville through the fall earlier than the 2021 season. He didn’t give any indication of how usually followers ought to count on to see him on the left aspect.
“I do not know,” Slavens stated. “I simply go together with no matter is on the lineup card.”
The Diamond Hogs will proceed to iron out their most popular defensive alignment over the following couple weekends throughout scrimmages. This week’s ice storm rendered the sector at Baum-Walker Stadium unplayable, so the motion is not going to be within the public eye this weekend, however media and followers ought to have the possibility to look at them once more Friday.
Arkansas’ season will start Feb. 17 on the Faculty Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas. First pitch in opposition to the Texas Longhorns at Globe Life Discipline is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
HawgBeat’s Lineup Breakdown Collection
1. #12 – Tavian Josenberger – CF
4. #17 – Brady Slavens – 1B
5. (Sunday, Feb. 5)
6. (Monday, Feb. 6)
7. (Tuesday, Feb. 7)
8. (Wednesday, Feb. 8)
9. (Thursday, Feb. 9)
Bench gamers (Friday, Feb. 10)
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