2015 Vanderbilt Baseball Black and Gold Series Statistics
BLACK TEAM HITTERS:
|Bryan Reynolds (CF)||.428||2||6||9||21||7||2||5||0-1|
|Tyler Green (1B)||.411||1||5||7||17||3||0||5||0-1|
|Ro Coleman (LF/2B)||.250||2||8||5||20||3||3||1||3-3|
|Tyler Campbell (Inf.)||.190||0||0||4||21||1||0||9||0-1|
|Connor Kaiser (Inf.)||.166||0||2||2||12||2||2||3||0-0|
|Will Toffey (3B)||.125||0||2||2||16||2||6||4||0-0|
|Karl Ellison (C)||.125||0||1||2||16||2||3||7||0-1|
|Walker Grisanti (OF)||.090||0||0||1||11||2||1||6||0-1|
|Nolan Rogers (OF)||.000||0||0||0||8||1||1||3||1-3|
|Julian Infante (1B/3B)||.000||0||0||0||14||1||5||5||0-0|
GOLD TEAM HITTERS:
|Alonzo Jones (2B/SS)||.529||0||4||9||17||7||3||5||3-5|
|Ethan Paul (SS/2B)||.526||0||6||10||19||3||1||5||2-6|
|Penn Murfee (1B)||.400||0||1||2||5||2||2||2||0-0|
|Stephen Scott (OF)||.353||0||5||6||17||1||3||3||0-0|
|Kyle Smith (1B/OF)||.312||1||4||5||16||4||6||5||1-1|
|Tristan Chari (C)||.312||0||1||5||16||0||1||1||0-0|
|Jeren Kendall (CF)||.304||1||1||7||23||6||1||11||1-2|
|Jason Delay (C)||.294||0||6||5||17||3||2||4||0-0|
|Liam Sabino (3B)||.200||0||5||4||20||1||1||3||0-1|
|Kiambu Fentress (LF)||.143||0||0||1||7||6||2||2||1-1|
After collecting just one hit last season and striking out in 12 of 19 plate appearances, the senior is setting himself up for a shot at playing time this season. Smith not only hit for power, his hallmark, but also hit for contact, ran the bases well, and exhibited markedly improved plate discipline. Smith ended the series with a .312 average (5-for-16), a mammoth home run in game two that landed just left of the center field batters eye, and six walks compared to just five strikeouts. Between first base, a corner outfield spot, and the DH role, there will likely be a spot for Kyle Smith in the opening day lineup, as he has the full support of Tim Corbin as a veteran leader who deserves a fresh start. Hear from Smith on his new approach and fall success in this VandyRadio interview:
The freshman middle infielder drove the Gold Team to victory with game winning hits in games two and three and a .526 average (10-for-19) over the course of the series. Paul looked good at shortstop, and is certainly a candidate to fill the hole left by Dansby Swanson at the position.
Reynolds seems primed to lead the Vandy offense come springtime. He homered twice in the series, both times off Jordan Sheffield, and let his speed play in center field. I see Reynolds slotting in as the three-hole hitter for this team, though he hit leadoff in all five Black and Gold games and did well up top.
The sophomore pitcher started games one and four for the Black team and proved what I already knew: he will be this team’s Friday night starter. Wright threw five innings on 66 pitches in game four, allowing one unearned run on five hits, striking out four and walking none. The transition from reliever back to starter will be a breeze for Wright, who should be Vandy’s ace for the next two seasons.
The Position Battles
The candidates (in alphabetical order): Alonzo Jones, Connor Kaiser, Ethan Paul, Liam Sabino
Paul and Jones both hit over .500 in the series, but Paul’s “heartbeat for the game” (as Coach Corbin would say), matches the maturity of past freshman standouts who have earned immediate playing time, most recently Will Toffey a season ago. Kaiser and Paul played the bulk of the innings at shortstop for their teams, while Jones played mostly second and Sabino only played third. I figured Sabino was the incumbent here, but Paul’s play and the fact that Sabino was relegated to third base point to the fact that Paul could be the guy from day one.
The candidates (in alphabetical order): Tyler Green, Julian Infante, Kyle Smith
I’m ready for Tyler Green to get his shot. He’s a power bat and a big target at first, and I’m excited to see what he can accomplish this season. In the second inning of game five, he tomahawked a 400+ foot homer to left center, finishing the series with a .411 average. His fielding was above average on the week, as his stretch at first is more pivotal than most realize. Freshman Julian Infante went hitless in the series, and I see Kyle Smith figuring in the corner outfield conversation as long as Green’s development is as far along as I believe it is.
The candidates (in alphabetical order): Walker Grisanti, Nolan Rogers, Stephen Scott, Kyle Smith
Bryan Reynolds will be in center, Jeren Kendall will be in either left or right, and then we don’t know. I see Kyle Smith slotting into right field and Jeren staying in left, though Smith could DH with Ro Coleman in left and Jeren in right. Walker Grisanti and Stephen Scott are left-handed freshman bats, but I see Smith getting a shot at playing every day before either of these promising newcomers. Nolan Rogers’ intrasquad performance was underwhelming, though he’s still a very valuable fourth outfielder and pinch hitter for this team.
PROJECTED OPENING DAY LINEUP
This is my best guess right now, though expect plenty to change and me to be embarrassingly wrong:
Ro Coleman DH
Jeren Kendall LF
Bryan Reynolds CF
Will Toffey 3B
Tyler Green 1B
Kyle Smith RF
Ethan Paul SS
Karl Ellison C
Tyler Campbell 2B
RHP Kyle Wright on Fridays
LHP John Kilichowski on Saturdays
RHP Jordan Sheffield on Sundays
Midweek duty could fall on LHP Ryan Johnson early on, though Corbin wants Johnson in the bullpen for SEC play. I expect freshmen RHPs Donny Everett and Chandler Day to start midweeks once conference play begins.
Eyes of The Hawk is a Vanderbilt Baseball blog written by VandyRadio Sports Director Max Herz. Max covers the Commodores for VandyRadio, The Vanderbilt Hustler, and the SEC Network. Check in throughout the season for an inside look at the Vandy Boys, as we cover the boys of The Hawk with the eyes of a hawk.