Last year after 9 games we were 7-2 and the 2 losses were by one run each. This year we won 2 games by 1 run each. The difference is experience and depth. We have the bullpen to match up in critical situations. And Jonathan Holder was a no name the first few weeks of the season last year.
Nick Ammiratti, catcher: In baseball you have to have 2 catchers to spell each other and Ammo has come on in his senior year to do this for Mitch Slauter. Ammo can throw out runners better than Slauter and he is a switch hitter. I see Ammo playing a lot especially against Vanderbilt who has a running team. This will free up Slauter to DH which makes that spot stronger. Ammo has made the catching position a strength in 2013.
Alex Detz, infielder: Detz can play all the positions 1B, 2B, SS, 3B which makes him invaluable. On top of that he bats left and has a keen eye at the plate. He has a .500 on base percentage. He walks and doesn't strike out much, he works the count to his favor. I see him playing a lot of DH in the coming weeks also. Detz is big addition to the 2013 club.
There are several other guys that I could mention but these 2 just for the first 9 games, I see have already made a big difference. We have 11 more non-conference games until SEC play, so it is important that lots of guys play. The team is like a puzzle coming together, I see some very important pieces that needs work but I believe they will. Brett Pirtle is one, he has struggled some but I expect him to really do well once he is comfortable.
The SEC is going to be a war this year. Lots of good teams going at it. I see lots of low scoring games that is why John Cohen didn't like the failed steal of home the other night. Each run is very important in the SEC. Well, I will write again in two weeks.