Boston College baseball kicks off their 2020 season this weekend against Northern Illinois in Winter Haven, Florida. While your mind not be on baseball just yet (last I checked, the Red Sox haven’t even hired a manager), there’s a lot to get excited about with this year’s squad.
In 2019, Coach Gambino’s Eagles put together a 31-27 record and made some noise in the ACC tournament, upsetting Clemson and #7 Louisville, before losing to UNC in the semis. With a talented young core in place (three Eagles made the ACC All-Freshman Team last year), BC is generating some buzz; Baseball America just named them as one of their 10 under-the-radar teams entering 2020.
Jake Alu, INF - Alu put together an excellent career, capped off by a senior season in which he batted .343 with a .889 OPS and drove in 40 runs. Alu’s absence will leave a sizable hole at the hot corner and in the middle of the order.
Gian Martellini, C - Martellini did the majority of the catching over the past three seasons, and took a step forward with the bat last season, compiling a .305 average, good for fourth on the team.
Dan Metzdorf, SP - How does 8-2 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.11 WHIP sound? It was enough to earn Metzdorf All-ACC First Team honors, and prompted the White Sox to make him their 5th round pick in the 2019 draft.
Players to Watch:
Sal Frelick, INF/OF - In an injury shortened freshman season, Frelick’s offensive numbers were off the charts. He drove in 32 runs in just 38 starts, with a .367 batting average, .960 OPS, and .513 slugging percentage. He also wreaked havoc on the basepaths, stealing 18 bases on 21 attempts. Oh, and don’t forget this web gem:
Yeah he did...— BC Baseball (@BCBirdBall) April 22, 2019
Catch your boy @SalFrelick on @SportsCenter at the bottom of the hour all day long at #4 on the SC Top 10! #Birdball pic.twitter.com/SgTA9EqONY
Cody Morissette, INF - Morissette started every game in his debut season, highlighted by a 3/6 2 HR 3 RBI explosion in the ACC tournament opener against Clemson. He finished the year with a .320 BA and led the team with 41 RBI. Morissette also led the team in errors with 14, so there’s room to improve, but look for a big year from the Second Team All-ACC selection.
Mason Pelio, SP - The third member of the 2019 trio of freshmen phenoms, Pelio was electric at times last season. He put together four starts of 7+ innings with 1 or fewer runs allowed. He held opposing teams to a stingy .194 BA, and allowed three hits or less in 8 of 13 starts. Pelio plunked 13 batters and walked 37 in 72 innings, but if he can refine his control, there’s no reason he can’t put up Metzdorfian numbers in 2020.