TCU continues to rack up the pre-season honors, as five Frogs were named to the Perfect Game All-American second team. Designated hitter Luken Baker, third baseman Elliott Barzilli, catcher Evan Skoug, and pitchers Brian Howard and Durbin Feltman all received the honor this week.
Baker comes off of one of the better seasons by a true freshman in recent memory, as the 6’5”, 235 pound man-child began his career pitching on Friday nights and hitting in the cleanup spot for a team that made their third consecutive World Series. His post-season hitting was off the charts, as he blasted eight home runs, including two game-winners, in the Big 12 Championship and run to Omaha.
Barzilli improved his defense as a junior, locking down the corner spot for a solid Frog defense and providing a spark at the plate and on the base paths in 2016. The former Georgia Tech transfer started all 67 games for Jim Schlossnagle, hitting .339 with 27 extra base hits. A senior, he will provide leadership for a team with high expectations heading into the season.
Skoug is one of the best players at his position in the country, and will likely be discussed as a first round draft pick should he enter his name this spring. After batting over .300 as a sophomore and blasting 21 doubles and nine home runs, the junior will look to cut down on his strikeouts and improve on his ability to cut down potential base stealers in the field.
Brian Howard had an opportunity to go pro after a stellar 2016, but chose to return in large part to bring home a title to Fort Worth. The St. Louis native was nearly un-hittable during the Frogs post-season run, posting a 10-2 record and 3.19 ERA over the course of the season. His 93 strikeouts in 98.2 innings led the team a season ago.
Durbin Feltman burst onto the scene as a true freshman, earning the closers job early on and holding it throughout the year. Feltman posted a team best 1.56 ERA, went 3-0, and accrued nine saves. Opposing hitters managed only a .128 batting average against him, and he struck out 49 in 34.2 innings.
The full press release is below:
FORT WORTH – More honors flowed in for a quintet of TCU baseball players. Luken Baker, Elliott Barzilli, Durbin Feltman, Brian Howard and Evan Skoug were named 2nd-team preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game.
The five were previously honored as preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball. Baker and Howard were first team selections, while Skoug and Feltman were placed on the second team. Barzilli rounded out the quintet on the third team.
TCU, already the preseason No. 1 team in the Collegiate Baseball poll, return the bulk of its roster from the 2016 College World Series team. In all, 22 letterwinners return including eight field starters and 10 pitchers. Additionally, the Horned Frogs welcomed a consensus top-10 recruiting class to campus in the fall.
The 2017 season is slated to open on Feb. 17 when the Frogs play host to Penn State. Fans can get an early glimpse of the team on Feb. 11 when TCU hosts its annual Alumni game at 1 p.m. The game will be free and open to the public.