The Frogs return a ton in 2017, but that unit has to be more productive and more consistent if TCU wants to make any real noise this fall. One thing we are sure of, there won’t be a lot of good graces outside of Fort Worth if the Frogs fall short of expectation this season.
TCU’s going to be pretty good. The Horned Frogs boast a level of returning production that almost assures improvement, and, well, Patterson has a track record. S&P+ projects them 21st and declares them the favorite in 10 of 12 games (and only a two-point underdog in an 11th game).
This is a big year, though, when it comes to proof of upside. Injuries and youth played obvious roles, but the Frogs’ S&P+ ratings (presented in terms of adjusted points per game) fell by 6.6 points in 2015, then another eight points last year. They failed to live up to projections either year, and while a 6-1 record in one-possession games kept them propped up two years ago, they went 1-4 in such games in 2016.
Patterson didn’t make any bold moves this offseason, and he has tools at his disposal. But this level of experience means two things: a big year is possible, but a lot of key contributors are graduating soon. Another retooling is on the horizon, and an only decent 2017 would be a missed opportunity.
The Skoug grand salami was awesome, but the performances of the two freshmen pitchers, especially Haylen Green, is the most encouraging thing to come out of Tuesday night’s win.
“I got to the ballpark today and didn’t really know I was going to start, and I was walking up the field and Coach said ‘it’s your ball’ so I was real excited,” Green said. “I just kept pounding the zone and executing my pitches where and when I wanted to, and trusting in my coaches and their pitch calling, and it all worked out pretty well for me.”
Green, making his 13th appearance of the season, finished with 49 pitches, 34 for strikes.
“I think Haylen Green set the tone for the game by filling up the strike zone, really in every inning he pitched,” Schlossnagle said. “He kept the ball down and kept throwing strikes — really proud of him.”