A lot has happened around TCU Baseball in the week since the season ended, an unusual paradigm for Frog fans who expect to be at Lupton this time of year, you know, WATCHING their team play baseball. Instead, we have been relegated to following the rumor mill and refreshing twitter, fending off Mississippi fans as they tout the lure of THE SEC and how Starkville is a better place to live than Fort Worth (LOL).
While the Bulldogs were out winning baseball games, Jeremiah Donati and Jim Schlossnagle were hunkered down in a bunker somewhere deep below Lupton (or so I imagine), fighting for the future of a program that Schloss built into something amazing over a decade and a half. When the dust had settled, MSU won the battle (a few baseball games), but Donati won the war, and the best manager in TCU history, and one of the top in college baseball today, changed his mind, agreeing that Cowtown is > than Cowbells.
And that should make us all breathe a deep sigh of relief.
But it’s not all sunshine and happiness in Mudville, as the Frogs are in danger of losing one of the top young coaches in the game. Kirk Saarloos, who has been key in developing one of the best pitching staffs in the country annually, and is an absolute ace recruiter, has been granted permission to interview at Rice University, a historically great program that has fallen on hard times recently. Saarloos was believed to be the heir apparent in Funky Town, rumored to step into Schloss shoes if/when the coached left this off season. But with Schloss staying put, how much longer will Saarloos bide his time behind a legend at Lupton? He was a hot commodity an off-season ago, pursued by Stanford before ultimately turning down that opportunity in favor of staying put with the program he helped turn elite. Will he stay with what he knows, or is he ready for a new challenge? We will know more in the coming weeks.
JUST KIDDING SAARLOOS STAYING TOO!!!!
BREAKING: In some extremely surprising news, @TCU_Baseball gets great news for a second-straight day. Sources tell me that pitching coach Kirk Saarloos will no longer entertain @RiceBaseball and has agreed to stay put at #TCU.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 4, 2018
What a two-day period for TCU baseball. Wow.
(TCU has won big twice despite the fact that they haven’t played a game in over a week.)
Be grateful that one of the truly elite collegiate baseball managers - and one of the truly elite pitching coaches/recruiting coordinators - are staying at TCU, hopefully returning a team that returns a lot to postseason glory, and maybe - eventually - bringing home the national championship that we have been oh so close to so many times before.
Tonight marks the beginning of the MLB Draft, a one thousand round (okay, maybe 40) behemoth that stretches deep into the week. TCU is expected to be hit hard in 2018, with several current draft-eligible juniors expected to go in the top 200 and several signees predicted to hear their name called at a cash-friendly slot.
Last year, the Frogs lost Evan Skoug and Austen Wade to pro ball, in addition to their three top high school signees and five seniors. This year, Jared Janczak, Sean Wymer, Durbin Feltman, Luken Baker, and Josh Watson could all leave early to chase their MLB dreams, as well as a handful of commits that are a long shot to make it to campus.
Let’s take a look at the rankings of current/future Frogs when it comes to the draft (rankings via Baseball America and/or MLB Pipeline):
TCU Player/Commits in the MLB Draft
|Adam Kloffenstein (commit)||RHP||43|
|Alek Thomas (commit)||OF||57|
|1B/DH Luken Baker||1B/DH||68|
|Mateo Gil (commit)||SS||283|
TCU currently has 11 committed players, with Gil and Thomas the two most likely to go pro. Kloffenstein has made it very clear that he intends to join the Horned Frogs program, but if he goes in the top 40 picks, he may think twice about his commitment. Of course, the news that both Schloss and Saarloos may help keep him - and others - in the fold.
Here are the players currently committed to TCU Baseball. These are the names to watch over the next few days.
*** note: Both Alek Thomas and Bryson Jackson are planning to play both football and baseball for the Frogs ***
2018 TCU Baseball Commits
|Alek Thomas||OF||5'11||175||L-L||Mt Carmel||Chicago||IL|
|Mateo Gil||SS||6'2"||190||R-R||Timber Creek||Keller||TX|
|Porter Brown||OF||5'10"||165||L-L||Reagan||San Antonio||TX|
|Marcelo Perez||RHP||5'11"||170||R-R||John B Alexander||Laredo||TX|
|Dawson Barr||RHP||6'1"||195||R-R||Liberty Christian||Flower Mound||TX|
|Spencer Arrighetti||RHP||6'2"||205||R-R||Cinco Ranch||Katy||TX|
|Nicholas Juaire||C||5'8"||175||S-R||Lakeville North||Farmington||MN|
How to Watch: Monday
Rounds: 1-2 plus Competitive Balance Rounds A and B (picks 1 through 78)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network (first 43 picks only)