2019 is coming to a close today and with it, a decade. Thus, we have an opportunity to take a look back at the best players of the decade. It would be one thing to just put a list together, but I’m taking a different route. Instead, I’ll be constructing starting lineups for men’s basketball, baseball, and football, using the best players of the decade in each sport. We’ll also name a Player of the Decade.
You can check out the all-decade men’s basketball team here.
This post is dedicated to the 2010-19 TCU baseball program, so let’s jump right in.
Catcher: Evan Skoug (2015-17)
Arguably the most prolific hitting catcher in TCU history (Bryan Holaday also says hello), Skoug was a staple near the top of TCU’s lineup for the majority of his career in purple and white. His final season saw him hit 20 home runs and boast a .988 fielding percentage behind the plate, as he helped lead TCU to within one game of the College World Series finals.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Bacak
First Base: Luken Baker (2016-18)
TCU fans will always remember the gigantic bat and lumbering jog around the bases, but they’ll also have some major “what-ifs” when it comes to Baker. What if he doesn’t hurt his arm as a freshman? Does he keep pitching throughout his career? Does TCU win the College World Series in 2017 if he’s not sidelined with an injury?
Honorable Mention: Kevin Cron
Second Base: Cam Warner (2016-17)
The Aussie started 133 games in two seasons with the Frogs, posting a .292 batting average and .979 fielding percentage thought two runs to the College World Series.
Honorable Mention: Garrett Crain
Third Base: Jantzen Witte (2010-13)
Witte is one of the rare players on this list to only make one College World Series during his time at TCU, and it was his first season on campus. A career .325 hitter for the Frogs, Witte only struck out 66 times over 533 career at-bats.
Honorable Mention: Derek Odell
Shortstop: Keaton Jones (2012-15)
Keaton started 250 games for the Horned Frogs in his career - all of them at shortstop. He was TCU’s Iron Man - never missing a game, and only coming off the bench once in his career. He was never the most prolific hitter, but his career .961 fielding percentage is wild, considering the longevity of his career.
Honorable Mention: Taylor Featherston
Left Field: Josh Watson (2016-19)
In 253 career starts Watson committed eight errors over four seasons at TCU. Watson, a fan favorite, made himself a household name as a freshman when he tied for the team lead with 11 home runs on the season, and driving in the game-winning run in College Station during the super regional against Texas A&M.
Honorable Mention: Jerrick Suiter
Center Field: Cody Jones (2013-15)
Jones was one of my finalists for player of the decade. He finished his time at TCU with 75 stolen bases, a .297 batting average, a .990 fielding percentage, and a nice, round 400 put outs. His lightning speed and flare made him stand out on a team full of future pros.
Honorable Mentions: Johnny Rizer
Right Field: Austen Wade (2015-17)
A career .307 hitter for the Horned Frogs, Wade was an integral part of three runs to the College World Series. His bat always seemed to show up at exactly the right time, and he recorded 20 multi-hit games in his final season.
Honorable Mention: Dylan Fitzgerald
Starting Pitcher: Preston Morrison (2012-15)
TCU has had elite pitching in droves over the course of the past decade, but Morrison stands above them all. The three-time All American didn’t have overwhelming power, but he was elite on his off days and nigh untouchable when he was on. He finished with a career 1.84 ERA over 471.1 innings pitched, with a career opponents batting average of .213. His control was impeccable, as evidenced by the fact that over the course of 1,847 batters faced he walked just 73.
Honorable Mentions: Brian Howard, Mitchell Traver, Nick Lodolo, Jared Janczak
Closer: Durbin Feltman (2016-18)
Feltman and honorable mention Ferrell are tied for most saves in TCU history with 32 each. Both also has significant saves in big moments, as well as oodles of swagger, but Feltman gets the nod over La Flama Blanca because of his power move “thumbs down” as a true freshman, getting the save to send TCU to the College World Series over Texas A&M.
Honorable Mention: Riley Ferrell
TCU Baseball Player of the Decade: Preston Morrison
It was a decade defined by elite pitching for the Horned Frogs, so it’s only fitting that the player of the decade is the three-time All American Morrison.