With the Major League Baseball Draft having come and gone, the future of TCU Baseball’s program is taking shape. With Phillip Sikes already declaring his intentions to forgo his remaining eligibility and sign with Boston, and Russell Smith likely to do the same soon, we have a pretty good grasp of what the Horned Frogs’ roster will look like when Fall Ball tips off just a couple months from now.
As such, D1 Baseball recently put the Horned Frogs squarely in their “winners” category as part of their MLB Draft review. High on prep stars Thomas Dilandri and Caedmon Parker, Shooter Hunt says that “it was a big year” for Kirk Saarloos, “as his top 10 (likely) recruiting class remained relatively intact through the draft.”
As Jamie wrote last week, Aledo catcher Creed Willems is the only member of the class of 2021 to be drafted, and has already elected to sign with the Orioles. That leaves Dilandri — one of the hardest-hitting right handers in the country, and a guy who could have gone in the top three rounds — and “uber-projectable” right handed pitcher Caedmon Parker (whose dad shared this adorable photo on twitter over the weekend) as bookends to a class that isn’t lacking for star power.
With Austin Krob surprisingly going undrafted and Marcelo Perez expected to return to campus (though there hasn’t been an official announcement yet), the Frogs return the core nucleus on a pitching staff that showed promise down the stretch. Add in highly regarded class of 2020 member Cam Brown and incoming righty Gray Thomas — who can run his fastball up into the mid-90s and delivers it from almost a sidearm slot — and there’s plenty of reason to be excited for the future under Kirk Saarloos. The Frogs will add at least two key pieces this fall with freshmen that will challenge for PT right away: Hunter Teplansky is a big-armed shortstop with some pop in his bat and athleticism that will compete with Tommy Sacco — who many consider the best pure athlete on the team — and outfielder Logan Maxwell was the player of the year in Ohio after posting a ridiculous .600 batting average with nine doubles, nine triples, ten home runs and 24 stolen bases (he was also a perfect 5-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 31 Ks from the mound, just for good measure) setting up a fun four way battle between him, Porter Brown, Elijah Nunez, and Luke Boyers for the three outfield spots next year.
Losing Willems stings, but as D1 said, “the potential star-power of Dilandri/Parker & company is still enough to make this a big win for the Horned Frogs.”