TCU baseball is less than one week away from beginning the 2024 season with a three-game series against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, Feb. 16. The Horned Frogs are eager to build on a magical 2023 campaign that saw TCU win the Big 12 Conference tournament and advance all the way to the College World Series, clinching NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional victories along the road. The Horned Frogs went 44-24 overall during the 2023 season, which was TCU’s second under head coach Kirk Saarloos, who now enters his third season in the dugout. Below is a season preview featuring TCU’s rostered outfielders.
A fun stat: Payton Tolle, Kurtis Byrne, Luke Boyers and Peyton Chatagnier have combined for 535 starts and 1,994 ABs in college.— Jamie Plunkett (@FrogPreacher) October 25, 2023
As #TCU HC @KirkSaarloosTCU says, “You can’t replicate having 400-500 college at bats."
Those four guys will be key to the Frogs' success in 2024.
Senior Luke Boyers returns as one of the most experienced players on the entire roster. Despite offensive struggles during the 2023 campaign, Boyers drew 38 walks in 58 games and ended the season with a .401 on-base percentage. Boyers enters his fourth season with the Horned Frogs having played in 164 games with 148 career starts. Boyers, who was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2022 and an NCAA All-Regional Team honoree in 2021, holds a career .260/.382/.388 slash line with 14 homers, 22 doubles and 86 RBIs.
TCU also returns junior Logan Maxwell, who split time with Boyers in left field during the 2023 season. The left-handed hitter caught fire during the latter portion of the season, finishing the season with a .300/.418/.460 slash line while adding six doubles and 18 RBIs. Maxwell has started 54 games over the last two seasons and, along with Boyers, should be penciled in as a starting outfielder in 2024. The question will be where each player lines up in the outfield, as Boyers played nearly all of the 2022 season in right field before moving to left field after TCU signed former West Virginia transfer Austin Davis. Davis and center fielder Elijah Nunez are the two most notable outfielders gone from the 2023 roster.
OF Jack Arthur@jackart20 | @WCoyoteBaseball— Prep Baseball Texas (@PBR_Texas) May 16, 2023
The @TCU_Baseball recruit resumes play with a bang as He sends this pitch over the CF wall for a 2 run . 15-8 Weatherford headed to the 8th.@PBR_JUCO | @PBRGowins pic.twitter.com/vyot1Pipf7
With Boyers and Maxwell likely starting in the outfield, another question will be who earns the third spot and rounds out the perimeter defense for the Horned Frogs. TCU does return sophomore Jake Duer, who played sparingly during the 2023 season. The Horned Frogs also added JUCO transfer Jack Arthur, who arrives as a redshirt sophomore after hitting .376 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs for Weatherford College last season. Arthur, who began his career at Texas, also posted a .490 on-base percentage and a .807 slugging percentage.
PBR NUKE CAM— Prep Baseball Arizona (@PBRArizona) May 3, 2023
23’ 1B Zach Wadas
(Hamilton)@TCU_Baseball commit with an absolute no doubter over the right field wall. Huskies running away with this one 7-0 after 5.#BESEEN ll @zachwadas pic.twitter.com/WgkqTjSjPF
TCU will roster two freshman outfielders in Sam Myers and Chase Brunson. The Horned Frogs also bring in utility player Zach Wadas, who played first base and outfield during his high school career in Arizona. The 6-foot-4 slugger could be a breakout player for the Horned Frogs this season.