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 catchers.
Sophomore standout Karson Bowen headlines the men who will be behind the dish for the Horned Frogs in 2024. Bowen broke out as a freshman and played an integral role on both offense and defense, finishing with a .350/.420/.502 slash line while adding six homers, 15 doubles and 46 RBIs. Bowen took over the starting catcher role early in the season with his hot hitting, but the All-Big 12 Freshman Team and Big 12 All-Tournament Team honoree also finished with a .987 fielding percentage. Bowen should be penciled in as a first-day starter.
BREAKING NEWS— Next Level Baseball (@nextlevelbb) December 23, 2023
DALLEN LEACH IS A TCU HORNED FROG
Former Lincoln HS, NLB, Gulf Coast State College and University of North Florida Star Dallen Leach has committed to play at TCU.
Leach was home in Tallahassee getting ready to start the law enforcement academy to begin his career as… pic.twitter.com/0RzA4kKtUA
The Horned Frogs added a veteran catcher over the offseason, signing former North Florida backstop Dallen Leach as a graduate transfer. Leach spent two seasons at North Florida and was a starter in 84 of his 91 games played over that span. Leach also played two seasons at Gulf State College in Panama City, Florida to begin his collegiate career, hitting .319 in his first season of JUCO ball. Leach recorded a .255 batting average at North Florida and will provide the Horned Frogs with a reliable veteran presence behind the dish this spring.
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.
Rounding out the TCU catchers on the 2024 roster is sophomore Tim Reynolds, who comes to Fort Worth after one season at Odessa College, where he collected 23 hits over 37 games while adding 17 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. While he’s not listed as a catcher on the roster anymore, TCU also returns redshirt senior utility player Kurtis Byrne, who shined as the team’s designated hitter during the 2023 season. Also an Big 12 All-Tournament team honoree last year, Byrne slashed .285/.343./.487 with 10 homers, nine doubles and 48 RBIs. Byrne enters his fifth season at TCU and has 128 career appearances with 112 career starts.