TCU baseball brings back lots of talent on their pitching staff for 2018 -- but the lineup is an unknown.
"When you're replacing 6 of the 9 spots in the lineup, that's a lot," Horned Frogs head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
The Horned Frogs have done their due diligence to be prepared, despite massive turnover.
"They broke themselves up into group and had facetime meetings every Sunday, with the new players, to go over signs," Schlossnagle explained.
Of course, it also helps, when you've got a young lineup, to have former Horned Frog Matt Carpenter to motivate the group.
"Trust that the guy next to you is gonna do his job, and you as a hitter just gotta do your job," Carpenter said. "You know, they're a young, fiesty group of really good players, and I'm excited to watch 'em go out and compete. And I'm pulling for them."
And the hope in Ft. Worth is that the stellar pitching will help bring everything along.
"If you can pitch, that'll hopefully give you some time to figure it out offensively," Schlossnagle said. "But part of pitching is playing great defense. My concerns aren't on the pitching staff necessarily, but honestly it's defensively. Making sure we catch the baseball behind a good pitching staff, and the offensive stuff we'll figure out."
Oh, did we mention, this young TCU team, that will have to round into form -- yeah, they're ranked as high as 3rd in the country by some polls.
"I think that shows a great respect for our program, the longevity of the program, the consistency of the program," Schlossnagle said. "And we'll take it.
And that pedigree is no accident. We heard a TCU assistant coach tell his players that they are the New England Patriots of baseball, because they are the most situationally aware and prepared team in the entire country.
It's that level of attention to detail and dedication that leads to having five College World Series banners on their left field wall.