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College | Story | 3/7/2019

Scout Take: Baylor

Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Davis Wendzel (Baylor Athletics)

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Baylor Bears

What Happened: Baylor rolled into the Shriners College Classic in Houston riding high, having opened their season 8-0. They ran into a bit of a buzzsaw on Friday night in the form of Texas A&M's John Doxakis, stumbled on Saturday against Rice, but rebounded nicely on Sunday for a quality with over Texas State. The news that lefthander Cody Bradford is done for the season answers the question as to what was plaguing the talented pitcher, and now Baylor will have to move forward establishing a new ace. 

Carrying Tool: The offense. Baylor wasn't overpowering offensively in the Shriners Classic by any stretch, but the veterans they have up and down the lineup along with the overall production value of the unit thus far make this a very talented, very dangerous offense. The Bears currently have six regulars hitting over .300, led by No. 3 hitter Davis Wendzel who is setting the world on fire right now with a .465/.554/.767 slash line to open the season. He's one of the better college hitters in the country and anchors a lineup that has the ability to produce at a high level. 

Concerns: Starting pitching. Cody Bradford hadn't been himself all season and the news that he'll miss the remainder of the year was not very surprising. However, Baylor is now faced with replacing the guy they expected to lean on as their Friday night ace. Hayden Kettler has been good in that role, but Baylor needs a few other arms to take big steps forward and help fill out the weekend rotation. Redshirt-sophomore righthander Jimmy Winston has been excellent out of the bullpen, including in multiple-inning stints, so he could potentially be viewed as a starting option long-term. 

Best Player on the Field: Davis Wendzel. Wendzel came into the season viewed as one of college baseball's better hitters, but one whose other tools made him tough to figure out from an evaluative perspective. Not much has changed other than the fact that the Baylor star third baseman has been posting video game numbers thus far with a 1.321 OPS. He's a very real threat to square up a screamer somewhere pretty much whenever he steps into the box and he's turning himself into a potential All-American candidate. 

Fearless Forecast: Postseason club. Baylor's season outlook certainly took a hit when Cody Bradford went down, but the offense has looked, at times, like it's capable of carrying a ballclub for long stretches. Davis Wendzel, Richard Cunningham, Nick Loftin and others are all playing at a high level right now, and if the offense can sort of keep the club afloat until Shea Langeliers comes back, then it could really take another step forward while allowing the pitching staff to sort itself out.

Player covered: Davis Wendzel, Nick Loftin, Richard Cunningham, Cody Bradford, Jimmy Winston.

Davis Wendzel
Baylor's starting third baseman and three-hole hitter, Davis Wendzel has gotten off to a tremendous start in his 2019 campaign. He's slashing .465/.554/.767 so far on the young season, and, along with others, is really putting this Baylor team on his back in the absence of potential first round catcher Shea Langeliers and now ace Cody Bradford

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