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College | Story | 3/15/2019

Scout Take: Louisville

Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Tyler Fitzgerald (Jermaine Bibb | Louisville Athletics)

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Louisville Cardinals

What Happened: The Cardinals headed into their series with Boston College with a good start to the season as they'd gone 9-3 over their first 12 games. They took two out of three from the visiting Eagles, getting another unbelievable start from Reid Detmers on Friday night, winning the Saturday game that had to be completed on Sunday morning and then dropping the third game of the series when they ran into the buzzsaw that is BC's freshman Mason Pelio. They showed off a very good all-around team, with a tough lineup one through nine and good arm after good arm taking the mound all weekend. 

Carrying Tool: The pitching, though the offense is solid. Per usual under pitching coach Roger Williams, the Cardinals have an extremely talented and intriguingly deep staff. Reid Detmers has been untouchable on Friday, and while neither Nick Bennett nor Bryan Hoeing were at their best against Boston College, they still have excellent overall numbers this year and have been wholly very good. Luke Smith and Bobby Miller give them swingmen with versatility, and extremely talented freshmen Jared Poland, Jack Perkins and Kerry Wright have all shown big arms in the early going. 

Concerns: Offensive impact. The Cardinals, as a team, have very good approaches at the plate and have consistent, competitive at-bats up and down the lineup. They're hitting .271 as a team with a very good team OBP of .386, however, and most concerning, they are slugging just .373 as a team. Tyler Fitzgerald, the shortstop, is leading the team in homers with three. Drew Campbell leads the team in doubles with four. Logan Wyatt is getting on base at a ridiculous .570 clip, but, as the cleanup hitter, has just four extra-base hits. The Cardinals are going to need some juice in that lineup, somewhere, from someone. 

Best Player on the Field: Had I been in Louisville instead of Lexington on Friday night, this answer would likely be Reid Detmers. However, since I did not see Detmers pitch, the answer is Louisville shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald. He's off to a great start in his draft year, slashing .344/.430/.516 thus far with three bombs and seven steals through 18 games. He's an athletic, very good defender up the middle who has a good chance to stick there long term, a plus runner and he has really started to develop more impact to his offensive game. He's a good bet to be a top-few round selection this June. 

Fearless Forecast: Super Regional team, good chance for Omaha. The Cardinals are extremely talented, as they usually are, and their pitching has a chance to carry them a great distance. The weekend rotation looks set, there is versatility in the bullpen, the backend is rounding into form and there are several young arms who, if they come along, can be weapons in postseason settings. The offense is veteran-laden with tough outs up and down it, but they struggle to hit for much power right now, which could end up being a bigger factor in the postseason. 

Player covered: Tyler Fitzgerald, Logan Wyatt, Kerry Wright, Nick Bennett, Bryan Hoeing.

Tyler Fitzgerald
Really coming into his own offensively this season, Fitzgerald is leading the Cardinals in several offensive categories, slashing .344/.430/.516 with three bombs, 19 RBI and seven steals. He's also playing shortstop at a high level in addition to taking significant steps forward across the board offensively, and is rising up draft boards in the early going of the season. 

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