Catcher: A +
Junior Yasmani Grandal is the backbone to the Miami Hurricanes. The savvy veteran is a leading candidate for College Baseball Player of the Year. He is hitting an ACC best .429 in league play. He leads the team in hitting (.415), doubles (13), RBI (35), total bases (87) and on-base percentage (.520).
Starting Pitching: A –
Every now and then the threesome of Chris Hernandez, Eric Erickson and Jason Santana will unravel for one bad inning but as a whole, pitching coach JD Arteaga should be proud of what his veterans have given him. Miami has a 3.67 team ERA, third best in the ACC.
The bullpen has been the Achilles heel thus far for the Hurricanes. They have bright young arms in EJ Encinsoa and Eric Whaley but as a whole, the bullpen has struggled. Danny Miranda is now the closer for the foreseeable future and his high school teammate Sam Robinson will help stet up.
The right side of the infield has a new look since opening day. Frankie Ratcliff has been solid at second base after starting the year on the bench. Scott Lawson has improved his batting average since an early season swoon. Defensively he is still adjusting to first base. Stephen Perez has been flawless at short stop with the glove. Harold Martinez leads the team in home runs (nine).
The outfield is very fast as Chris Pelaez, Zeke DeVoss and Nathan Melendres have combined for 24 stolen bases. Each has had their share of hot stretches during the year. Their arms are very strong as they continue to hold runners at bay. Offensively there needs to be more consistency, as they do strikeout a lot.
Jim Morris has pressed all the right buttons this year. He has taken it slow with Eric Erickson, understanding no one is 100 percent right away coming off Tommy John surgery. He knows he will need Erickson in the second half when it counts, so the pitch count limit has been effective. He knew when to make a change in the closer position and is utilizing the speed on this team. As a team, Miami has the second most stolen bases in the ACC (80).
Justin Antweil may be contacted at email@example.com.