Feb. 9, 2013
SEATTLE - The 2013 college baseball season is less than a week from getting started. The Huskies, under fourth-year head coach Lindsay Meggs, will be striving to reach the postseason, which would mean making another step forward from last year's 30-25 finish.
Over this weekend, we're taking a look at the 2013 team, broken into three parts. The first of those three focused on Washington's catchers and infielders. In this second edition, we'll have a look at the outfielders:
Braden Bishop, Fr., R/R
Michael Camporeale, Sr., R/R
Joe Meggs, Sr., R/R
Jayce Ray, Sr., L/R
Will Sparks, Jr., R/R
Brian Wolfe, Sr., L/L
With six outfielders on the roster, Washington enters the season two deep at each of the three positions, though of course, most or all of them could play in more than one spot.
Ray, who started 50 games in 2012, all of them as the center fielder and leadoff hitter, and is the Huskies' leading returning hitter, having batted .311 last season. Bishop is as highly regarded a freshman as the UW has signed in recent years.
"If we were to start the season today, Jayce Ray would start in center," Coach Meggs says. "He's had a good fall. He came back in January and has played well. He has the experience that Braden doesn't.
"Braden is going to be an everyday player in this league and he's going to be a good player," Meggs continues. "He's going to either push Jayce to right field or push him to get even better. Or he'll be on the field defensively in the late innings at least. I think he is, like [freshman catcher] Austin Rei, someone who is going to be in the mix before too long."
In right field, the UW has two veteran contenders. Senior Michael Camporeale started 32 games last season, mainly in right. Over the summer, he was the top hitter in the Coastal Plain League and is primed for a productive senior year. While less experienced, junior Will Sparks also had a great summer, leading the West Coast League with a .392 batting average.
"Both had great summers," Meggs confirms. "Neither had great years last year. Will hardly got an opportunity, but he had a good summer and a good fall. Campo would get the benefit of the doubt as we start, but Will is nipping at his heels and battling for at bats."
In left field, the Huskies return senior Joe Meggs, who has started 93 games over the last two seasons, primarily in right field. Also back is fourth-year junior Brian Wolfe, a left-handed hitter who sat out all of last season (as well as some of 2011) due to injury.
"Brian had a very good fall, but he's coming off of two years of not being able to play every day because of injuries," Coach Meggs says. "He's also spending time at first base and is probably our best defensive first baseman. And, if Robert Pehl plays second base, on a certain day I could see Wolfe competing for a job as a left-handed DH.
"Joe's been pretty steady and will probably continue to do so," Coach Meggs concludes. "But if he struggles, you can always throw Will Sparks in left, so I feel like we have some real depth out there, of a kind that we haven't had the last couple years."
We'll close out our season previews Monday (Feb. 11) with a look at the Husky pitching staff. To read the first part, on catchers and infielders, click here.
The Diamond Dawgs get the 2013 season underway next Friday, Feb. 15, when they start a four-game, three-day series at UC Davis.