I'm looking forward to visit Eldredge Park this summer and see the new updates, which include a new backstop and new dugouts. But, I'm also looking forward to getting a firsthand look at some of the players on the roster. The Firebirds don't have many 90+ inning everyday starters with large strikeout totals. But, they do have sophomore Tyler Anderson (Oregon), who should be their #1 starter if he doesn't end up with Team USA. Anderson went 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 102.2 innings. He's averaging over 1 strikeout/inning. Also on the Firebirds pitching staff is Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton), who probably should see more time at first base due to his .352 average with 16 HRs this spring. Unfortunately, Team USA noticed his versatility too. Kyle Simon (Arizona) is probably next in line for the #1 starter role. He doesn't have the strikeout totals, but he pitched 109.2 innings with a 4.27 ERA this spring. The only returning player on the pitching staff is Tommy Kahnle (Lynn) will also mix in on the Firebirds rotation. EDIT: Kahnle is no longer on the roster.
In the batting lineup, shortstop Drew Maggi (Arizona State) will look to step into the top of the order for the Firebirds. With a .339 average and 34 steals, he should be a fan favorite. But, my favorite player to watch will be Steve Selsky (Arizona) who had leading totals for the Wildcats in average (.370), runs (57), hits (87), triples (6), RBI (52), and OBP (.448). Selsky also led the team in strikeouts (49), so he'll look to improve his patience this summer.