This just in: The 2014 Baylor Baseball season is dead. While not ending the way we wished, there were moments to appreciate. A fitting memorial is being planned; we will keep you posted with the details. In the meantime, Baylor Baseball moves forward.
Tomorrow Baylor Baseball Academy will host an Elite Prospect Camp. From 9am to 9pm, prospects will be divided into teams based on position where they will receive instruction and compete for a chance to show Steve Smith what they have. We are familiar with Art Briles' use of camps, where coaches host camps both at home and on the road for $35 and 3 hours' work. With the momentum of the program, it is no surprise to see huge turnouts and high profile athletes showing up for a chance to earn a highly coveted scholarship offer.
Camps in general do not work as well for evaluating baseball prospects. In order to truly learn about prospects, coaches have to see them play, preferably a lot. In order to keep the numbers down, prospects have paid $200 for a 12 hour day of instruction and competition, which will allow ample opportunity for Smith, Hoot, and Trevor Mote to evaluate them.
Since 2012, Mote has done a very good job with the pitching staff. Faced with poor run support, the Bears posted a 3.88 team ERA and .262 BAA. While not quite where we want to see it, that's respectable, especially when considering our team BA was .232. It's tough to pitch well when the offense is not providing run support. By all measures, pitching was our strength. Of our 16 pitchers on the roster, we only had 6 underclassmen. After losing 4 contributors to graduation and the draft, and only bringing in one 2015 pitcher, we are left with 13 pitchers on the roster for 2015. in addition to trying to find some offense, the Bears will need to reload the pitching staff for 2016.
Considering the $200 entry fee for tomorrow's one day camp, the fact that it is sold out is impressive. Here is hoping there is some talent on display.