Welcome to ATVS' five-part positional breakdown of the upcoming LSU baseball season. We're in no hurry as the first pitch in new Alex Box isn't until February 20th, but I'm taking the time to look at the parts before we look at the sum of those parts.
The catchers are a good place to start, and the only position which we'll look at specifically as they don't fall into the other groups: Infield, Outfield, Rotation, and Bullpen. It's a way to get our feet wet and to look at one of the team's biggest strengths.
Micah Gibbs, So., 174 AB, 322/417/448
Sean Ochinko, Jr., 136 AB, 272/308/404
Kevin Farnsworth, Jr., 2 AB, 000/000/000
A quick note. Like last year, we'll provide "the trilogy" stats for each player because I think it gives you a good picture of a player. So after each player, I'll list the at bats followed by AVG/OBP/SLG. That way, you can see how much he hits, how often he gets on base, and with how much power.
OK, Micah Gibbs is awesome. If you're looking for a flaw, it's that he only hit two home runs. But he put up those numbers as a freshman. He came in, hit well, showed terrific plate discipline, and even cracked 16 doubles, only two off the team lead. Chances are, he's only going to get better. We'd be stacked behind the plate even without a decent backup, but Ochinko is essentially another starter.
The coaches love Ochinko, and there is talk of getting him more playing time by putting him at first base as well. I like Ochinko as well, but come on. 1st base is a slugger's position, and Ochinko is not exactly a power hitter. He's got nice pop in the same way Gibbs does and he does need to be in the lineup, but if a big bat develops off the bench, the guy who loses out on playing time is Ochinko (unless it's Ochinko who sees a massive power spike). Farnsworth is nice roster fodder who earned a letter as a walk-on. Which is really cool, but this might be the last time we mention him all year.
One last thing to note is the stolen base numbers. Ochinko threw out 11 of 37 base stealers (34.4%) and Gibbs threw out 17 of 52 (32.7%). So it's pretty much a wash defensively. Gibbs is going to start, but Ochinko will see a lot of innings. Both are essentially starters, it's just a matter of where. LSU is a very talented team, but at no position are we more loaded than at catcher.