2017: 9-12 (8-6)
Key Returners: SR Connor Barison, SR Bradley Cagle, JR Yui Suzuki, JR Hunter Sullivan, JR Spencer Uyematsu, JR Darek Khabani.
Key Losses: Jack Vanderhaar, Dylan Woodbury, David Gibons. Black Steckler, Now Astroga and Grant South.
Key Games: vs Juanita, Liberty and Bellevue
The Redmond Mustangs enter 2018 with a lot of new faces, but one familiar face returning is Connor Barison. The WSU commit will anchor the pitching staff and figure into the offensive equation. Which bodes well for the young Mustangs.
A number of players graduated so the youth movement at Redmond puts the Mustangs in uncharted waters. A couple of sophomores got lots of playing time. Yui Suzuki was a pleasant addition in 2017, logging a .321 avg in 55 plate appearances and five stolen bases. The Mustangs will look for Spencer Uyematsu to improve on his .204 avg over 39 plate appearance.
Joining this group on varsity will be the athletic JR INF/P Darek Khabani, JR OF/P Dustin Lennon-Jones, sophomore catcher Hunter Petit, sophomore INF/P Calvin Cadman, sophomore P/C/3B Matthew Janetzki. Sprinkling in a three seniors: Connor, Barison, Bradley Cagle and Hunter Sullivan and there production will be key for the Mustangs to mount an effective offensive attack.
Improvement in the offense will be a big factor and area the Mustangs must improve on from 2017. Redmond finished near the bottom of the league in hitting with a .240 avg. On the flip side the defense finished fourth in fielding percentage and maintaining defense proficiency will be in high demand to support the pitching staff.
With the #1 slot in the hands of Barison, the Mustangs will look to a number of young arms to grab the 2-4 spots on the pitching staff. Seniors: Will Helland, Thompson, Juniors Khabani, Lennon-Jones, Suzuki and Sophomore Calvin Cadman will get a lot of opportunities early to solidify the pitching staff. Lots of opportunity for pitchers to rise up and make this a successful 2018 campaign for the Mustangs.
The Land of Opportunity! Will either make or break the Mustangs chances of making the postseason. The first two positions in the league should be locked in by MI and LW, how the rest of league shakes out is in the hands of teams like Redmond. So the big questions: pitching and offense. Redmond faces the same puzzle like a lot of teams experiencing the transition from heavy graduation.
In the end if Khabani can nail down the #2 spot, which I believe he can, suddenly the Mustangs have a good 1-2 punch over a number of teams. So then the question comes down to offensive production, this where it gets tricky. The Mustangs don't have a lot of a middle of the order punch on paper. So unless that aspect of the team changes the Mustangs will be saddled with lots of close losses.
Bringing us to the prediction of 5-6 league wins, which probably won't get Redmond into the postseason. However, the Land of Opportunity for this young bunch is playing scrappy and just doing there job which can flip the whole narrative on the whole season. That is why they play the games my friends!