Early 2023 season preview and needs for Arizona Baseball

The 2022 Arizona Baseball season is behind us, and now the focus turns to 2023 as we take a look at the Wildcats’ early season preview and roster needs. 

Well, season one under head coach Chip Hale went on without much of a hitch as Arizona Baseball ended the year with a 39-25 (16-14) record and made the NCAA Regionals as a No. 2 seed.

However, it is hard to truly give the Wildcats a fair grade as it was just the first season under Hale, and a large contingency of players that played this past season were guys that previous head coach Jay Johnson had brought in.

Nonetheless, these were some of the major takeaways from Arizona Baseball this past season, as well as the areas of improvement for next year.

As we all saw, Arizona finished the year with a respectable 39-25 record and finished Top 5 in a loaded Pac-12 Conference.

Overall, the team was pretty solid on offense, compiling a combined .286 batting average with 74 home runs, 391 RBIs, and a .462 slugging percentage, all while averaging 6.6 runs per game.

However, on the flip side of that, it was Arizona’s pitching that seemed to struggle the most. As a team, the Wildcats sported a 5.04 ERA and surrendered a .270 batting average to its opponents.

And coming into 2023, it is clear where the Wildcats will need the most improvements!

Overall, the offense should be just fine next season, and this should still be a pretty talented group from top-to-bottom. Unfortunately, it is the pitching that Arizona and Hale will need to address quickly.

With that said, this brings me to our most important point, the key departures from the Wildcats’ roster.

Known Key Departures

  • C – Daniel Susac – Is draft eligible and will likely be a 1st Round Draft pick in 2022
  • LHP – Garrett Irvin – Is a senior and will be drafted in the upcoming MLB Draft
  • LHP – Holden Christian – Is a senior and has no more eligibility
  • OF – Blake Paugh – Is a senior and has no more eligibility
  • 3B – Tony Bullard – Entered transfer portal; however, he may be drafted
  • LHP – Javyn Pimental – Transferred to Missouri
  • RHP – Chandler Murphy – Entered the transfer portal
  • 1B – Noah Turley – Entered the transfer portal

Possible Key Departures

  • RHP – Quinn Flanagan – Has been at Arizona five seasons and will likely be drafted
  • OF – Tanner O’Tremba – Is draft eligible and may be drafted in the upcoming MLB Draft
  • OF – Mac Bingham – Is draft eligible and may be drafted in the upcoming MLB Draft
  • RHP – George Arias Jr. – Participated in Senior Night Festivities and may not return
  • RHP – Jonathan Guardado – Participated in Senior Night Festivities and may not return

Arizona Baseball additions for 2023

So far, Arizona has 19 commitments coming into next season, eight of those commitments being pitchers. Assuming the Wildcats can keep the vast majority of its recruiting class together, this should be a group that has a few, immediate impact players.

Overall, the Wildcats should have a solid group in 2023, and hopefully, Hale and the Cats can fix some of the issues it had this past season.