We are one step closer to baseball season. The 2018 Scouts varsity roster has been released. 26 players made the cut, which features 12 newcomers and 14 returning players. Among the rookies are three sophomores: Michael Vallone, Breck Nowik, and Connor Morrison. The experience of the upperclassmen who have already been through the grind will only help they younger players adapt to the varsity level. If one thing is for sure, Coach Del Fava and San Hamel are not short of talent in any area.
Of the 26 players, 17 of them have the ability to pitch. Peter Turelli and Andrew Gough will likely represent the front end of the rotation, but also keep an eye out for pitchers such as Will Woidat and Jackson Thomas to earn their keep as starters. If you don’t already know by now, it is extremely important to have depth on the bump in a league that makes you rest four days after throwing just 76 pitches. The amount of players that have the ability to pitch will only benefit Lake Forest as the season gets underway, but look for Michael Vallone, a long-limbed lefty to get his chances on the mound for the Scouts. Coming off an impressive tryout, Vallone will vie to be an innings-eater for Coach Del Fava one way or another.
The Scouts defense will look quite different from last year as well. You will still see Wash U commit Caleb Durbin anchoring the defense at shortstop and Andrew Gough at second, but first base will likely be taken over by either Jackson Thomas or Collin Locchiato. Eight players, including the always solid Drew Golde and speedster Ryan Lee, have the ability to play any outfield position. Lastly, the team will carry five catchers. Griffin Strang and Matthew Hill are the two returning seniors behind the plate and will most likely get the majority of starts in NSC play in 2018.
With the Myrtle Beach tournament a few weeks away it is tough to tell how productive the offense will be initially, but at first glance it seems like the Scouts won’t hit for power or swing for the fences; rather, they’ll focus on hitting to get on base. Del Fava will likely hit Durbin lead off, considering he’s coming off one of the best statistical seasons from a batting average standpoint in Lake Forest history. From there, Gough could be slated to hit in the two spot with Golde either hitting third or cleanup. The rest of the lineup will periodically change.
The Lake Forest Scouts have a talented team coming into the 2018 season. Be sure to check out their first home game against Stevenson on April 1 and stay tuned to The Forest Scout for updates leading up to the beginning of the season.