Huth: Baseball picked sixth? That's too low

Huth: Baseball picked sixth? That's too low

We asked beat writer Jeff Huth for his thoughts on the Big Ten baseball preseason poll, which was released Tuesday:

Coming off an 11-13 record in the Big Ten last season, it’s not surprising that Illinois is no more than a middle-of-the pack pick in the conference coaches’ preseason poll. But at least coach Dan Hartleb’s peers foresee his Illini returning to the six-team Big Ten tournament after a year’s absence. Baseball America isn’t as confident, pegging Illinois for a seventh-place finish. Based on the large number of returning starters in the field (seven), as well as a pitching staff with two proven starters (who combined for 15 wins last year) and a deep bullpen, we think the 2013 Illini are being undervalued. Since I started covering this program in 1981, the most successful Illinois teams almost invariably were those stocked with players entering their second or third — sometimes even fourth — seasons as starters. This Illini team fits that description. Not predicting a title, mind you, but sixth place seems too low.

Poll position
A look at the top six in the Big Ten coaches’ poll:
1. Indiana
2. Nebraska
3. Michigan State
4. Ohio State
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois

Illini to watch
Kevin Johnson, Sr., P
Jordan Parr, Jr., OF
Justin Parr, Sr., OF

Categories (3):Baseball, Illini Sports, Sports

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