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Game 1: Indiana State at Wichita State

If you missed Brent Kemnitz’s appearance on Sports Daily on Thursday, it’s worth a listen. Kemnitz puts forth a spirited defense of the present and future of WSU baseball.

My discussion with him after listening focused on this – there is a difference between professional draft talent and college production. Fans don’t care if a player gets drafted in the 10th round if he wasn’t contributing to a winner at WSU. That’s one of the problems this season. Some of the players expected to go in the early rounds haven’t contributed as much as their talent would indicate they should.

That problem is magnified by the small size of WSU’s senior class. Tim Kelley is hurt. Justin Kemp rarely pitches. DH Preston Springer is a big part of the offense.

That’s it. That’s WSU’s senior class. This is the fallout from the 2007 draft, after which infielders Pete Kozma and Jon Gilmore and catcher Derek Norris signed professionally and ditched WSU. That sent WSU scrambling to fill those spots and many of those players – such as Ryan Engrav and Taylor Brown – didn’t work out. That group – those who didn’t leave after the 2010 draft – would have been seniors.

That is part of the reason the Shockers are so short-handed in upperclassmen this season.