Offseason position battle: EKU catcher

College Baseball

In the third Eastern Kentucky University post in the “offseason position battle” series we will look at the vacant catching position.

The departed — Two-year starter Joey Stevens, a 2010 senior, started 42 games for the Colonels in 2010. On the season he batted .276 with two home runs, 24 RBI and 19 runs scored. Stevens recorded a .335 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage. Opposing runners were successful in 35 of 43 stolen base attempts (86 percent) against Stevens on the season. Stevens was charged with six passed balls and two errors in 2010.

Returning candidates — Junior A. J. Jamison served as Stevens’ primary backup in 2010, starting seven games and appearing in 19 games total. Jamison batted .208 with one home run, six RBI and four runs scored on the season. Opposing runners were successful in all eight stolen base attempts against Jamison last season…Junior Brian Shrimpton also saw some time behind the plate for EKU in 2010, especially early in the season. Shrimpton started six games and appeared in 11 total. On the season he was 1-22 (.045), and opposing runners were successful in 19 of 21 stolen base attempts (91.3 percent) against him.

Newcomers to watch — EKU added two catchers to the 2011 roster in the form of freshmen Sean Hagen and Steve Ferraro. In a news release announcing Hagen’s signing EKU head coach Jason Stein described him as a “complete catcher who can catch, throw and block,” adding he was a very offensive-minded player, as well.” As a junior at Reading High School in Pennsylvania, Hagen batted .469 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Stein said Hagen would fill an immediate need at catcher with Stevens’ graduation.

Wildcard — With four catchers on the Colonels’ roster any wildcard in this race would have to come from nowhere. EKU has nine infielders on the roster so if an unlikely position change were to occur that would likely be the first place to look.

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