You would think the Cavaliers would be weak at some position in the field? As I have shown, they aren't. The outfield is no different. Lets go over some quick stats from the outfield....a third year who was a freshman All-American in Right Field, an All-American and preseason All-American this year in Centerfield, and a guy who could arguably be the fastest guy in the conference in leftfield. And that's just the beginning of the outfielders.
Since we all read from left to right that is where I will start, Leftfield. Returning third year, John Barr will see a majority of the innings patrolling the left spot of the outfield. John lead the Cavaliers his freshman year in batting average and built on it again last year having a very successful year. John was one of the biggest reasons the Cavs won the 2nd game of the Oxford Super Regional last year by beating out a double play ball with his "blinding" speed.
Sharing time with Barr will more than likely be third year David Coleman. David is a left handed throwing and batting "bulldog" who can not be struck out. No matter what the situation or the count, a 2 strike pitch will not get past him. Many of you will remember Coleman from 2 years ago when we played FSU in the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville when he went diving into the stands to catch a pop up that ultimately landed him in the Sportscenter's Top 10 plays of the night as well as helping him earn All-Tournament honors. John and David will more than likely split time depending on the pitcher at the time. If a lefty is on the mound Barr will see more time while if a right hander is pitching Coleman will likely be in the lineup.
If Coach O'Connor wants to infuse a bit more offense into the lineup Phil Gosselin or John Hicks could see some time in left field as well. Both saw time out there last year at the end of the year. Towards the end of the game you will likely see Shane Halley in left field since Halley is also quick and has one of the strongest arms on the team (if Halley hasn't pitched earlier in the game).
Centerfield isn't a question. If you watched, listened to, or followed the Cavaliers at all last year you know Jarrett Parker. If you don't know by now, Parker put on 20 pounds of muscle before last year. While he wasn't able to do that this offseason due to playing in the Cape Cod League this past summer, I fully expect Parker to have as strong of a season this year. Parker hopes to build on last year and turn that into the Cavaliers first first round draft pick since Ryan Zimmerman (Doolittle went in the "extra" first round, technically not first round).
Right field also has one of the Cavaliers best players playing the position. Dan Grovatt has been a mainstay in the outfield and middle of the lineup for his two years with the 'Hoos. Grovatt built on his Freshman All-American season last year by being a leader on the Cavaliers in Home Runs and Batting Average. He was one of the key ingredients that allowed UVa to win the ACC tournament last year and earned himself tournament MVP honors. Grovatt will look to build on a successful year last year and turn this year into a season that will get him drafted at the end of the year. While I expect Grovatt to have a great season, I don't expect him to get drafted high enough to leave because he is just not big enough to be a professional outfielder. Coach O'Connor has said that Dan could pitch a bit this year which would mean David Coleman would probably see more innings this year in right field. Let me know if you've heard this one before, I just can't see a first year making a big impact in the outfield with all the returning talent. Haven't heard that yet? Read one of the previous 4 preview articles.