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2016 Baseball Preview: The Outfield

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Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Although they will not have as many questions to answer as the pitching staff, the Cavalier outfield will have serious shoes to fill to complete the UVa lineup.

Exiting from last year is three year starter, Joe McCarthy, who was able to anchor the outfield down after the mass exodus after the 2014 season due to graduation and the draft. Although he only batted .196 last season, his career .294 average and 111 RBI will certainly be missed.

Luckily for Coach O'Connor (this year, it was not good luck last year), McCarthy had to undergo back surgery and ended up missing 35 games last season, so he was able to get the younger players some playing time in the outfield that will pay dividends in this 2016 season.

The only thing we know for certain is who will be patrolling centerfield. While he's not on the mound, second year Adam Haseley will be the center fielder. Haseley played in all 68 games last year as a first year batting .250, but leading the team with 53 Ks. Both those numbers should improve dramatically as the game slows down for him.

After that, nobody knows who will be in left or right field.

It appears a trio of first years will mix in with Haseley. Doak Dozier, Cameron Simmons, and previously mentioned Joe McCarthy's younger brother, Jake could all see time in the corners until one cements themselves as a necessity for the lineup.

But it seems like Coach O'Connor himself doesn't really know where they're going to play. The Daily Progress' Andrew Ramspacher reported that Oak said "not one of them would I say right now is going to be the starting right fielder or left fielder," O'Connor said. "They're bouncing around between the two."

Dozier has been called a "blue chip freshman" by d1baseball, but all three of them should have power and develop even more power as they mature.

The final two possibilities for the outfield could be Omaha hero, Kevin Doherty, who showed last June he is more than capable of playing everyday in the UVa lineup. The other possibility could be second year Pavin Smith. Smith underwent Tommy John surgery after the season last year and is still rehabbing that injury, but once he is cleared to play, Smith could move back to the outfield where he played 32 games last season and let Robbie Coman or Matt Thaiss play first.

It will be interesting to see just who plays where at the beginning of the season, but it should be surprising to see some fresh faces with high ceilings wearing the orange and blue.