A while back – maybe a long time ago – a former TCU Baseball star slipped into our DMs with an idea for a fun exercise: what would the TCU Baseball series always look like if it consisted of TCU athletes who did not is baseball?
For … reasons … I never got to it, but now is a perfect time to distract ourselves with some innocent hot stuff, so why not?
I mostly stuck to recent history for this exercise, but would like to have some of you who have been around for a while to call along with some of the legends. And if you have a new nomination to believe I’m wrong, be sure to let me know in the comments!
Starting pitcher: Andy Dalton (QB 2006-2010)
The pitcher who first suggested this exercise said that Red Rifle had to nod as a starting pitcher, and it is difficult to disagree.
Dalton gives me Greg Maddux vibes; he’s not going to blow you away with sheer force or speed, but he can find, paint the black and disturb you to a false sense of security before sending you back to the bench and wondering what the hell just happened. Dalton was always at his best when he needed to be, rose to the moment and was not afraid of major name competition.
He has the face you want from the guy who sets the tone for the game, and will be a great leader on the mound. He also has some experience – looks like a dirty little 12-6 curve LOL.
Auxiliary jug: Vladimir Brodziansky (Center 2015-2018)
Middle relievers are a unique bunch. They must be ready to enter the game at any time in any situation, and keep the opponent off the scoreboard. Leaders love to throw in a guy who throws hitters, and who better to do that than 6’11 ”Vlad?
The Horned Frogs have had a lot of luck with ridiculously tall pitchers (Brian Howard, anyone?) And Vlad fits that shape perfectly. We also know that he has a fast ball in the arsenal, as the center was a great offshoot of the post.
More about: Max Duggan (QB 2019-2020)
Closer is 60% ability and 40% attitude, and it is not a player in recent TCU history who has the “it” factor more than Mad Max. The fiery redhead is as competitive as any Horned Frog we’ve seen in Funky Town, and he certainly has the nasty stretch needed to dominate in late game situations. He also has a good ability to forget the past and focus on the next game, another critically important skill set on the position.
1st base: Ty Summers (LB 2014-2018)
I still love a good 90’s first baseman, the kind of guy who has a big old chewing gum in his lip and a pack of cigs rolled up his sleeve (but for the record, I do not support any of these habits). TCU has some big ‘ol lugs man bag down the straight field line over the years – Kevin Cron, Luken Baker and Jake Guenther to name a few. Who fits that shape perfectly? How about forming Frog and current Packer Ty Summers?
Summers was the undisputed leader in TCU Football’s defense during his playing days, firing the team and fans with great play after great play. He was never the most athletic guy on the field, but he was often among the toughest – and few could match his acumen or football IQ – a must in the GP’s laborious 4-2-5 scheme. You can ‘t tell me he would not be able to blow up any dingers absolutely, and the former high school QB probably has a pretty good arm if he also needs to close a bundle of sacks.
2nd base: Cam Norrie (Tennis 2014-2017)
Second base is about fast jerk muscles and faster decision making. It sounds a lot like tennis, right? The ball gets to you quickly in midfield, something tennis players are definitely used to. And few tennis players have been better than Cam Norrie at TCU, who has steadily risen up the professional ranks since leaving the purple courts.
Norrie is an exceptional athlete who played the net well and had great range across the courts. He is smooth when it comes to changing directions and has incredible vision. I may have given him a nod at a card stop, but it’s hard to measure a man’s arm when it’s always attached to a racket.
3rd base: Kenny Hill (QB 2016-2017)
This almost feels like cheating, as Hill was a throwaway third base project for much of his high school career and even flirted with Major League Baseball during an offseason while with TCU Football. The son of Ken Hill, a longtime professional pitcher, the younger Hill played for Southlake Carroll on the diamond before committing full-time to football his senior year.
Hill had some pop in his bat, could hit any field, and was a very good defensive third baseman, full of the quick jerk muscle needed to react in the hot corner. He also had a pretty good arm, which he showed off to Horned Frogs’ football on a regular occasion.
Short stop: Kyan Anderson (PG 2011-2015)
Shortstop is often the captain of the field and the team’s defensive leader, and while Kyan was known much more for his offense than his D, he was certainly the undisputed leader of TCU hoops during his time there.
One of the most prolific goal scorers in modern TCU Basketball history, Anderson carried some really bad teams and led some really unlikely rebellion for Trent Johnson’s team. He was not the biggest guy on the field, but pound for pound he was often the toughest, not afraid to run in among the trees and make contact at the edge. He also had incredible range and was never afraid of the big moment, which made him the perfect guy to play one of the sport’s toughest positions.
Catcher: Kenrich Williams (F 2014-2018)
The list of catchers at TCU in the Jim Schlossnagle era may have the most impressive depth of talent from anyone on the field. Kurtis Byrne and Zach Humphrey, Evan Skoug, Kyle Bacak, Josh Elander, Bryan Holaday, and more, there are a long line of guys who have been behind the record professionally when they once left TCU. It’s a position that requires toughness, fearlessness and a little THICC-ness … doesn’t it sound like KLenny Hustle? Sure, a 6’9 ”catch is not the norm, but how many baseball players do you know who would be willing to fly down the line to the home plate with Williams waiting for them?
Catcher is often played by the guy who is willing to get a little dirty, who seeks contact, and who has a big old piece on his shoulder. No one embodies these qualities, just like Kenny Hustle when it comes to the latest history of TCU Athletics.
Solid bat, good at the base, decent athletics, and a great team player? What would you say to Desmond Bane in the right field for the frogs?
You know that Des would definitely strike for contact and be a threat on the highways, while showing good speed and speed in the right field defensively. Orbit would be good for a big hit in a central location at least once a week and make highlights on the ball regularly, I’m sure.
In addition, who does not want more COURSE in Fort Worth?
Midfield: KaVontae Turpin (WR / PR 2015-2017)
Thinking of some of the most athletic guys on the field, the first name that comes to mind is KaVontae Turpin. A fan favorite and one of the most versatile and dynamic players on the field no matter who he faced, Turp had the speed to burn and be able to change direction for a penny.
Completely fearless, Turpin would have no problem tracking balls deep into midfield and would regularly take tough catches on the wall, I’m sure.
TCU’s left field goal has been known for boys with huge arms – how many times did we see Josh Watson throw a guy out on the plate that everyone in the stadium was sure would score easily?
That way we go with a guy who can track screamers along the line, make sliding catches on blueprints and rob home runs over the wall – Jalen Reagor. I’m going to guess that the guy with good hands and track speed can also throw it a little, and we all know he has hops. Reag has the speed to cover a lot of ground in a hurry, and the guy with the nickname “Slide” can certainly also go down to get it. In addition, he would be an animal on the base trails (no chance that he is not good on the plate either). An outfield of Bane, Turp and Reag would be something, that’s for sure.
1 – KaVontae Turpin
2 – Jalen Reagor
3 – Kenny Hill
4 – Ty Summers
5 – Kenrich Williams
6 – Andy Dalton
7 – Max Duggan
8 – Kyan Anderson
9 – Vladimir Brodziansky
What do you think of this lineup? Who would you replace – and with whom? Let us know in the comments!