The TCU baseball team hosted media day Wednesday to discuss the upcoming season and introduce the new people in the program.
Among the new faces in the dugout is head coach Jim Schlossnagle. Schlossnagle comes from a head coaching position with the UNLV Rebels. While at UNLV, Schlossnagle managed to turn the program around from a record of 7-21 the year before he arrived, to a record of 47-17 over two years. That performance in 2003 earned him Mountain West Coach of the Year honors.
Also among the new faces in the dugout are some players who won’t spend much of their season riding the pine in the dugout.
“We are talented, but we are just young,” said Schlossnagle. “I have been surprised by some of our young players.”
Some of these talented young players are freshman talents German Duran, Shelby Ford, Chad Huffman, and Austin Adams.
German Duran is a graduate of Fort Worth’s Paschal High, just a few blocks from the stadium. He was named first-team all-state for three years as a shortstop. Duran has the chance to be the best I’ve ever coached at his position,” said Schlossnagle.
Shelby Ford is also a local boy, from Fort Worth’s Southwest High. Schlossnagle spoke highly of Ford.
“Shelby can really play anywhere and help us out,” Schlossnagle said.
Another freshman that looks ready to make an impact on TCU’s squad is Henderson native Austin Adams.
“Austin Adams is really athletic, and if we start the season today he will play right field,” Schlossnagle said.
Chad Huffman was a TPX preseason All-American his senior year at Elkins High before he broke his arm after playing only 12 games.
“Chad Huffman has the chance to be as good a college hitter as there is at his age,” he said. “Chad can really swing it and if he isn’t hitting third, he’ll hit fourth.”
As far as familiar faces go, there are only two that return with significant experience. Those players are Chris Neuman and Clayton Jerome.
Neuman is the only player who saw consistent starting time to return from last year’s squad. He led the team with 16 home runs last year en route to a first-team all Conference-USA selection.
Neuman had nothing but good things to say about the Frog’s new coach.
“Schlossnagle is a hands on guy who teaches everybody; pitchers, catchers, and hitters,” Neuman said. “Coach (Lance) Brown just sat around and watched and didn’t really teach us much, but coach Schlossnagle knows a lot about the game.”
Jerome was C-USA Pitcher of the Year last season and is picked by the coaches to retain his title. Jerome also spoke highly of the Schlossnagle and the upcoming season.
“We have been working hard all fall for this upcoming season, and really it just can’t get here fast enough. We are all ready to play,” Jerome said.
TCU is scheduled to start their season at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 at Lupton Stadium.