“I think he’s done a tremendous job with development,” Hall said. “I think guys are way better now than they were in the fall and we have more choices, I think, on the mound than we’ve had.”
One to watch is Andy Archer, who missed the 2019 season with shoulder and elbow surgery after posting a 3.64 ERA in 47 innings as a sophomore in 2018. Archer could fill the closer role.
While the talent drain was considerable, Hall’s freshman class was ranked as high as fourth nationally. Infielders Drew Compton and Andrew Jenkins and outfielder Tres Gonzalez are three to watch. But, with so many spots unsettled and so much reliance on freshmen or returnees in new or bigger roles, there’s uncertainty about how Tech will settle into the season. Before starting the rigorous ACC schedule, the Jackets will play Georgia in a three-game weekend series Feb. 28-March 1, the first time the archrivals will meet in a three-game weekend series since 1959.
There’s also home-and-home weekday series with super-regional finalist Auburn and Southern Conference champion Mercer. With a dependable starter in Amos Willingham, the Jackets were 11-1 in midweek games last year, a huge advantage. Hall would love to find someone on the staff who can produce similarly in Tech’s pursuit of its first College World Series berth since 2006.