Feb. 4, 2009

click here for Horizon Preseason Poll


Illinois-Chicago is Team to Beat in Horizon League


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2009 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at the Horizon League (five out of seven coaches participated).


The team to beat is: Illinois-Chicago


The top three starting pitchers are: Aaron Swenson, Youngstown State; Jon Durket, Wright State; Derrick Miramontes, Illinois-Chicago


The top closer is: Adam Worthington, Illinois-Chicago (pictured right)


The one pitcher you don’t want to face is: Adam Worthington, Illinois-Chicago


The most underrated pitcher is: No pitcher received more than one vote


The best defensive catcher is: Gerald Ogrinc, Wright State*


The best catcher arm is: Gerald Ogrinc, Wright State*


The best defensive infielder is: Rafael Garcia, Illinois-Chicago


The best defensive outfielder is: Dan DeBruin, Valparaiso


The three best pure hitters are: Shawn Wozniak, Milwaukee*; Kyle Schultz, Butler*; Casey McGrew, Wright State; Brett Schaefer, Illinois-Chicago


The three biggest power threats are: Brett Schaefer, Illinois-Chicago*; Shawn Wozniak, Milwaukee*; Jeff Mercer, Wright State


The hitter you least want to face is: Shawn Wozniak, Milwaukee (pictured left)


The most underrated hitter is: Casey McGrew, Wright State


The best base-runner is: Andy Gerhartz, Milwaukee


Your favorite road stadium to visit is: Nischwitz Stadium, Wright State; and Eastwood Field, Youngstown State


The best game coach is: Mike Dee, Illinois-Chicago


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: Sean McDermott, Illinois-Chicago*

(photos courtesy of UIC and UWM Media Relations Office)