Jan. 31, 2012

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Charlotte shackles competition in Atlantic 10


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2012 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 Atlantic 10 (seven of 13 coaches responded).


The team to beat:  Charlotte


The top starting pitchers: Andrew Smith, Charlotte (right); Burny Mitchem, Dayton; Tyler Barnette, Charlotte


The top closer: Pat Christensen, La Salle


The pitcher you least want to face: Andrew Smith, Charlotte


The most underrated pitcher: Alex Alemann, Saint Louis


The best defensive catcher: Eddie Palmer, Saint Joseph’s


The best catcher arm: (tie) Eddie Palmer, Saint Joseph’s; and Ross Steedley, Charlotte


The best defensive infielder: (tie) Mike LeBel, Rhode Island; and Brian Blasik, Dayton


The best infield arm: no player received more than one vote


The best defensive outfielder: Shane Brown, Charlotte


The best outfield arm: no player received more than one vote


The best pure hitters: Brian Blasik, Dayton; Steve Nikorak, Temple (right); Jeff Cammans, Rhode Island; C.J. Gillman, Dayton; Greg Kumpel, Saint Joseph’s


The biggest power threats: Steve Nikorak, Temple; Chris Cowell, Richmond; Greg Kumpel, Saint Joseph’s


The hitter you least want to face: Steve Nikorak, Temple


The toughest hitter to strike out: Jeff Cammans, Rhode Island


The most underrated hitter: Brian Bruening, Xavier


The best base-runner: Mike LeBel, Rhode Island


The best game coach: (tie) Jim Foster, Rhode Island; and Loren Hibbs, Charlotte


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job: Brandon Hall, Charlotte


(photos courtesy of Charlotte & Temple Media Relations Offices)