The Red Raider starting rotation and catchers are set for a loaded spring
The starting rotation and catcher position is another area for Texas Tech that is littered with a mix of experience and youth. The weekend rotation is all but set for the Red Raiders, but we could still see some mixing and matching amongst the midweek starters early-on this spring. The catcher position will look to fill a big void left behind by Braxton Fulford. We could see a platoon of players rotating in-and-out at the position until somebody stakes their claim as the main man behind the plate.
BRANDON BIRDSELL | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER | JUNIOR (4TH YEAR)
Birdsell was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 11th round of the MLB Draft but opted to return to Texas Tech. He will figure heavily in the weekend rotation again this year. Before suffering a season ending injury in April, Birdsell was 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP and notched 36 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched.
CHASE HAMPTON | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER | SOPHOMORE (2ND YEAR)
Hampton logged the most innings (44.1) last season among the returning pitchers for 2022. He worked as the Friday night starter down the stretch and in the postseason. He made seven starts in 18 appearances and had a 3.86 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Hampton finished the season 4-1 with 34 strikeouts and struck out a season high seven batters in the win over Army in the Lubbock Regional. He pitched for the Chatham Anglers last summer in the Cape Cod League.
ANDREW MORRIS | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER | JUNIOR (4TH YEAR)
Morris transferred to Texas Tech after spending the previous two years at NCAA Division II Colorado Mesa University. He was 18-2 with a 3.23 ERA and recorded 215 strikeouts in 175.2 innings over two seasons. Morris received the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year award and Division II All-American honors.
POTENTIAL MIDWEEK STARTERS:
AUSTIN BECKER | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER | REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE (4TH YEAR)
Becker transferred to Texas Tech after spending his freshman year at Vanderbilt in 2019. He redshirted in 2021 due to injury but opened the Covid-shortened 2020 season as a weekend starter for the Red Raiders. His healthy return to the mound will be a welcomed addition this spring. Becker should see action as a midweek starter to begin the season.
TRENDAN PARISH | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER | FRESHMAN (1ST YEAR)
Parish has performed well since arriving on campus for the Red Raiders, and he’s been consistent working in the fall and spring intrasquad scrimmages. He was an All-State pitcher and struck out 175 batters in 88 innings and finished with a 0.75 ERA his senior year at Southwest Christian. Parish could be used in midweek starts or important relief roles early on this season.
MASON MOLINA | LEFT-HANDED PITCHER | FRESHMAN (1ST YEAR)
Molina is another true freshman pitcher who has made his presence felt early on in his career. He has a three-pitch arsenal with an upper 80’s fastball, a mid-70’s curve, and uses the changeup as his go-to pitch. Molina is another candidate for midweek starter work, or he could be used out of the bullpen to start the year.
POSITION PLAYERS – CATCHER:
COLE STILWELL | CATCHER/FIRST BASE | JUNIOR (4TH YEAR)
Stilwell made 41 starts and hit .288 with a .548 slugging percentage last season. He has 410 career plate appearances, which is tops among the 2022 Red Raiders. Stilwell is disciplined at the plate and had the lowest strikeout total of any Red Raider with over 100 at-bats last season, and his 30 walks was the third most on the team. In the scrimmage against the Texas Rangers Fall Instructional team, he caught and played first and was the offensive hero with two hits, including a three-run home run. He will be relied on again as a middle of the lineup hitter and a stable veteran behind the plate to share catching duties with freshman Hudson White.
HUDSON WHITE | CATCHER | FRESHMAN (1ST YEAR)
White hit .469 with 3 home runs, 20 RBIs and was the Defensive MVP his senior season at Byron Nelson High School. He was a four-year starter and received All-State honors as a freshman and sophomore. White is likely to split the catching duties this season.
TREVOR CONLEY | CATCHER | FRESHMAN (1ST YEAR)
Conley had a .421 batting average with 21 RBIs, 21 steals and was a first team All-Conference catcher at West Clermont High School last season. Conley was the 8th ranked catcher and the No. 27 overall prospect in the state of Ohio in 2021.