#20 Duke Baseball 2019 Preview

Duke Blue Devils
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #7 ACC
Duke Logo
Duke had an amazing 2018 campaign and they hope to continue that success for a long time to come. It was the second time the Blue Devils reached the NCAA Tournament during Coach Chris Pollard’s six years leading the program. That may not sound impressive, but considering the previous appearance was in 1961, this is clearly a program on the rise. Last year Duke did more than just make the tournament though. After losing their first tournament game in the Athens Regional, Duke managed to beat Campbell, Troy and Georgia twice with elimination staring them in the face. And then they went to Texas Tech in the Super Regionals and took the Red Raiders to a very tight three games.
2018: 45-18, 18-11
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Chris Pollard
Key Departed Players:
Jimmy Herron, OF, .304 BA, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 23 SB
Zack Kone, IF, .300 BA, 5 HR, 42 RBI
Griffin Conine, OF, .286 BA, 18 HR, 52 RBI
Chris Proctor, C, .286 BA, 4 HR, 46 RBI, 12 SB
Max Miller, IF, .280 BA, 36 RBI
Mitch Stallings, P, 5.84 ERA, 4-5 W/L, 94.0 IP, 100 SO
Ryan Day, P, 5.08 ERA, 5-4 W/L, 67.1 IP, 51 SO
Jack Labosky, P, 1.11 ERA, 3-1 W/L, 40.2 IP, 32 SO, 10 SV
Key Returning Players:
Joey Loperfido, IF, .315 BA, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 16 SB
Kennie Taylor, OF, .283 BA, 6 HR, 36 RBI
Adam Laskey, P, 5.47 ERA, 6-4 W/L, 75.2 IP, 61 SO
Graeme Stinson, P, 1.89 ERA, 5-1 W/L, 62.0 IP, 98 SO
This Duke team will look quite a bit different compared to the 2018 version, but there is a lot of talent here. Most of last year’s dominating bullpen is gone, but Graeme Stinson returns after posting a 1.89 ERA in 62.0 innings of work. He should step into a starting role to join returning starting pitcher Adam Laskey in the regular rotation. Coach Pollard also has a lot of talented, but inexperienced, arms that he can plug into the bullpen. It may take a little time, but the coaching staff will make all the pieces fit together. The story is similar at the plate where Joey Loperfido and Kennie Taylor will be asked to lead the way. Loperfido batted a team high .315 as a freshman, adding six homeruns and 43 RBIs, while Taylor hit .283 with six homeruns and 36 RBIs. Duke should be very strong on the mound and that will be enough for another trip to the tournament, but if they can find a few new bats, Duke has the potential to make another impressive tournament run.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament