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Five players to watch for IU baseball



MattGorski1

Sophomore Matt Gorski scores the second run for IU after a teammate hits a line drive out against Purdue during the 2018 season. Gorski hit a three-run home run Thursday, which extended IU's walk-off win against Michigan State into extra innings. Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

Despite losing key players from last season to graduation or the MLB Draft, IU baseball still has highly respected athletes on the 2019 roster.

IU has key pieces ranging from the bullpen to the outfield that could lead the team toward the top of the Big Ten this season.

Here are five players to keep an eye on.

Matt Gorski — Junior, Outfielder

With draft boards already listing Gorski as a top-40 prospect, his junior season could be his final one with the Hoosiers.

The 6-foot-4-inch outfielder showed potential to be a five-tool player. Gorski led IU with a .356 batting average along with eight home runs and 40 runs batted in last season.

He stole 24 bases, had five outfield assists and zero errors. Gorski’s athleticism was on full display April 25 when he hit an inside-the-park home run at Purdue. 

In the 5-3 loss to the Boilermakers, Gorski had two hits and a stolen base. 

Among returning players, Gorski was tied for second on the team in home runs and could be utilized in numerous spots throughout the lineup. IU’s strong top of the lineup card could force pitchers to have to attack Gorski rather than pitching around.

Matt Lloyd — Senior, Utility Player

IU’s biggest returning power threat produces strength in the middle of the lineup as well as late in games on the mound.

Lloyd hit nine home runs along with 41 RBIs in the heart of IU’s lineup. He added numerous flashy plays in the field while playing first and second base. 

But where Lloyd showed his full potential was when being used out of the bullpen. Lloyd was the closer for IU last season where he picked up seven saves while having a sub-two earned run average. 

Pauly Milto — Senior, Starting Pitcher

With Jonathan Stiever getting drafted, Milto now takes the role of the Friday-night starter for IU. But being a leader is nothing new for Milto.

While pitching a 2.03 ERA last season, Milto was also one of the team captains. He picked up two complete game shutouts last season in 13 starts.

IU’s roughest stretch last season came when Milto was out with an injury, and without the comfort of a pitcher like Stiever on the team, Milto’s importance increases. 

Cal Krueger — Junior, Relief Pitcher

Lloyd’s opportunities to pick up saves came in large part due to the dominance of Krueger in the setup role.

Krueger, who often came into games during the seventh or eighth innings, pitched a 3.02 ERA last season while also picking up three saves.

Krueger saw the biggest workload among relief pitchers with 44.2 innings pitched in 27 appearances. With Krueger and Lloyd closing out games, IU’s pitching staff could continue to be one of the best in the nation.

Logan Kaletha — Junior, Outfielder

In the middle of IU’s outfield and top of IU’s lineup card is Kaletha, who surprised many fans last season.

Kaletha quickly showed his potential in his first season after transferring from John A. Logan College. In his third game with IU, Kaletha hit a walk-off grand slam against then-No. 17 University of South Alabama.

Despite his batting average falling with a late-season slump, Kaletha still led everyday starters with a .429 on-base percentage. 

While playing center field, Kaletha had just one error while regularly making highlight plays. Kaletha’s ability at the top of the lineup could create RBI opportunities for Gorski and Lloyd again this season.

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