Syracuse basketball season may be over, but sports never stop. It’s opening day for baseball and if the team played on the diamond instead of the court, this is how I’d fill out my lineup.
1. Scoop Jardine (C): Offensively, you need a guy who is going to set the table and look for runs and not RBIs. Who better than Scoop? As a catcher, he also takes on a leadership role.
2. CJ Fair (LF): Need a sac fly? A bunt to advance the runner? A slap single? CJ is your glue guy at the No. 2 hole in the line of Derek Jeter. He’s also a solid defensive outfielder.
3. Kris Joseph (3B): He lacks the mentality to be an elite power hitter, but he’s got enough pop to be one of the better offensive options on this team. He’s a Bobby Abreu in his prime.
4. Dion Waiters (CF): He’s a true five-tool player with the ability to steal bases, hit for power and gooble up fly balls. Grady Sizemore circa 2007 comes to mind.
5. Brandon Triche (1B): Triche may not have the same offensive potential as Joseph or the scoring mentality of Waiters, but he’s definitely a great option to protect your star hitter.
6. James Southerland (RF): He’s way too streaky to place at the top of your lineup, but his power potential keeps him as one of the more important players in the middle to bottom of the lineup.
7. Rakeem Christmas (SS): He’s got the potential to be the next Troy Tulowitzki. Next year, he may be able to hit for power and make a few highlight reel plays on defense. By the end of his SU career, he’s likely to be hitting in the 3 or 4 hole.
8. Baye Keita (2B): Keita is solid defensive second baseman, but is prone to too many defensive mistakes to be a shortstop. He’s also hitting this low in the lineup… well, you know why.
9. Michael Carter-Williams (DH): This is a perfect guy to turn over the lineup. Speed and vision at the 9 hole never hurts. He’ll probably hit lead off next season. (Note, I wanted him to play defense, but he was just the odd man out in the rotation.)
SP. Fab Melo: Defense starts with your pitching, and Melo’s heft and height is a combination of Randy Johnson and CC Sabathia.