2015 Team Preview: Manhattan



By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report Kansas

As we prepare for the upcoming 2015 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Manhattan
Nickname: Indians
Class: 6A
League: Centennial
Head Coach: Don Hess
Years as Head Coach at School: 18
2014 Overall Record: 22-3
2014 League Record: 17-1
2014 League Finish: 1st
2014 Post-Season Finish: 3rd at 6A state tournament
2014 Final Top 25 Ranking: 5

Returning Starters: 2
Pitchers with 15+ Innings Returning: 1

TOP RETURNERS (College Commitment)
Jesse Steinbring, RHP, 2015 (Central Missouri)
AJ Epperson, 1B/DH, 2015
Garrett Francis, SS/RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Jesse Steinbring.
Last spring, Steinbring racked up Centennial League Pitcher of the Year and 6A All-State honors posting a 9-1 record and sub-1.00 ERA as one of a few juniors that saw action for the senior-dominated Indians. In 2015, the dynamic changes as he will be looked to lead an otherwise inexperienced pitching staff.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Tanner Holen, C, 2016. Holen should see significant work behind the plate as the Indians look to replace the senior catching tandem of Alex Huerta and Tyler Wohler from last year's league championship team.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Henry de Noble, RHP

2015 OUTLOOK:  
Coach Don Hess has his work cut out for him this spring with the departure of seven everyday starters and significant innings on the mound from last year’s Centennial League championship team. The return of a proven #1 on the mound in Steinbring is a good starting point as they begin to map out the spring season. In addition, they return two experienced seniors in All-Centennial League first baseman AJ Epperson and Garrett Francis, a slick fielding second baseman from the 2014 squad that looks to move over to shortstop this spring. In addition, the door is wide open for other upperclassmen that have been waiting for their chance to emerge as well as a deep sophomore class.

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COACHES PRESEASON QUESTIONNAIRE

We appreciate all of the help provided by high school coaches across the state assisting with our preseason coverage. If you have not already done so you can fill out our coaches' preseason questionnaire online by clicking here.

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