OK Preseason Preview: Bixby


Oklahoma Staff

The Oklahoma high school baseball season kicks off on Feb. 21 for A-B, and March 1 for 2A-6A. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown through the official PBR Oklahoma Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

We’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2022 preseason coverage continues today. 

Team: Bixby
2021 Record: 28-12
Classification: 6A
Head Coach: Justin Delay
Years at the Helm: 2

OUTLOOK

The Spring of 2022 is looking bright for the Spartans as they boast on of the more talented lineups and deeper pitching staffs in the State.  The program has been on the rise for a couple of years and this year it has all the necessary pieces to make a deep run with multiple talented arms with experience and impact bats returning.  The biggest question mark heading into the 2022 season are having to replace two power bats after losing the presence of Blake Nichols and Blake Williams to graduation.  The Spartans should still have one of the deeper lineups in the state that will stretch deep into the bottom of the order with guys with some experience and high-end talent.  What is not a question mark heading into the season is their very deep and talented pitching staff.  Last year it was the combo of Kaden Wright and Max Knight leading the way in their Monday and Tuesday district games with multiple talented arms working out of the bullpen.   The Spartans will lean on their deep pitching staff and versatile lineup to create matchup problems on their opponents throughout the Spring.  

Impact PLAYERS

Max Knight, 2023, OF/P, Oklahoma State commit

One of the top two-way talents in the State, the Oklahoma State commit possesses big time potential both as a left handed arm on the bump and from the left side of the plate.  Knight showed the ability to command the fastball in the upper 80's to go along with a well-shaped curveball that he can flip into the zone at ease.   At the plate Knight uses his big leverage and smooth rhythm to drive the ball to all fields with good gap power.  Look for Knight to play a big role on this year's Spartan squad both on the mound during district games and hitting in the middle of this talented line up.

Max Knight (7/28/21)

 

Nate Murphy, 2023, C/P, Kansas State commit

Murphy has been on the scene for a couple of years with his big bat speed always catching people's eyes when he works in the box.  The Kansas State commit has big power potential especially to the pull side which he has shown in the past to compliment his good hand strength.  Last year Murphy handled the hot corner and did some catching duties as well as played a big role on the mound where he went 3-0 with a 1.4 ERA.  Murphy provides good flexibility to the lineup and will play a big role on both sides of the ball this Spring.

Nate Murphy (5/22/21)

 

Cooper Moore, 2023, C/P, Kansas commit

Moore jumped onto the scene last Spring after a big early season game at OneOK field where he showed his big time catching abilities for 7 innings then hopped onto the mound and worked the fastball at 88-90.  The Jayhawk commit is known to be one of the top catch and throw guys in the entire country with consistent showcase pop times in the low 1.8's.  But don't sleep on Moore at the plate.  Moore has very good barrel control with some sneaky gap pop that collects hits in bunches leading to his .427 batting average and 8 doubles last Spring.  The jury is still out on which side of the ball Moore projects higher on at the next level but look for Cooper to impact the game on both sides of the ball this Spring for the Spartans.

 

Cooper Moore (7/28/21)

 

Barrick Leu, 2022, SS, Seminole St commit

The Seminole State commit has shown smooth actions for a couple of years handling the middle of the diamond for the Spartans defensively.  He understands angles well when working around the ball and has a good internal clock on how quick he needs to work.  Don't sleep on Leu as a hitter as last season he showed some real pop with 11 doubles and 4 homers on the year.  Look for Leu to continue to anchor the Spartan defense and provide a much-needed punch to the lineup.

 


 

Cole Abbott, 2022, P, Cowley County commit

Look for the Cowley County commit to play a much bigger role on the Spartan staff this upcoming Spring after making a big jump on the mound over the past couple of months.  Abbott has true potential power stuff with an easy upper 80's fastball to go along with a sharp split finger with good depth.  Abbot has a physical presence on the mound with an attacking mentality which should bring very quality depth to an already deep stable of arms for the Spartans.

 

Cole Abbott (10/31/21)

 

Ricardo Hernandez, 2022, P/INF, Coffeyville CC commit

The Coffeyville was used in multiple roles last Spring for the Spartans both at the hot corner down the stretch of the season as well as out of the bull pen providing big innings at the back end of games.  Hernandez has a unique side arm slot that he uses his loose arm action to create good arm side run and sinking action on the fastball to go along with a slurvy shaped slider which makes it tough on right-handed hitters.

 

Kaden Wright, 2022, P, Seminole St commit

Wright has been a big contributor on the mound for the Spartans over the past couple of years and took the ball in their State tournament appearance last year.  The Seminole State commit is one of the tougher competitors on the mound in the State which makes his upper 80's fastball and well-shaped lower 70's curveball play up at higher levels.  Wright also will play some outfield at times for the Spartans and provides a little juice to the lineup.

Kaden Wright (2/21/21)

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Jack Williams, 2023, OF/P

Nate Bickle, 2022, C

Owen Bailor, 2023, INF/P

 


Make sure to follow @PBR_Oklahoma on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

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