Image credit: South Carolina coach Mark Kingston (Photo courtesy of South Carolina)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by South Carolina coach Mark Kingston to discuss his optimism about the 2021 season, potential breakout stars, college baseball coaching trees and his impression of Columbia.
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The Gamecocks have the look of a team to watch in 2021. They did lose Carmen Mlodzinski at the front of the rotation, but they have plenty of arms that look ready to step up, including fourth-year sophomore righthander Thomas Farr and fourth-year junior righthander Brannon Jordan, both of whom were excellent in the small sample size that was 2020. Kingston and his staff have a number of different options for the third spot on the weekend, but the leader in the clubhouse right now is third-year freshman lefthander Julian Bosnic, who took steps forward this fall.
The lineup should be a group that packs a punch, with the return of third-year sophomore Wes Clarke, who hit eight home runs last season, and fourth-year junior Andrew Eyster, who has been an effective run producer for a couple of years in a row now. The breakout star to watch on offense might be second-year freshman Brennan Milone, however. The highly-anticipated recruit from the 2019 class was injured to begin the 2020 season and was just getting going when the season was canceled. The South Carolina staff sees him as the team’s best hitter going into the season.
Among the topics discussed on this episode are:
- What Kingston learned about his team in the fall
- The pride in seeing Carmen Mlodzinski get healthy and pitch well in 2020, leading to his being drafted by the Pirates
- The competition for spots in the starting rotation and the development of Thomas Farr and Brannon Jordan
- How Brennan Milone dealt with the adversity of last season and what we can expect from him in 2021
- Mixing an outstanding recruiting class with a talented group of returners
- College baseball coaching trees, including his own
- His impressions of Columbia, South Carolina, now that he’s been there for a few years