Those four all hit over .350 last year, and if things break right, the Blue Devils could have a very potent offense.
“With another year of experience, the first five guys could hit over .400,” Monbrum said.
Right field is a question mark, and Monbrum said he may make use of the designated hitter often to get some talented sophomores some at bats.
With a high-average lineup with some pop, Monbrum also recognizes they need to do more than swing for the fences.
“We’ve got to work on bunting, it’s the little things we’ve got to be able to do or we’re not going to win late in the season,” Monbrum said. “There are kids that are going to get playing time based on being able to bunt.
“We’ve got to be able to bunt the ball in high-pressure situations. We’ll hit our share of home runs, but it’s the little things like baserunning.”
Again, despite the opening day loss, Monbrum expects big things from his squad.
And expectations can be higher thanks to the greater pool of players than the Blue Devils would have to choose from.
“It’s a little different having 24 guys than 10 or 11, like we have in the past,” Monbrum said. “It’s good, we’ll be able to hold kids accountable.”
The Windsor/Stew-Stras co-op is scheduled to play a doubleheader this afternoon in Martinsville, beginning at 1 p.m., weather permitting.
Ryan Czachorski can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 135, or at email@example.com.