What’s the outlook for Rutgers baseball this season? BTN’s Mike Huff thinks the Scarlet Knights can make the NCAA Tournament
Despite a sluggish start to the season, Rutgers baseball has a high ceiling. That is the outlook from Mike Huff, a former Major League Baseball player who is an analyst with the Big Ten Network.
Rutgers began the season losing their first two games in a series at Campbell before salvaging a Sunday win to close out the series on a high note. Rutgers is expected to be good this season and is a consensus pick as the second-best team in the Big Ten.
Coming off a 40-12 season where Rutgers finished second in the Big Ten’s regular season as well as the Big Ten Tournament, expectations are high around the Scarlet Knights this year. Inexplicably, Rutgers was not included in the NCAA Tournament last season, something that Huff doesn’t think happens this season.
“Yes, this is an NCAA-caliber team. I love Ryan Lasko and think he has a chance to be special, both in the Big Ten as well as the entire country,” Huff told Rutgers WIre.
“If their pitching can come together, they should be playing well into the summer.”
Huff was a standout at Northwestern who spent eight seasons in the Major Leagues.
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As for the Big Ten, Huff thinks that two and perhaps three teams right now have a realistic outlook for the NCAA Tournament. Last season, two Big Ten teams went to the tournament: Maryland (who won the Big Ten regular season) and Michigan (who beat Rutgers to win the Big Ten Tournament title).
Rutgers, who finished second in both the regular season and the conference tournament, was shut out from the postseason.
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“I don’t get a sense the Big Ten is deep this year. On virtually every team you see players who will be drafted but only a few teams have line-ups and rotations that can compete on a national scale. If I were a betting man, I’d say between two and three teams going to the NCAA Tournament and similar to what the Big Ten coaches lined up as the top three, I can see Maryland, Rutgers, and Iowa as the top teams right now,” Huff said.
“Hope I am wrong as there is always one or two teams that come together and play well – i.e. Northwestern basketball this year – but I would give these three teams the best chance of dancing, even if they don’t win the Big Ten Tourney.”
Huff currently works with the Chicago White Sox organization. He can be followed on his Twitter account (@MKHuff12) for insight on Big Ten baseball.
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