The Pride are coming off their best season since 2012 in Russo’ 1st season at the helm when they went 34-22. The Pride dropped their first 2 games against Lamar University and then went on to win 9 in a row. Hofstra went 12-12 in Conference play, which included an impressive sweep of Charleston. The Pride lost their ace LHP John Rooney to the MLB Draft and two quality members of the pitching staff due to graduation which includes: Matt Weissheier, and Chris Weiss. 2-way player Teddy Cillis joined Rooney as the members of the Pride members drafted in 2018. There are a great deal of question marks for Hofstra heading into 2019.
The pitching staff will take a step back in 2019 with all of the losses due to graduation and draft picks from 2018. Michael James returns to as a grad student and had a strong 2018 mainly in the pen, but started 3 games. RHP Brad Camara (SO) had a solid freshman campaign and will be leaned on this year. RHP Andrew Mundy is back and healthy, he has only had 9 appearances in the past 2 years. Lots of hype for incoming freshman LHP Ryan Rue. The big transfer arm RHP Jack Jett from Old Dominion stays in the CAA. He’s a guy that only pitched in 7.1 IP and struck out 10. This staff is made up of mid 80’s guys with some pitch-ability.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Pride will be led by C/1B Vito Friscia (SR). Vito was a guy that I personally covered in his HS days and he could always hit the long ball. Vito has developed his hit tool nicely during his time at Hofstra. Vito had a stellar year in 2018: hitting .353, .945 OPS, 7 HR, 31 RBI, .514 SLG, and only struck out 33 times in 173 AB’s. 1B Rob Weissheier (JR) hit .240 last year with 4 HR, 31 RBI and led the team in doubles with 13. MIF Austin Gauthier is a good ballplayer, but just needs to develop. He only hit .217, with 2 HR and 18 RBI. He had a solid summer in the Cal Ripken League hitting .281. He’s a player that will be on some draft watch lists once he is eligible. The hitting can only go up from a dismal 2018 with a team batting average of .233.
2019 Prediction: 15 Wins
2019 MLB Draft Prospects
- C/1B Vito Friscia (SR)