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2013 Arizona Baseball Season Preview: The Infield

A completely new look for the Wildcats infield in 2013

Riley Moore
Riley Moore

With Alex Mejia and Seth Mejias-Brean both gone, a lot of changes in the infield are in store for Arizona this year.

The two guys returning to the same spot in the field are Catcher Riley Moore (So.) and 2B Trent Gilbert (So.). Riley Moore proved last year that he has terrific skills behind the plate, and at the plate. His defense is well above average with a good arm, plus he also batted .301 last year with 38 RBI. Trent Gilbert is more of a bottom of the order kind of guy, no real power and batted just .272 last year.

Expect Brandon Dixon (Jr.) to get a lot of run at third base this year, especially early on in the season. Last year he split time at first with Joseph Maggi, but with the departure of Mejias-Brean, he's been shifted over to third. He looked a little shaky over there during the intersquad scrimmage, but hopefully he'll adjust to the hot corner quickly. Taking over at first for him should be Ryan Koziol (Fr.). Koziol has shown that he could be a huge contributor in the lineup this year with his great looking swing from the left side.

Replacing Alex Mejia at SS is no easy task, but it has been put on Kevin Newman (Fr.). He has great defensive skills, the only question is his arm. Mejia never really had a plus arm either though, so it shouldn't be too much of a hindrance for the newcomer. Newman is ranked as the 15th best newcomer to the Pac-12.

At DH, Sam Parris (Jr.) will attempt to replace Bobby Brown. At 6' 5", 225 lbs., Parris has the potential to be the heavy hitter in the middle of the lineup. It all depends on how he adjusts to facing NCAA pitching after playing at a community college in Washington for the last two years.

Overall, don't expect the offensive numbers that last year's national title team put up. This is going to be a team that relies heavily on pitching and defense to find success.