The infield will have several new faces this season, with newcomers seeing time and also returning players moving to different positions around the diamond.
Junior Grant Fillipitch, who was voted Butler's team MVP and offensive player of the year last year, is the leading returning infielder and will start at third base. Fillipitch hit .302 with a team-best seven homers, 32 runs, 30 RBIs and 17 doubles. Freshman Bob Akin enters the spring as the primary back-up at third base.
Senior Kyle Schultz will move from third base to first base this season. Schultz, who hit .268 with 10 doubles and 29 RBIs last season, will also get some at-bats in the DH spot. Butler has three other capable players who may see time at first, including sophomore Mike Hoscheit and freshmen Jack Dillon and Pat Gelwicks. Hoscheit can also serves as a DH.
Another returnee making a position change, junior Luke Duncan, will start at second base after playing in the outfield last year. Duncan led the Bulldogs in batting average (.308) and triples (4) last season while scoring 25 runs and driving in 22. Entering the spring, senior Bobby Mosser will be the primary back-up at second base. Farley says Duncan may also see time in the outfield depending on how the season progresses.
Newcomer Jack Krause is the team's starting shortstop. Krause, a junior college transfer from Triton College, has shown solid defensive play during the fall and preseason workouts.
Krause's back-up at short will be sophomore Griffin Richeson, who appeared in 40 games last season. Richeson is a versatile utility player who can also play at second base and third base.
The starting outfield the Bulldogs have to enter the season is comprised of three newcomers, and a freshman who will see plenty of time at a corner outfield spot. Don't let the new faces fool you; there is plenty of talent roaming the outfield for BU this season.
Entering the season, junior Kyle Waggoner appears to have the edge to start in left. Waggoner transferred to Butler this year from Indiana University. He was an all-state player at Indy-area powerbouse Brownsburg High School. Along with Waggoner, freshman Andrew Eckhardt will also see time in left field. "They both hit from the left side and have shown the ability to get on base and make things happen," Farley said.
Junior Corey Moylan, a transfer from the University of Vermont, will be the starter in center. After Vermont dropped baseball last year, Moylan brings his speed and potent bat to Butler. The Illinois native hit .312 with four homers, 34 RBIs and 12 stolen bases last year.
Another newcomer, Parkland Junior College transfer Kevin Crane, will start the season in right field. Crane was a second-team JUCO All-American at Parkland and hit .352 last year, leading the team to the NJCAA Division II national title.