South Carolina's Catching Candidates

By Rixon Lane

For the first time since 2011, the Gamecocks won't have Grayson Greiner behind home plate.

The 3rd-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers leave a gaping hole in South Carolina's lineup for the 2015 season. 

As regular season games approach, head coach Chad Holbrook has four options to replace Greiner. But who much do you know about South Carolina's potential catchers?

 

Thatcher Coleman

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Coleman after his home run in the Garnet and Black World Series. 

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Coleman after his home run in the Garnet and Black World Series. 

Coleman is new to the Gamecock program, but has big game experience. He helped lead Spartanburg Methodist to the 2014 NJCAA College World Series last season, hitting .279 on the year. Coleman doubled and homered during the Garnet and Black World Series in the fall and impressed coaches with his ability behind the plate. A native of Hartsville, S.C., Coleman played in the 2013 SC North-South All-Star Game and graduated from Hartsville HS. 

 

Logan Koch

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Koch is South Carolina's most experienced catcher entering 2015. 

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Koch is South Carolina's most experienced catcher entering 2015. 

Koch is the most likely candidate to win the job, having started six games behind the plate last season for the Gamecocks. He hit .286 during the 2014 season and is the only catcher who was on the roster last season. Koch also has the advantage of being the only catcher who can give the Gamecocks another left-handed bat in the lineup; the sophomore from Charlotte is a switch-hitter, while the other three catchers all hit from the right side of the plate. 


Jared Martin

Staff Photo by Chris Gillespie: Martin had a subpar fall, but could still push for playing time. 

Staff Photo by Chris Gillespie: Martin had a subpar fall, but could still push for playing time. 

Martin joined Coleman in the NJCAA College World Series last season, leading Chattahoochee Valley to the postseason with a .359 batting average and 53 RBIs. Although he hit over .350 and drove in at least 45 RBIs in each of his two seasons at Chattahoochee Valley, Martin struggled in the fall, dealing with injuries and improved pitching. While he is probably the lowest man on the totem pole in the competition, Martin could help his chances with a strong showing this month. 

 

Hunter Taylor

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Taylor could be South Carolina's catcher of the future. 

Staff Photo by Paul Collins: Taylor could be South Carolina's catcher of the future. 

Taylor is the youngest player in the rotation, a true freshman from Onley, Virginia. He was a Second-Team Baseball America High School All-America selection last year, batting .554 with 12 home runs for Nandua High School. Baseball America also rated him last the sixth-best high school prospect in Virginia. Holbrook has said that Taylor is the catcher who improved the most during the fall, so don't be surprised if he pushes Koch for playing time throughout the season.