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ASU Baseball: Previewing the position players

Yesterday we previewed the pitchers and today we get to the rest of the ASU baseball team.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout this week, we will take you through the 2016 Arizona State baseball roster as the team prepares for its February 19 opener. Next in our series is a look at ASU's position players, which combine a experienced infield and fresh faces in the outfield.

Infield - Projected Starters

David Greer - Greer had a breakout sophomore season in 2015 as he hit .314 with a pair of home runs and 28 runs batted in. He spent most of his time at third base, filling in for Dalton DiNatale when he was injured and then keeping the job down the stretch.

This year, Greer is expected to spend most of his time across the diamond at first base. Wherever he plays, he will be one of ASU's leaders at the plate as he looks to build upon a very productive sophomore season.

Andrew Snow - Snow was one of the only freshman who saw consistent playing time in 2015. He hit an even .300 with 42 hits, 24 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .400.

Snow, a cousin of former ASU star Dustin Pedroia, will man second base for the Sun Devils, a spot where he made 40 starts in 2015. He struggled over the summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League but the experience will help him this season.

Colby Woodmansee - The star of the infield (and ASU's team) is junior shortstop Colby Woodmansee, who earned a spot on the Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List (college baseball's Heisman). Woodmansee started all 58 games at short and he figures to be the first Sun Devil drafted in June's MLB Draft.

Woody boasts good range and a great arm at short and at the plate he hit .308 with five home runs and a team-leading 44 RBIs last season. He is one of ASU's most important pieces this season.

Jordan Aboites - One of the most versatile players in the nation, Aboites will start at third for ASU but he can also play second base and will also make some appearances on the mound for the Sun Devils.

Aboites hit just .200 last year with eight RBIs in 37 games last season. He has a great arm at third and is one of just four seniors on the roster.

Infield - Reserves

Chris Beall - Beall played in 33 games while only hitting .186 last season. He will be used in a reserve roll this year, likely filling in at first base when Greer moves to third.

Ryan Lillard - The sophomore made five starts and 26 appearances last year. He made three starts as the designated hitter and two at first base while also appearing in the outfield. Lillard may gain more playing time as a sophomore, with his versatility being key.


Colton Gerhart - A two-sport star, Gerhart is the only returning outfielder on the roster after the Sun Devils lost all three starters from 2015.

He appeared in 24 games as a freshman, hitting .182 with two RBIs. Gerhart boasts one of the strongest arms of any outfielder on the team but his bat may keep him out of the lineup on a consistent basis.

Gage Canning - The true freshman has been turning heads since the team began practicing in the fall and Canning is now in line to start in right field come opening day.

Canning is a top of the order type bat who fits the mold of former ASU centerfielder Johnny Sewald. Tracy Smith has told reporters on multiple occasions during preseason practices that Canning has been the most impressive freshman so far in practice.

Tyler Williams - Williams was the top recruit in Smith's first full class to make it to campus and the No. 1 player in the state of Arizona according to Perfect Game. He stands 6-foot-3 and weights around 230 pounds and named a high school All-American by both Louisville Slugger and Perfect Game.

Williams will likely be in the outfield rotation to begin the season and will have plenty of chances to earn a starting role in left field.

Dan Williams - The other Williams is a JUCO transfer from Round Rock, Texas, and he also stands 6-foot-3. Daniel Williams slugged 10 home runs and drove in 48 runs in two seasons for Weatherford Junior College.

Because of his experience in junior college, Dan Williams is expected to get the nod in left field on Feb. 19 against Xavier and he is expected to compete with Tyler Williams and Gerhart for the everyday left field position.

Andrew Shaps - The sophomore from Arizona HS powerhouse Chaparral figures to be the starting centerfielder on Opening Day. Shaps will also start the season as ASU's closer and last season he appeared in seven games and pitched 4.2 innings.

Designated Hitters

RJ Ybarra - Ybarra should be a familiar name for Sun Devil fans as he broke out as a freshman in 2013 with five home runs and earned Freshman All-American Honors along the way.

As a sophomore he started 50 games including 42 as ASU's DH however in 2015 he saw his RBIs cut in half as he made 39 starts and hit .283. Ybarra can also play first base and he can catch but he will most likely be used as a DH in 2016.

Sebastian Zawada - After playing high school baseball in Mesa, Ariza., Zawada went to Tucson and made a name for himself at South Mountain Community College. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound outfielder slugged 18 home runs and drove in 65 while hitting .394.

Those numbers and a strong fall have helped Zawada become the favorite for the DH roll on opening day.


Brian Serven - Catcher is arguably ASU's strongest position and much of that has to do with Serven. A starter since his freshman season, Serven is regarded as one of the top catchers in the nation after he was named First Team All-Pac-12 in 2015.

The junior backstop made 42 starts behind the plate last year, notching 13 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games for the Sun Devils in 2015.

Zach Cerbo - Cerbo would be starting for many other programs around the nation as the junior appeared in 35 games for ASU in 2015. Cerbo is an ideal backup catcher and will help Serven manage a young pitching staff.