If ASU baseball is going to reach new heights in its first year under new head coach Willie Bloomquist, sophomore infielder Hunter Haas will surely be a vital cog in the wheel. As a freshman this past season, Haas started nearly every game in the hot corner and consistently batting in the middle of one of the conference’s best lineups.
The Phoenix native batted .304 while posting a .773 OPS. His 15 doubles were just three behind team leader Sean McLain. During his freshman campaign, he totaled just two home runs, one of which was an inside-the-parker. An offseason of weight training will turn a few of his deep doubles into round trippers.
With Drew Swift almost certainly departing for the professional ranks, Haas potential could shift from third base to shortstop in 2022. While his one year sabbatical from the position will likely be cause for some adjustment, Haas is more than familiar with playing short.
As a recruit, he was one of the top ranked shortstops in the country in 2020, patrolling short at Corona Del Sol High School. Haas also starred at short for the U18 national team in the summer of 2019. He was a finalist for the Rawling’s collegiate Gold Glove award among the nation’s third basemen.
Bloomquist spent most of his major league career as a utility man on defense, so he will be immediately enamored with the versatility of Haas. He’s poised to flourish at one position, however, filling the large shoes of Drew Swift as the Sun Devils’ shortstop.
Haas was just one member of the incredibly deep freshman class in 2021. If he and his classmates can make the jump they expect to in their sophomore seasons, ASU will look to ride the talented class to a deep postseason run.