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What’s Next For OSU Baseball?

Next year’s team is going to look very different. Here’s a way too early preview.

NCAA Baseball: Corvallis Super Regional-Auburn at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The College World Series has wrapped up, and the off season is underway. The Beavers got close to returning to their first World Series since their championship run in 2018, but fell one game short. Now, the Beavers are facing down an off season which should bring some big changes to the team’s roster.

The biggest factor looming on the horizon is this weekend’s MLB Draft. The Draft gets started on Sunday, July 17th, and the Beavers should have a few players come off the board early. Cooper Hjerpe and Jacob Melton are both projected to go in the first round, and Justin Boyd shouldn’t be too far behind.


Those are the three biggest names Oregon State will probably be losing, but they’re not the only players that should hear their names called. There are a lot of key starters who will eventually hear their names called, and they’ll have to decide if returning to Corvallis for another season is worth it. Oregon State’s pitching could be hit especially hard, as Jake Pfennigs and Ben Ferrer are both draft eligible and played key rolls for the Beavers this season.

The Beavers could also lose a good chunk of their infield. Matthew Gretler, Gavin Logan and Wade Meckler should all draw some MLB attention, and Jake Dukart has already left through the transfer portal for Texas Tech. Depending on when they get picked, an MLB contract could pry any of those players away from Oregon State.

The team also stands to lose a few players the old fashioned way. Despite the additional time given by the NCAA due to the pandemic, Reid Sebby and Mitch Verburg have run out of eligibility. With Verburg’s departure the Beavers have lost the last member of the 2018 team that won the College World Series. He’s been a mainstay out of the bullpen and will be sorely missed.

Syndication: The Register Guard Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

A few promising young players should be returning, though the transfer portal always looms large. Garret Forrester and Kyle Dernedde racked up some highlights this season, and Jacob Kmatz will probably return as a full time starter next year. In 2022 we also got glimpses at young players like Ryan Brown and Thomas Dukart who should have much larger roles next season.

The Beavers will have a fresh batch of recruits ready to hit the field next Spring. Some of the most promising names probably won’t reach Corvallis; pitcher Tyler Gough and outfielder Gavin Turley are both highly rated prospects, but both will likely go fairly early in the MLB Draft.

Oregon State will have a strong class regardless. Infielders Ely Kennel, Jacob Krieg and Dallas Macias look promising, and with a potentially depleted outfield Adam Dougherty and Canon Reeder could find a lot of playing time right away. There’s also a few promising pitchers on the way, including local prospect Canon Reeder out of Bend, Oregon. Tyler Mejia out of Castle Rock, Colorado also looks he could be a core part of the Beavers rotation for the next few years. Brandon Forrester, brother of current Beaver Garret, is also a player to watch in next year’s freshman group.

It’s difficult to put together an exact roster at this time because we don’t know who exactly is leaving for the pros. But we can take some wild guesses, and that’s what writing about sports on the internet is all about.

Catcher: Tanner Smith

First Base: Garret Forrester

Second Base: Travis Bazzana

Third Base: Mason Guerra

Short Stop: Jabin Trosky

Outfield: Brady Kasper, Tyree Reed, Canon Reeder

Starting Rotation: Jacob Kmatz, Jaren Hunter, AJ Lattery

This is essentially my “worst case scenario,” in that the Beavers lose pretty much every player who could go to the MLB. Bazzana and Forrester give OSU some continuity in the infield, with Guerra and Smith also seeing a good amount of action in 2022. The outfield gets a big overhaul, with Brady Kasper, who saw a bit of action this season, the only veteran presence in the unit. He’s joined by Tyree Reed, who sat out 2022 with a knee injury, and promising recruit Canon Reeder.

Jacob Kmatz and Jaren Hunter saw plenty of starting action in 2022, and Kmatz should slide into the first starting spot with the departures the Beavers are facing. Of the other players with starting experience, Lattery has looked the most promising, though that job should be heavily contested during training.

If we’re going to be more optimistic, we could end up with something like this.

Catcher: Gavin Logan

First Base: Garret Forrester

Second Base: Jabin Trosky

Third Base: Mason Guerra

Short Stop: Kyle Dernedde

Outfield: Greg Fuchs, Brady Kasper, Travis Bazzana

Starting Pitching: Jacob Kmatz, Jaren Hunter, AJ Lattery

Some of these players could end up drafted, but there’s a reasonable chance they all choose to stay in Corvallis another season. Logan would give the Beavers a more practiced hand at catcher, and the return of Dernedde would allow us to shift Bazzana to outfield. Bazzana has a bit of experience there, and its a position that would make good use of his speed.

The picture will become more clear after Sunday’s draft. What are you expecting the Beavers to look like next season? Sound off in the comments.