Here's the latest AY Mailbag, written from the Virginia-Tennessee state line:
Q: Kind of a strange time in recruiting. Is the staff being a bit more choosy or are commitments just not falling our way yet?
A: I wouldn't worry. They'll get theirs. And some may be soon.
A bit concerned on the Hicks front. How big a threat is Oregon?
A: Anytime Oregon's involved, you have to be worried (cough cough NIKE NIL cough cough), but I think A&M is still in good position.
Latest on Baxter?
A: Texas has gone all in on him after Reuben Owens committed to Louisville and A&M has backed off for whatever reason. I would look at Jeremiyah Love and Kaleb Jackson as possible additions for A&M.
Do we get one of Moore or Rashada? Or is a flip of the Baylor commit more likely? (JustAvgIllini)
A: Austin Novosad is visiting this weekend, so take from that as you will.
Q: Why can't we beat ou? At anything? (TMGLouisiana)
A: I seem to recall A&M crushing OU in football, so I would say this question is inaccurate.
Q: Can you do an analysis of the baseball team with regards to who we lose this year and those expected to sign with us as well? (BTXAg)
A: Probably want to wait on that until after the draft.
Q: Why did Troy Claunch transfer away from Oregon State? (phastman)
A: Changes in the coaching staff and a desire to play somewhere else.
Q: Why will the baseball team be more potent in Omaha next year? (Jamisko11)
A: Hopefully they'll have better pitching and defense. That would definitely help.
Q: Baseball season over. Amazing season nobody saw happening. Childress is long gone although I see a Childress name on the roster. Related to the former coach?
A: Jonathan Childress was the Friday night starter last year for a time. He's had a lot of injury issues, including Tommy John surgery in 2019. This year, he had a bunch of things to deal with, including taking a foul ball off the head in March. That essentially ended his season. I don't know what his future holds. He's a left-hander with starter experience, so he could still be an asset.
Schloss has done a fantastic job from brining in new players, to running the game, to how he seems to coach players. Like how he talks to players at various times. Pitching seems to improve from the SEC tournament to the last two games. Batting seemed to taper off the last couple of games although we hit the ball a lot, it just did not fall in play or go over the fence as much. Fielding, a problem all season. How do you cure that other than bring in new players? So overall, what is the status of A&M Baseball?
A: There's always turnover in college baseball. Guys come in and come out at a rapid clip. But the core of the baseball team could -- I say could because it depends on the draft -- be back. And they just went to the Final Four in Omaha! I'd say the status is good.
NCAA says there can be 32 student athletes on scholarship for the 21-22 year. Scholarships must be at least 25% of tuition. SEC says you can have 40 on the roster for this year, but a team can only dress out 35 at home and play only 27 for a SEC contest.A&M’s team picture has 44 players and a current roster had 38 on the list. From that list, 6-7 are graduates so I guess they are done this year. 17 were listed as freshmen. I had heard there were 14 transfers. So, who is done eligibility wise this year and who may be gone to the draft.
A: Rock, Palisch, Kaler and Claunch are done. Dallas, Menefee, Bost and Minninch are all draft eligible, but I have not seen any of the three listed in a top 100 of eligible draft prospects, so they may actually be back.
The recruiting list for 2022 (thanks to Munns) has 19 players, 2 were 4 stars and 1 was a one star. When do they actually join the team? What is the national signing date for baseball?
A: They join the team in the fall, and the signing day for baseball is in November.
The recruiting list for 2023 has 15 players on it with one 5 star and one 4 star. I have to believe with A&M’s performance this year, recruiting drastically improves.Schloss said A&M is not built for the CWS as they lack speed for stealing bases and for fielding. He apparently is not thrilled with the number of homers being the key to winning games in the SEC.So where does he take this team? What changes can we expect?
A: Better pitching, defense and speed to balance things out.
Think I heard there will be facility renovations coming for the park. What improvements are they targeting? (DentonAg80)
A: If they make any changes, they're going to look to more seating first and foremost.
Q: Where is the best place to park on football game days? (h273)
A: The first available spot.
Q: Does Schloss keep his staff together. With the changes coming when and how many additional coaches can he add?
A: If I'm a team looking for a new coach, I'm taking a hard look at hitting coach Michael Earley. But A&M is going to be tough to deal with because of the money at their disposal.
What is your can’t miss home football game this season? Doesn’t necessarily have to be because it’s a big game it could be a unique opponent we don’t host often. (Aggiefox27)
A: I think it's Ole Miss, but Miami could also be an interesting one.
Q: With our class currently ranked @ 36 and NIL deals going crazy across the country, should we be more concerned or do we just ratchet up our NIL deals?
A: Are we really going to do this annual summer panic just four months after signing the top class in the nation?
When does this NIL situation start heading to a point of diminishing returns with the top players going where it's only about cars, money, and well you know. i.e. Jackson State last year.
A: Um..we're pretty much there already.
With the commitment of Arch Manning, the greatest recruit in the history of recruiting per Rivals analyst, how will this negatively affect us in recruiting other players for 2023? (Big Smoothie)
A: I picked this one, but it applies to several other questions on the subject. It may cost them Johntay Cook. Otherwise, I don't see it changing much.
Q: We finally own tu, that baseball game in the CWS was the equivalent of beating tu in the College Football Playoffs 70-14, but what the heck is going on with us and ou? (AgsRule97!)
A: They're good. What else is there to say?
Q: Do you think we will make another final-four in MCWS in our lifetime?
A: Holy crap, they just did yesterday and we're talking doom and gloom, like it can't be done again? They could be back next year, for crying out loud!
With the Arch Manning & Jaden Rashada commitments this week, how do you think this start of the QB domino will impact our QB options? I doubt we will get Rashada or Dante Moore; but I think we may land Novosad, or is that not even realistic anymore? (kyling)
A: Novosad, like I said, will be around this weekend.
Q: Was the big strike zone in our game a conspiracy to keep the finals from being all SEC? OU kid pitched well but calling way outside balls strikes really took away our ability to do what we do - take pitchers deep into counts and wear them down (91Ag)
Q: Who catches next year? Do we have him on campus or on the way, or do we have to go find someone in the transfer portal? (TAMU-83)
A: His name is Joe Powell and he hit .326 with 5 homers in 40 games for the University of Cincinnati this season.
Q: I saw that Schloss has a laundry list of things he wants added to Bluebell. Increased seating, improved facilities for the players, etc. He made it sound like we are way behind the rest of the SEC with our baseball facilities. Do you see it that way?
Also, which areas do you see us addressing first? (Maddog83)
A: He wants absolutely elite facilities like the football team has. Quite understandable. But if you look at the seating at some other stadiums around the SEC, Olsen (Blue Bell) is on the smaller side. So he'll want to add seats for sure.