So long: The Sooners say goodbye to five starting seniors – shortstop Caleb Bushyhead, outfielders Erik Ross and Cody Reine, catcher Tanner Toal and first baseman Evan Mistich. Bushyhead provided leadership and stability at a critical position for the better part of three years and will be missed. Clearly, the outfield must be overhauled.
Counting on: Pitching will remain a strength, with Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton giving the Sooners the best returning starting tandem in the Big 12. Max White showed his versatility, playing all over the diamond before finally settling into center field. OU's most consistent threat at the plate, he'll be a key cog in the lineup. Matt Oberste, who provided power late in the season, will have shoulder surgery that should pave his return to the outfield and a regular job.
Draft decisions: Pitchers Jordan John, Steven Okert and Damien Magnifico are all expected to begin their professional careers. Drew Harrison faces more of a decision as a 23rd round pick. The Sooners are also keeping a close eye on signees Taylor Hawkins and Billy Waltrip.
Coming in: Hawkins, the Oklahoma state player of the year from Carl Albert, is a power bat the Sooners crave and at a premium position – catcher. Waltrip is a left-handed power pitcher who could jump right into the weekend rotation. Prep outfielder Justin Burba is considered the No. 3 recruit in the state of Kansas.
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